Man on the Stairs


Mr. Woo was standing against the railing at the top of the stairs. He’s been standing there for the last three nights, when I get home from work.
I live in one of those five stories, downtown apartment buildings that are always filled with a variety of characters. The woman with the million cats, who’s always wearing a worn-out robe, the man and woman who are constantly fighting and then making-up, loudly. The mother with the screaming children. The neighbors that you never see, but can hear fragments of their daily lives as you walk down the hall… and there’s always a Mr. Woo. I’ve been working late for the past week trying to get a story written and ready for print for the Dark County Gazette, about the strange disappearance of a couple of local guys. I finally finished it tonight and was making my way up the stairs to my apartment on the third floor, when, there he was just standing there.
He was holding on to the old metal banister and looking at me with his small, almond shaped eyes, with an almost pleading urgency about him. I really didn’t know Mr. Woo very well. I had only seen him a few times just in passing, and aside from a nod or a quiet hello, he would usually just shuffle on by. This time was different.
He almost seemed upset and saddened. I wondered if everything was alright with him. Maybe he was waiting for someone. As I approached, he held out a hand to stop me and opened his mouth to speak. Nothing really came out but a few small garbled noises.
“Are you okay Mr. Woo? Is there something I can do for you?”
He looked frustrated and began pointing down the hallway. He seemed fine last night and the night before. Like he was just standing there waiting on something.
“Do you need some help? Is there someone I can call?”
More frantic pointing.
I looked down the dimly lit hallway and couldn’t see anything abnormal. I looked back to tell him and I noticed that one of his eyes had turned this strange milky white color.
Mr. Woo just continued to point towards our apartments. Mine was the third door on the left and his was the fifth on the right.
“Is there someone bothering you? Did someone break into your apartment?”
His hands started flailing in frustration, towards the hall, like I wasn’t listening to him at all. I grabbed at his arm but missed it somehow. I could’ve sworn… It was like my hand passed right through his arm.
He started walking at that point, slowly shuffling his way down the hall in his dirty grey slippers. He kept stopping, turning around, and motioning for me to follow. I sighed, giving in, and followed him. I dropped my bag and jacket off in front of my door and continued down to where he was standing, in front of his. He motioned towards the door.
“Were both of his eyes this milky just a minute ago?” I thought to myself.
“Are you locked out or something? Do you need me to call the Super?”
He just motioned towards the door and did a turn with his wrist. I put my hand on the door knob and looked back at Mr. Woo. He had a different look on his face. This time it was no longer panic or frustration, but calm and a slight smile. He motioned for me to continue. I turned the knob and slowly opened the door and looked back. Mr. Woo was gone. I was alone there in the corridor.
I reached into his apartment and flicked on the light switch. There was Mr. Woo lying on his living room floor. His face was twisted in panic and his eyes were milky white. He was dead.

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17 Comments on 'Man on the Stairs'

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  • Commented on November 4, 2015 at 6:54 am

    Tasty little pasta! Very nice job. Short, detailed but not wallowing in excessive detail, and a little bit of nicely-managed buildup. Keep up the good work!

  • winter spring
    Commented on November 4, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    eyes as white as a winter spring ill rate it 8 out of 10 breads that’s enough breads to fill anyone’s stomach

  • Commented on November 4, 2015 at 1:22 am

    WOW that was a TWIST i LOVE IT!!!! Thank you for the yummy pasta!

  • Commented on November 10, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    I like pasta’s like this that are sweet and not just.

  • Commented on November 5, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    Whoa didn’t expect that little twist, anyway great story! ^^

  • Commented on November 5, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    That was pretty cool!

  • Commented on November 10, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    Nice dude! It’s very unique… I don’t get creeped out. At all. But this changed that… I love it! Do it again! 😀
    Or not… That’s fine too…

  • Commented on November 4, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    This was a great well written pasta i would have loved it if it was longer glad this one got accepted 🙂 9/10

  • Commented on November 10, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    This was a good one, I like the little suspense, but it could have been better.

  • Commented on November 10, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    Great pasta!

  • Commented on January 21, 2016 at 7:36 pm

    Predictable, but fantastic! Sometimes a new spin on an old cliche is just what is needed.

  • Commented on November 10, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    Meh, I’ve read better. This story didn’t really give me any chills or anything like that. Short and sweet. I could pretty much predict what was going on and what was going to happen. But I see great potential in you and I look forward to reading more of your work!

  • Commented on November 10, 2015 at 3:38 pm


  • Commented on December 22, 2015 at 12:02 am

    Meh it was acceptable but more detail needed

  • Commented on July 26, 2016 at 8:11 am

    This story actually made me kind of sad… I don’t know why though…

  • Commented on August 26, 2016 at 5:54 am


  • Commented on November 4, 2015 at 11:58 am

    It was good. But I knew what was going on when you said ‘[it was like my hand passed right through his arm]’. otherwise it was great 4/5!!

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