Upon opening his eyes confusion set in at once. What was he doing in bed? Was it morning? No, it couldn’t be. He was wearing his clothes, not his pyjamas. He sat up and swung his feet over the edge of the bed and looked around. It all came back to him.
The room was smaller. It seemed impossible yet he couldn’t begin to doubt it. As he tried to make sense of what was happening he remembered the telephone. He padded to the hallway and peered around the edge of the door. No phone. Where could it have gone?
He walked over to the alcove and looked at the wall. There was no jack for the wire to be plugged into. He rubbed his eyes and walked into the living room. It was smaller than before. He went and sat down in his chair and willed himself to be calm. There was only one thing to do. He would have to go down to the first floor and speak to the superintendent. He was loath to leave his apartment. He had everything he needed delivered to him, but in this case there was nothing for it.
He got up and walked into the hall and headed for the front door. When he got to the end of the hall a blank wall confronted him. He stared at it dumbfounded. He reached out and touched the wall where the door handle should be. There was nothing but a smooth, painted surface. He backed away still staring at the wall then turned and went back to the living room. When he got there he noticed that the room was again smaller. Panic began to set in but he fought it down and sat in his chair and closed his eyes to think.
How could there be no door? Bad enough that the telephone was gone but now the front door too? That meant there was no way out of the apartment. He began to feel claustrophobic and decided to open a window. He got up and turned to the left and his heart skipped a beat. There was no window. Where he was certain there had been Venetian blinds and a big bay window there was now only a blank wall.
This was impossible. It simply could not be happening. Was he dreaming? He pinched himself. No, he was not dreaming. The thought of it, though, made him realize that he was so very tired. Perhaps if he just went and lay down for a while everything would be all right when he woke up.
He went into the bedroom and looked at his bed. It was such a comfortable bed. It called to him. He lay down and closed his eyes. Drowsiness overcame him but he opened his eyes one more time and looked at the ceiling. The room had gotten so small. It was as though he could reach up and touch the ceiling from where he lay. As he drifted off to sleep he wondered how that could be.
Charles answered the phone and asked the caller to hold. He went in search of the mortician and found him at the loading dock receiving a coffin.
“Ben, you have a enquiry on line one. Who’s this coming in?”
“Oh, an old man they found in his apartment over on Lockwood Avenue. Poor guy had no family or friends apparently and he’d been dead two weeks before the super found him lying on his bed all dressed up. Sad thing, eh?”
Charles nodded his head. “I’ll take care of it.”