The Inner Life

Samael Falkner

The Inner Life

At summertime the green inner yard, surrounded by a total of eighteen old-fashioned buildings, inhabited its very own little village. With children playing, neighbors holding a barbecue together, teenagers kissing in one of the inflatable swimming pools, there was a kind of unique flair to the life inside that square. Only accessible through the buildings, that ecosphere consisting of tiny backyards, small gardens marked out by well-kept fences, and parking lots, seemed to be cut off from the big city life. The smell of fried meat and sausages, cigarette smoke and blooming flowers did not stop at the balconies and it even made its way into the apartments.

He sat at the open balcony door and took in all the smells of the little kingdom he called for his own needs. Moving here only two years ago, he never talked to any of the people he could see chatting, laughing and cheering for life from his chair inside. He didn’t know their names but he liked watching them like a lion would watch a gazelle from the high grass. The lion would not always attack. Sometimes it just sat for hours, watching the prey and following it around. He enjoyed them not knowing that he was watching and rarely would he step outside and move his chair to a sunny spot visible from every corner of the square. The white facade did not hide anyone well unless you installed blinds and covers, panels at the iron bars and a sunshade like that one apartment a good forty meters away. He could only guess what they were hiding but likely it was a different matter than he was keeping from the world outside.

His dark and dusty habitat was stuffed with chess-men he had started to collect decades ago for no reason at all. For years he had thought about what to collect, if you must collect anything at all and chess-men seemed to be a thing there were hundred of variations. Little did he know, it would be over three-thousand of those soon. They were everywhere. On shelves, in the storage, even on the kitchen counter and on the frame of the wardrobe mirror. And in the bathroom where the light bulb had broken down weeks ago there was a body of a young man around nineteen years of age rotting in the tub. Just another hobby he had picked up recently. Unsure of what he was actually hiding from them, he waved at some kids playing ball in his own yard. It was a bright sunny day and soon it would be too hot to sit outside anyway.