A light went on on the top floor. The elderly lady living there suffered from irritable bowel syndrome, and as per usual, the symptoms occurred in the middle of the night. She ran to the bathroom, hoping that this time, she’d make it before it was too late.
As she flushed, three times, gravity sent her package downwards. Due to the piping infrastructure, the flush was always very audible in the apartment two floors down. The young couple there woke up from the repeated flushes, something that had become a daily ritual. Given the fact that they were trying to have a baby and Cassandra was in her fertile week, they saw it as an opportunity to get it on, but a few minutes in, and Michael, quite a heavy-set fellow, just fell asleep on top of Cassandra. She was not suffocating, just unable to move, and actually quite comfortable nonetheless, decided to just leave the lights on and go back to sleep too. “Maybe we’ll continue in a few hours anyway,” she thought and dozed off.
Over in the next apartment, two windows to the left, lived a pervert named Herbert. Herbert the Pervert had secretly installed microphones and cameras in his neighbours’ apartment and every time there’d be any action, he’d have front-row seats and be there playing with his joystick. As soon as he noticed Michael had fallen asleep, mid-wank annoyingly, he let out an annoyed “Oh, FUCK!”, which could be seen as both a curse as well as a (non-heeded) command.
Herbert’s squeaky jizz chair had already woken up his downstairs neighbour a minute before, causing the man living there, to search for a broom to stomp on the ceiling with. He had to give an important presentation in the morning and this was really not the time. His job was on the line, because his last pitch had bombed spectacularly and had resulted in multiple lawsuits against the company.
Two floors down, a little Pekinese dog named Pooky heard something that to him sounded like the distant footsteps of a mammoth on the prairie (Pooky may have looked like a disfigured rat, his animal instincts were all intact), but in fact were the stomping sounds of the guy two floors up hitting his ceiling with the broom. Pooky started barking and his owner, Britnay (her parents were bad spellers), woke up and switched on the light to see what was going on. Not that she heard anything, because Britnay had had tinnitus ever since she attended that THUNDERDOME concert and passed out half-naked and high on XTC on one of the speakers.
Two floors down, in one of the bigger apartments of the building, a pair of 6-month old twins had heard Pooky barking. The twins woke up and started screaming, filling their nappies in the process, which in turn of course caused their parents to wake up too. They hadn’t had a good night’s sleep in months, so they started arguing about who’s turn it was to change the nappies and or feed them (Mom didn’t breastfeed them, called it “fucking GROSS!” and “Unfair!”, which is why she stuck to formula and wake-up duty was supposedly split). “I went yesterday!” -“YOU didn’t work all day, I got work in the morning!” -“What?! You’re saying that taking care of those kids isn’t WORK?! How DARE YOU!?” -“Well, I wanted you to get an abortion, remember! I told you there was a chance they’d be redheads!” -“OH, FUCK YOU!”
Because the couple always slept with an opened window, their shouts reached as far as four floors down, waking up Frank, a 55-year-old bus driver known for not giving a fuck. He almost had to wake up anyway to start his early morning shift, so he shrugged and turned on his coffee maker, checking on his phone if his favourite Pornhub channel (ExtremeMidgets) had added any new content. Lucky for this tale, it hadn’t. He listened to some more of the discussion going on upstairs, only picking up fragments: “I HATE YOU!” -“Something, something,… divorce!” -“Oh yeah? Something, something… SEE HOW YOU LIKE THIS, you COW!” Then just silence, a thud, and something like “OH SHIT! … THE FUCK DID I DO?” Frank smiled and started rolling his morning cigarette.
Now, when the bus driver got water for his coffee maker, the leaky water pipe he had supposedly fixed several times before (just putting tape on it), now cracked right at the inlet, releasing a huge amount of water that immediately leaked into the downstairs apartment, unbeknownst to Frank. The tenant, a young student named Celia awoke in a panic. Not knowing what to do or who to call, she called her parents, who lived on the same floor of the building, just at the other end. “We’ll call the concierge, darling, we’ll come over! (To her husband,) Honey, get dressed! Celia’s apartment is flooded!”
The concierge lived in the building too (rent-free), one floor down, and answered his phone immediately. He wasn’t asleep, actually, he was just in the dark, chatting online to what he believed was a 13-year-old girl named Tiffany, but who in fact was a group of teenage boys having a sleepover on one of the higher floors and having their fun teasing older guys into sending naked pictures of themselves.
The concierge had just sent a nude photo of himself cupping his balls and pushing down his erect penis, which caused the boys to laugh uproariously, waking up the hosting boy’s parents a few rooms over, causing the mom to go check up on the boys, switching on the light. ”BOYS! KEEP IT DOWN IN THERE!” -“SORRY, MOM!” After which the other boys in choir: “Sorry, Mrs Hartman…”
Which only leaves a few lights unaccounted for…
Upstairs from the parents of the student with the leak, a motion sensor light got triggered by the vibrations caused by all the running around downstairs.
One floor below the young parents (one dead now) and the twins, the light was always going on and off on a timer. The people living there, a paranoid couple, were actually on holiday, but they’d installed several safeguards to fool people into thinking they were actually home. It included playing recordings of (fake) late-night arguments, regular conversations, lights going on and off. The wife was a software programmer, so she just programmed the shit out of the place.
And that last light on in the bottom right? Well, that’s just someone like me, getting ready to go to bed at this time of night after imagining this tableaux…