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The people living in the house across the street from mine always keep their lights on. It gets on my nerves. It also costs them a fortune. I don't even see the people in there. I see one car that just sits there.

One night, I heard a ruckus from over there, so I called the police at 12:43am. The police showed up fourteen minutes later, at 12:57am. I keep track of these times, because you never know what might happen. The police rang my doorbell, and I answered. There were two officers. One was medium-sized and mostly bald, but only looked about thirty-five. The other officer was shorter and rounder. He had a well-groomed mustache and was resting his hands on his belt, but only by separating his thumb from the rest of his fingers between the belt.

"We got a call from this number, reporting a disturbance. Was that you?" asked the taller officer.

"Yes, that was me, Officer…" I ended questionably, indicating that I was curious to his last name, because, again, you never know what facts might be useful.

"Floyd," he responded.

"Do you mind if you point out which house?" asked the other officer.

"Oh, yes. That one," I said, pointing to the house across the street.

"Okay, let's check it out."

The two officers came back about fifteen minutes later, with an angry look on their faces.

"Sir, we examined the house," said Officer Floyd. "It's been abandoned for quite a while, based on the dust inside there."

"That's impossible," I responded, "the lights are always on and that black car is always parked in the driveway."

"Sir, it was dark in there," Floyd responded with a confused tone. "There were no lights or car."

The officers shortly left and drove away. After they left, I went over there to check for myself. I knocked on the door and I heard a noise. It was like a growl, but deeper. I knocked again and heard the growl once more, but only quieter and shorter. I slowly opened the door, to my regret. It looked like any other well kept house, but no people were inside.

"Hello?" I hopelessly said.

My voice echoed more than I would've liked it to. I walked in further, and still nothing. I walked into another room where the door was out of sight. I heard a slight click. I looked over at the door and saw that someone had locked it. I quietly ran to the door and tried to unlock it, but it wouldn't budge. I frantically banged against the door. I was screaming for help, but no one heard me. I ran over to the back door, but I tripped while running. Not by a wire or a push, but by some force. That's all I remember. I woke up, and my nose stared itching. Really badly. I was in the same place where I fell, but this time, the house was dark and dusty. I picked myself off the floor and looked around. I saw a chain on the floor, about five feet away from me.

I picked up the chain. It was very heavy. I noticed it went around into another room. I followed it with the chain pacing through my hand. I turned a corner into the room and saw a box. I picked it up. It was light in weight. I opened the top and saw a key, which was very oddly shaped. I put this key in multiple doors, trying to find out what it opened. I opened one door and dust flew out and up my nose. My nose started itching like crazy. I went inside the small room. It was bigger than a closet, but smaller than a bathroom. From the ceiling hung a note. I walked over to the note and read it. The note was stained in blood and hard to read, but I worked it out.

"Dear fellow explorer, this house is probably filled with dust right now. But fear not, it is a fairly new house. The dust you see isn't actually dust. This house is filled with large amounts of tiny insects that will crawl up your nose, eyes, and ears and slowly tear your brain apart. You will drift in and out of reality. You might have seen a clean house, or maybe even a retro house. But it doesn't matter. Those are the insects getting to you. There is no antidote. You will slowly die here. Take care."

I ran out to one of the doors and smashed the glass. The glass was too strong and I broke my hand. I fell over in pain. Then, I passed out again. I woke up to the same clean house as before. I went over to the front door and walked out. It was unlocked. I went home, got into bed, and fell asleep. I woke up the next morning and I felt...nothing. Something inside of me had snapped. Nothing medical, but I couldn't feel emotion. I was dead, but my heart was still beating.

My pulse was normal. I was breathing. But I was dead. I didn't know what was real or fake. I was dead. Being dead to some people is just their life ending. My life never started. I was never born. This could be a dream, and you wouldn't know it. Your dreams could be real, and you wouldn't know it. This afternoon, I woke up to a dusty house and might wake up to a clean one. This is the definition of dead. So go ahead. Scratch your nose, and keep telling yourself it's just an itch.