Every night I heard the noises on the walls, on the roof, but I could never see the rats. Somehow they exist and they don’t, they were the noise but not the body, separated one form the other. I put poison in the corners, but they didn’t bite.
They started with the orchestra at dusk and they wouldn’t stop, all the evening long, making the idea of falling asleep impossible. It looked like a long procedure of some kind was going behind the wallpaper, but I didn’t complain. With the first lights of dawn, the opera finished its last act and I sank in the mattress, completely alone. The warm light went up with laziness by the sheets to my face. I started to connect the sun with the absolute silence and this with the no-rats, and the lack of rats with fatal mornings and I ended up hating it all.
When I decided it was impossible to get sleep again, I got up to write but nothing would come from my fingers. I could blame the paper, the pen, but it would be the same. Between all my sketches I could count with more than twenty little fragments about rats and four odes to hate the sun.
To the afternoon, after cleaning the floors, the shelves and anything dirty, the heat made me enter into a boring somnolence. I got used to palpate the walls, waiting to wake them up and looking for a door to that universe. Any hole or break between the grains of the wood and the paper, but I could ever find anything. It made me understand that the rats weren’t interested of the inside of the house, on the other side it made me think that they were there when the old building was constructed.
This was also impossible.
I call the plague control, many times, but any of the professional test and baits could not prove the existence of rats. I talked with the last owners but they were in the dark about the rats too. It looked like I was the only with the privilege of hearing the play. It gave me the impression that like I was obsessed with them, they were obsessed with me.
I hit the roof. I could hear the sounds of the echo but any kind of music. The space between the roof and the tile roof wasn’t enough for an adult being to stand, I would need to be on my knees or really stooped over myself. In a really uncomfortable position I raised the sharped axe, securing my foot on the chair and I got started.
The Rat King buried his sharp eyes and thought, like a unanimous voice, ‘here it is the last part of the orchestra’. Dance for me, it ordered, and it had thousands of little legs. In the corner I was assigned, I obeyed, I danced.
The rats climbed the walls in the dark, the orchestra was going to start, and it was a feast. The Rat King fattens up, it multiplied, it tangled, it grew up. It dragged the previous kings, now dead. They were dead for so long, the king was there for so long, running the orchestra. Even before the house itself.
It was a terrible shape in the dark and I could hear it inside my head.
Dance for me, keep on dancing. It was one, two, three, fifteen, fifty. No, even more. The king was interminable and it insisted: Don’t stop dancing for me, keep on dancing and dancing for all the eternity.