The house echoed with strange sounds. He walked out to the store, asked for a cigarette. Lit it, choked on the smoke and fell to the floor. The cigarette kept burning.
People gathered and sprinkled water on his face. His tongue had turned grey like ash.
“What happened?” they asked.
“My house is echoing,” he said.
He lived at the bottom of a mountain resort. Voices carried. Trees spoke. He sat there and told them about these. One day he heard a woman’s voice say, “You are a eucalyptus tree, I can smell you from afar.”
She was nowhere. He went and smelled himself. There was the scent of eucalyptus.
Someone whispered that he was hallucinating. He heard it. He got up, his hands grazed with mud. Before walking away he stubbed out the cigarette with the heel of his shoe.
He turned back. There was no trace of it.
He entered the house. The curtains covered his face and circled his neck. He was choking.
He opened his mouth to breathe. Smoke curled out. The stub of the cigarette lay dead in his mouth.