Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Prompt: Another One Bites the Dust

Steve walked warily down the street. A lamppost flickered up ahead, sizzling in the drizzling rain. He hunched his shoulders and stuffed his hands into his jeans pockets, wrapping his fingers around the key. It was hard to see the numbers on the doors, but he still had a ways to go. He wished there were some moonlight, anything to keep the shadows and his nerves at bay.

No cars were on the roads this time of night. He’d seen a guy walking some little dog three blocks back, urging it to do its business.

What was that? He jumped and jerked his head to peer across the street.

Relax, you idiot. See? It’s just a cat.

Jeez, if he didn’t get there soon, he was going to have a heart attack. He peered up and thought the rain was coming down harder. He gripped the key so hard it dug into his fingers. The cold seeped through his jeans, both numbing his fingers and making them sharply sensitive to the metal bite of the key.

There. There it is, 122 on the right, just like she said.

Bending down as if to tie his shoe, Steve listened carefully for any motion, any sign of life on the street. Most of the windows were dark, and he didn’t hear a thing. Straightening, he reached for balance on the slippery steps, then jerked his hand away from the iron railing. He carefully climbed up to the door and pulled out the key. The top was wrapped in electrical tape, and he held firmly between his fingers and jiggled it in the lock.

She said it was tricky. No joke.

The lock finally gave and turned to the left. Steve looked up and down the street, then overhead, searching one more time for any sign of movement. He eyed the curved handle dubiously, then quickly pulled his sleeve down into his palm to cover the handle as he pushed the door open and slipped inside.

Whew! I made it!

Looking into the dingy lobby and up the dimly lit stairwell, he didn’t see the shadow slide through the open doorway as he closed the door behind him.

Dogs in house:
Houdini, Maize, Malachi

Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.25 in C Major, K. 503, II. Andante

January word count:

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