Mood playlist: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL584E6662AF47010C
At around two in the morning, Portia Blackwood finished with her night shift in the emergency room and made her way home. Once there, she began to make a stir-fry as rain pounded on her windows. As the minutes passed, a deeply unsettling feeling grew in her gut, invoking a strong urge to defend herself or run. Glancing around, though, she could find no reason to do either. Dimly, through the sound of her apartment walls, she heard the sound of a heated argument in a neighboring apartment. Turning down the heat on the stir-fry, she went to her front door to listen for a moment, hoping it was just a loud disagreement. The voices rose in volume, but she couldn’t make out what they were saying, just that both parties were angry. Suddenly, a loud SMASH came from her bedroom – the sound of her window shattering.
Without hesitation, she yanked the door open and darted into the hallway, hastily making her way to the nearest neighbor’s door and knocked three times. The sounds of arguing were gone and the lights of the hallway seemed too dim, masking the somewhat grungy look of the area. The dimness was such that she couldn’t even see to the opposite end of the hallway, from which came the sound of knocking; curiously, the same rhythm with which she had knocked. Anxious about the presumed intruder in her apartment, she knocked again – with no answer. From the other end of the hallway, but a bit closer this time, came another mimicking knock. And then it happened again, another door closer. And again. And again.
Again overwhelmed with fear, Portia ran for the stairwell, hoping to make it to the emergency exit. The knocking followed her down the hall more rapidly, but as the stairwell door fell shut behind her, it ceased, leaving her in complete and total darkness. Swallowing hard, she felt her way to the railway and picked her way down the stairs, making it down a couple flights before something brushed past her shoulder. She bit back a shriek, instead swallowing her fear and calling out, “Is anybody there?”
Is anybody there? Is anybody there..? Is anybody there…?
Floundering and flailing in the darkness didn’t encounter anything or anyone there, so she blindly continued to descend the stairs.
Portia.. Portia… Portia… Don’t trust them.. Don’t trust them… Don’t trust them…
With a shriek, Portia shot bolt upright in bed, the rain tapping softly on her window. A dream. It had all been a dream. She disentangled herself from her rumpled blue sheets and retrieved a butcher knife from the kitchen, making sure the front door was locked, before returning to bed, willing her racing heart to calm.
“Yes – speaking. Who is this?”
“Honor your bargain. Tomorrow, a man by the name of Gideon Wolfe will show up at your place of work. Take him wherever he wants. Don’t ask questions.”
Portia rubbed her forehead, sighing as she leaned back against the wall. “Alright.”
As she crawled back into bed, from the hallway came the sound of knocking. She dragged the knife closer and snuggled down under the comforter, holding her breath for the morning.