It’s been a while since I last wrote anything here, but that was mostly because I haven’t seen Nathan since just after New Year’s Day. Dad told me Nathan had gone off to Europe for a couple of months and that he’d be back around June. But the fact that none of us had gotten a phone call or e-mail, made me start to worry. I began to think that telling Nathan I was in love with him during my Sweet Sixteen party had scared him off or something.
The thought got so strong that I barely ate any dinner and headed off for a walk as soon as the sun went down. Of course I headed downtown and eventually found myself staring up at the building that housed “The Crypt”. Being a Sunday night, the club was closed, yet I spotted lights on in a couple of the third floor windows.
I knew Nathan rented out some of the rooms up there as studios to local artists, musicians, and dancers. But last I heard, none of the rooms were currently being used. Curious, I decided to head inside and check things out.
Pulling out the set of keys that Nathan had given me as part of my birthday gift last December, I unlocked the main doors and let myself in. Like most older buildings around here there was a short flight of steps that led to a lobby that felt right out of a 1940’s Noir film.
Naturally the area was empty, but it was also very silent. After standing and listening near the main stairs that led to the upper floors, I decided that whoever was up there was not a musician or dancer. It could have been one of the artists, or… it was Nathan himself.
That last thought got my feet moving.
Taking the steps two-at-time, reached the second floor within seconds. Pausing at the landing I didn’t see any signs of life anywhere. There were no lights coming from underneath any of the doors in that hallway, nor was there any sounds of music or movement.
But that made sense. After all I saw the lights on the third floor. So I started on the next flight of steps then stopped about halfway up. If whoever was up there wasn’t Nathan or any of his ‘renters’ I could be busting in on someone who didn’t belong here, like a prowler or some gang-bangers.
Carefully I pulled out my cellphone and made sure it was in Silent Mode. Then I put it in my hand with a finger over the 9 key, in case there was trouble. Bracing myself, I continued up the rest of the steps as quietly as possible. When I reached the landing I carefully peaked around the corner.
It was empty and I noted that several doors were open, including one or two which had lights on in them.
I waited but didn’t hear any sound, nor did I spot any shadows moving in the lit rooms. Feeling a little more confident I headed down the hallway. I was wearing sneakers instead of my usual Goth-style boots, which muffled my footsteps.
Soon I reached the first open door and peaked inside. At first it didn’t seem like anything was out of place nor was there anyone in sight. But then I noticed a man’s shoes and ankles speaking out from behind the desk. It appeared that whoever they belonged to was stretched out on the floor.
“Hello?” I called gently but received no answer.
Drawing a little closer I could see more of the man’s lower legs. He was definitely laid out on the floor and not moving.
I began to shake a little at that point. Whoever it was could be asleep, but on the floor? That didn’t seem right at all. Bracing myself I moved closer until I was able to just peer over the desk to see the rest of the figure.
Yet in spite of all my precautions, I couldn’t help but gasp at what I saw.
TO BE CONTINUED…