Cold, cold.

She hurried along the narrow cobbled streets that were flanked by dark buildings. They loomed like tall guards- but guarding who? Certainly not her. At this time, the city had gone to bed and the windows were all dark, making the buildings look faceless. She turned the corner, hearing her shoes pad on the cobbles. Wind whistled through the streets. She listened to the wind’s eerie melody for a moment; she continued on her way. She needed to be there, soon.

She looked up, and the sign on the wall said “Belmonte Street”. She turned a corner and entered the dingy alley, where the temperature was always colder by a few degrees. She could hear her breath rattling in her chest. Momentarily, she thought she heard the sound of another pair of boots on the road- but it was only a dog.

Dark door after dark door, she walked past all of them, until she reached the last block. It was right next to a church. She stood on the doorstep of one of the houses, an apartment, and called someone on her handphone, speaking quietly.

The closed door opened slowly, the darkness within threatening to swallow her up. Suddenly the lights in the lobby flickered on with a hum. It revealed a grubby man. He rubbed his eyes and yawned, then seemed to see her for the first time.

“Oh, you.” He gestured inside, and closed the door behind her.

This apartment block had been here for… for a long time. The stone stairs chilled her feet, even through the thick fluffy socks and her shoes.

His apartment was on the third floor. They walked through dim corridors and past fuzzy rugs that marked each home. His home was the third on the floor. He opened the door and let her go in. Once again she coughed, and this cough was a dreadful chesty cough. He sighed.

“I’ll get you something.”
“That’s not what I’m here for!”

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