(Excerpt from The Janus Perspective Book 8)
Kevin knocks on the door. “Hello! If anybody’s there, I’m not asking you to open the door. I just need some directions. I need to make it to my friend’s house before the sun comes up.”
There’s no reply, but Kevin can hear people whispering, despite the steady downpour.
“I can hear you in there. Look, I’m not trying to case houses. I just need directions to Sea Foam Court. If you know how to get there, please tell me. Then I’ll be on my way.”
There’s still no answer.
Kevin turns away, prepared to try the next house.
“You have to go down this street till you get to ‘T’ intersection.” It’s a teen boy whose voice is on the verge of cracking on every other word.
Kevin is so relieved he almost falls to his knees as he runs back to the door. The kid gives him the rest of the directions. There are so many turns Kevin isn’t sure he can remember them.
“Sorry, mister. I’m not writing anything down or opening this door.” The teen is probably babysitting three or four younger siblings as their voices are now much more audible.
One of the younger voices whispers loudly. “Tell him about the pond, dickwad. Tell him about the pond.”
The teen voice loses some of its tension. “OK, you can scratch the last five instructions. When you get to Gallagar Street, keep going until you get to the pond. Follow the roads that go around the pond until you see the back of a little apartment building. It only has about six apartments, but you’ll know it when you see it. If you cut through the trees on the side, you’ll come out on a cul de sac. That’s Sea Foam Court.” He abruptly yells at the other kids. “Would you stop that!?”
Kevin forms an image in his head based on the instructions. When Char gave him the address, she did mention a pond being nearby. “Thank you, man. Thank you so much.”
“Uh… huh. I’d appreciate it if you didn’t show up here again.”
“I don’t think I could find this place again if my life depended on it.”
Kevin finds that his travels have taken him about a quarter-mile beyond Char’s place. He probably passed within a block of it several times. The pond has a thick fog floating above it. The imagery creeps him out when combined with the pouring rain. Upon seeing multiple windows at the rear of the apartment building, he quickens his pace, thankful the kid wasn’t screwing with him.
He rips his raincoat while passing through the bushes on the side of the building. He still remembers the apartment letter Char gave him. She also told him where he could find a hidden key. If she heard about what happened at the clinic, it’s likely she’s at the store or back at her family’s house. This would be the perfect place for him to rest and figure some things out.
The apartment complex consists of four apartments. Char’s is upstairs on the left when facing the front. Although none of her windows are accessible without a ladder, they are boarded. The ones downstairs are broken and have likely been looted. Kevin eyes the cactus in a flower pot near Char’s door. He separates the pot from the bottom tray. No key.
Kevin frantically looks under the tray and all around the wooden porch. The spaces between the boards are wide enough for a key to fall through. Kevin is not looking forward to searching through the junk in front of the apartment below. Even if he had tools to pick a lock, there’s no way he’d get anywhere with the two deadbolts. Kevin is suddenly startled by a door opening. Light spills onto him.
The figure is not very tall but solidly built. He can’t see the person’s face with the light behind him. Then he hears a familiar voice. “Come in.”