I took off at a steady, concerned clip. Bounding up steps, and jogging across the bridge that crossed the old road that is being converted into a light rail line. No one was out, but I suppose that was due to the rain. The sound plays again. It feels like the frequency is increasing. My phone keeps buzzing, but I won’t bother to look at til I’m at my friends. The rain is soaking through my clothes. It’s getting to my skin, hell even to my bones. I splash through puddles. I sense of unease seems to fall from the sky with the rain. I reach the apartment complex. I come up to the door and give it a yank. The door opens. Powers out. Got to take the stairs. Up 6 flights. Awesome. Open up the door. Stairwell is pitch black. Powers out. More awesome. My rational self preserving side is screaming at me to walk away. I sigh and start bounding up the stairs. The hairs on the back of my neck are standing on end. I feel like I’m not alone.
Second floor, third floor, fourth floor. Slowing down to catch my breath, I continue up the stairs. I think I hear something. Steps that aren’t mine. I stop. They stop. I take one step. They, it, whatever, takes a step. I reach into my pocket and snag my phone, hoping to illuminate whatever might be with me in this stairwell. I pull it out and spin around holding it up high, shining it as far as I can. A rustle of something bounding down the stairwell. The heavy thud of something big landing on the concrete floor. Then nothing. I sprint up the rest of the steps to the top floor and slam the door behind me. Catching my breath and trying(in vain) to collect my self I jog over my friends door and start pounding.
“Hey, Hey! Open up! It’s me! Open up for fucks sake!”
Heavy scraping, like furniture being moved, and the door unlocked. My friend was there, looking like a frighten kitten, small and weak and terrified. She looks at me for a second making sure it really is me. It clicks and she cries out in relief, we embrace for the shortest of moments. For the briefest time, I feel relief. Then the moment in the stairwell surges up and I mention that we need to get inside. Now. She agrees. We rush inside, and rearrange the furniture to block the door. I ask where everyone else is. She says they are all went home this weekend. I say they sure picked the right weekend to do that. She manages a weak, but genuine laugh. I ask about events since the first time the sound played. She relayed how she heard the sound, heard noise on the roof. Pounding from the elevator shafts and stair wells. How she moved furniture to cover up the windows and doors as well as she could. I told her of my stint in the stairwell. We both grow quiet.
I look at my phone, over 15 new messages. I flip through them to make sure everyone is doing all right. Seems like everyone has had it a bit easier time than my friend. I just realized how soaked I was. I asked if I could borrow a towel and throw some clothes in her dryer. She reminds me the powers out.
I ask if its all right if a strip some, she said that it was fine. Going down to just my jeans, I draped my clothes out to try and dry them out. I ask if she has any candles, because it would be getting dark very, very soon. And that idea of being in the dark scares me shitless. The sound blares again. We both shiver in fear. She says yeah, but she has no idea how long they will last. We will have to ration them I remark. Just light one. We sit around the the candle, in silence. Wait. Silence. I look at my phone. 7:40. The sky is growing even darker as the sun begins it’s descent. I can’t tell if it’s still raining anymore. 8:33. The sound has stopped it seams. I feel slightly less uneasy. But not much. I look over to my friend, she has fallen asleep, curled next to the candle. I slide over to the wall and lean my back against it. I watch the wick burn slowly. I don’t remember when I fell asleep. But I do remember the dreams.