It Blocked Out The Sun 25

Jeffrey gave us the emergency evacuation map of the building that he’d been given when he moved in.  There were a lot of interesting janitorial closets and things on it.  Even better, since Jeffrey and John had been desperate for a bigger apartment, they’d kept a running list of empty apartments in the building.  He was happy to print a copy of their latest list for us from his computer.

“Anything on the internet about what is going on in Manhattan?,” I asked.  We hadn’t had working phones since Manhattan was locked down, but I’d wondered about the internet.

“The internet is down.  I’ve tried to get on a million times.  I like,” Jeffrey admitted.  “I’ve been reduced to playing Minesweeper.”

We shouldered our backpacks, feeling better for having a little information.  It was very little, but it was more than we’d had when we’d had none.

“I’d come with you,” Jeffrey said, “but I want to be here when John comes home.  Plus, I can’t leave my cats.”  His eyes filled with tears again.

“Jeffrey, I’ve been thinking,” I said.  “Can we leave Lexington with you?  He seems happy, here.  He’d be safer.”

My friends looked at me, faces stricken.  “You are shitting us, right?,” Moira said.  “Leave Lexington?  Let’s leave Bethel while we are at it, huh?”

“You don’t even like cats, Moira.  I don’t get your beef.”

“I’m allergic, but I’m not an ASSHOLE.  What you are saying with this is you think we won’t find Jill.  Because I know good and damned well that none of us would want to face Jill and tell her that we gave her cat away.”  A tear rolled down Moira’s face.  Jeffrey’s apartment was a veritable vale of tears.

“I’ll admit to feelings of hopelessness,” I admitted.  “I’d like for Jill’s cat to be safer than we are likely to be.”

Moira turned to Jeffrey.  “Will you take her?”

“Him,” I said.  “Lexington is a him.”

“Him, her, it’s a fucking cat.  Jeffrey, will you?”

Jeffrey looked down at Lexington.  “Sure.  Sure I will.  You guys can come back for him whenever you want.  I’m just cat sitting.  And, if you see John, you’ll rescue him and send him home to me, right?”

“Goes without saying, man,” Mike said.

One of the empty apartments was on our floor.  It was small and…empty.  There was a janitor’s closet, too.  It was small and…full of janitor’s supplies.  We moved up to the next floor.  Same result.  We went to four more floors.  We were jumpy as hell the whole time.  It was really miserable.  After we’d finished with the sixth floor, we looked at our list and our map in despair.

“We could search every one of these places and she might not be there,” Trish whispered.

“Damnit, she’s right,” Jonathan said.  “I don’t know if my nerves can take it.”

“Let’s go to the lobby,” Moira whispered.

“Why?,” I asked.

“I have an idea,” she said.

So, down to the lobby we trekked.  Moira’s arch enemy, Little Orphan Annie, still manned the desk.  They smirked at each other.  Moira marched past her to the fire alarm on the wall.  She pulled it.

“Now every-fucking-body in this building will come down here, and we’ll see what is what,” Moira yelled over the horrible racket.  Bethel barked enthusiastically along.  Annie glared and grabbed her walkie talkie so she could shout into it.

We had no choice but wait and see who came downstairs.  Maybe Moira thought the kidnapper would come down along with everyone else, his bound and gagged victims hopping along beside him.  Or maybe she thought we could work by process of elimination, get someone to take a building roll call and tell us who wasn’t there.  Or maybe she was just desperate and tired and scared.

Not many people came down at all.  Mainly the people with kids.  Their parental instinct to save their children was stronger than what everyone else obviously felt, which was why leave the fire just to hop into the frying pan?  Bob sure did come down, though, and he headed straight for us with some of his guys.

“You.  People.  Are.  EVICTED!!!!!,” he screamed.

43rd St. sure was quiet at night when giant birds were on the loose.

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3 Responses to It Blocked Out The Sun 25

  1. Kari says:

    whew….okay, just read the past 25 days of thrillingness.

    I have to say, it started out quickly, straight into the action, which I worried was too quick, but when I really think about it, I hate when action movies/books take FOREVER to get to the good stuff. You set up the characters REALLY well, btw…except maybe Jonathan, who I really forget is there…..but Moira…awesome character, Jill and Mike too….and the main character, the “I”, sounds all badass and no-bullshit, but tenderly loves her crabby little dog. I don’t get Bob, yet…is he evil? How I wonder. Since he’s kicking you out of the apartments…will we see him again and will his evilness matter? I don’t know!! We shall see.

    Lots of excellent jokes…like the ‘We’ve got cigarettes!’ announcement to the grocery store, which made me guffaw and read it aloud to JB.

    I gotta say, Marina….I am REALLY into this story….the birds..well, they are birds, and while whooping, snatching human eaters are scary, I’m creeped all-the-hell-out by the disappearance of Jill and John….I have NO clue where the story is going or where they could possibly be….and it kinda freaks me out….I feel……suspended.

    Reading this story daily is going to annoy the heck outta me cuz I’ll want to know WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!!

    Anyway, haven’t been around much…I work 6 days a week, but I’ll be checking in nightly cuz I’m INTO this story now….it stuck with me when I left the computer to go pee around #12 and I HAD to come back and keep reading.

    Loving you truly,


  2. k8 says:

    feeling a little like kicking some ass this morning…dunno why, exactly…
    just occurred to me. could I possibly, maybe, (hopefully), borrow the hotel clerk?
    and Bob? Thanks.

    I’ll give ’em back. promise.

    (still luving the story, Marina)

  3. Jaye says:

    What a delicious pic you painted, qm. “All right, you hostages! Fire drill, everybody line up. Hop! Hop! Hop!” I should save the reading for my afternoon Popsicle break, rather than my morning coffee break. Less chance of spew-damage that way.

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