The Run (6)

Jesse stared as I started unlocking the front door to our apartment. I felt a gripping in my chest whenever I considered leaving our unit. The final “clack” and turning of the knob showed me the hallway. It smelled bad, as always. We lived now on the 34th floor, the top. We had originally lived on 13, but moved up to put more distance between us and them.

Ed opened the door to his unit and emerged. Ed towered at 6’8", a former ballplayer from St. John’s. His imposing figure was matched by his gentleness with his two boys. He nodded to me and we walked to meet in front of Stu’s door. Ed somehow kept it together. Annie, his wife never came home that first day. Nothing could be done about it. I don’t know if I could handle that.

“Mr. Mason, how are you today?” Ed presented his massive hand, I shook it warmly. “You ready for another day in the trenches?”

“We are out of food, so…Yes!”

“Us too, let’s hope that 9 proves fruitful.”

“Fruit? Doubt it’s still edible.”

“Good one.”

Stu whipped open his door.

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