Approximately five minutes later, the cab pulled up in front of a typical rundown tenement building on 148th St.. The cabdriver doubtfully looked over at his passenger. “Are you sure this is the right address? I wouldn’t….”
“Yeah, this is it,” rasped the man in the hospital gown. “Look, I don’t have any money, but if you give me your name and number…..”
“Look, man, don’t worry about. Just take care of yourself, alright?”
The passenger managed a painful grin. “Thanks. I appreciate the help. And I will pay you.”
“You need help gettin’ inside?”
The man shook his head. “No, I’ll make it,” he gasped. He popped open the door and half-way fell out.
“Hey, what’s your name?” yelled the cabbie.
The man paused for a moment, leaning against the cab, and pondered the question for a moment.
“My name?” he said. “My name is…….Flynn. Thank-you.” He staggered away from the car, shoved the door shut and eyed the distance between himself and the open doorway of the decrepit building in front of him.
His head was pounding like a trip hammer, and his breath was coming in short gasps. The cracked concrete of the sidewalk was cold, and he realized for the first time that he did not have any shoes.
His recent memory was very foggy, and he struggled to remember what was happening. Somewhere in the back of his mind, his professional training was telling him, no, screaming at him, that he had been drugged, that he needed to do something, find an antidote, for whatever was in his system. At the same time a part of his mind didn’t really give a crap, just wanted to lay down and let the darkness that was threatening overtake him, give him some peace.
He forced the rational-thinking part of his brain to take over his motions, and staggered toward the tenement.
The door was propped open with a rusty five-gallon paint bucket fill with dirt, paving stones and rusty nails. He stumbled through it, and weaved drunkenly through the shabby lobby, past a bank of mailboxes, and to the stairs.
The stairs looked like an insurmountable obstacle to his drug-addled brain, and he considered just giving up, but once again his training saved him and he crawled slowly, painfully up the stairs, his limbs trembling from lack of oxygen, and his racing heart felt like it was ready to burst from his chest.
He finally made it to the third floor, after what felt like hours of climbing, but was in reality, just a few minutes. He paused at the top of the stairs to try to calm his heart, and catch his breath. This proved to be an impossible task, probably as a result of the drugs in his system.
He struggled to remember the apartment number, until it finally came to him. 327. He pushed the stairwell door open and stumbled out into the dingy hallway. He stumbled down the hall, clinging to the ugly lime-green walls for support until he reached Apartment 327.
He grasped the knob tightly, and pressed his thumb against the keyhole. There was a whirring sound, and he pulled himself up and looked into the peephole port. The retina scanner quietly beeped, and the door unlocked with a sharp click. He turned the knob, and fell into the room, and as the door swung shut behind him, the wave of darkness overtook him with an insistent force, and he blacked out.