The street is deserted at 4 am. A grey mist sweeps in from between the houses and makes the barred windows to the Grate Supplies look like a dungeon. Shattered glass lies in the gutter together with a used chewing gum, a fag and some liquid that smells like urine.
His steps make an echoing sound, rather defining the silence than breaking it. This part of the town would seem totally abandoned by every living thing, wasn't it for the illuminated window on the seventh floor. Seven. He doesn't like that number always following him like an evil demon. Reminding him of the greed, the envy, the dirty lust and whatever made him walk this street in the first place. Seven. The devil himself.
The door to the staircase isn't locked, it never is. It's an old wooden door with flaky brown color and a brass knob. It squeaks. Another sound letting the silence creep under his skin. Isolated from the world with a brain on fire, he starts climbing the stairs. Nine steps on each, nine times seven makes sixtythree, number nine, number nine, up to the nines, turn it around and you get six. But number one stands alone. Strong in itself. Strong and dangerous. A black-eyed window stares at him on every landing, but he doesn't look back. He's counting the steps and the stairs: " Six plus One is seven. Two times one makes eleven. The door on the seventh level gives you eleven points for its difficulty. Game's not over yet."  His head is spinning or at least his brain must be. A knock on the door - Heaven's door - then he enters. Walks towards the light in the window - the only light. It's confusing 'cause he can smell gas but the lamp has a blue crystal foot and a bone white shade and is all electric. No gas light here. Wasn't that an old movie? Just to be in this room, this apartment, makes him shiver from desire and one part of his brain is crystal clear and the other is not making sense at all. In the small kitchen with the light yellow stove, the oven-door is open and the smell is so strong that he has to cover his nose with his arm when he turns off the gas.
She is lying on the floor but it was never meant to be this way. Newly baked brownies on the table. The small wooden box on the bench. Pandora's box, she calls it. Used to. She is lying on the floor, a bag of bones with long red hair and a leather strap around her upper arm. Eyes looking into some other kind of virtual existens. It wasn't gas that killed her after all. Though the sight of her ties knots in his stomach he has to climb over her - get over her - to reach Pandora's box. All that he needs, all that he wants is in there. Two lines up to each half of his brain to equalize the pressure. When he prepares for he final countdown, he lies down beside her and smiles to himself. "Cloud number nine, it's here! Oh, God! Oh, Janie! Here I come!"


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