For anyone else the silence would have been deadly. The stillness in the air was suffocating enough as it was. The young man set aside his battered notebook, careful not to cause further damage to the beaten cover and wrinkled pages. Looking mournfully towards the window he hesitated and moved further into the safety of the shadows. He resisted the urge to use the last of his remaining strength to shimmy the decaying window shut. One could not be too careful these days. Warm air drifted into the house and he could taste the bitter, metallic scent it carried with it. It hadn’t rained yet, but he felt certain it would happen within a matter of minutes. Solemn shadows danced across the empty walls and as well kept as the house was it was difficult for the young man to imagine anyone calling this place home. Empty frames and dust were the only occupants aside from the small family of mice enduring his company. When he had first arrived they scattered and crept among the shadows, distrustful of every movement he had made. Over the course of a few days they built a sort of tolerance for the young man’s behavior and reluctantly allowed that tolerance to grow into an offbeat companionship. The young man felt a certain amount of affection for the mice and allowed them a wide berth.
His exchanges with the nearby citizens on the other hand had felt forced and mechanic. Small pleasantries had been exchanged upon his arrival, but the tension in the air continued to hang like a brick wall between them throughout his entire stay. He hadn’t drawn too much attention to himself yet, but it would be a tragedy if he did.
He thought of Sadie now. He closed his eyes and there she stood in the center of the road casting a thoughtful gaze towards the sky. Her long sapphire hair cascaded in a curtain across her bare speckled shoulders. It had been a long time since he recalled the pang of regret he felt walking away. The loneliness had been a kind of disease, spreading and helping itself to all areas of his world. The sadness washed over him for a moment until he pushed it aside denying it of a rare chance to take hold and shatter his resistance. There was no time for this.
He let the urgency of his task step in and force away all other concerns. He welcomed the comfort of following orders. He’d have to start packing, it wouldn’t take long. He glanced around the room at his scattered belongings and remembered the days when he had too many possessions to shove into a single, beaten duffel bag. He didn’t miss them. He’d leave now, less opportunity to let fear change his mind. He slipped into his worn street shoes and was careful to double knot them before continuing to pack. He’d be traveling underground where he was certain he wouldn’t be seen, much less followed but he knew better than to be careless. He would have to push himself and move fast.
I've been working on this story for a while now, and I wanted to introduce this character into the mix but I've decided he doesn't really fit. So, I would really like it if he could have his own.