45 Keys (short story)

2 04 2011

At the top of a New York apartment building, above the crust and stale despair of a dark and dilapidated neighborhood there is a room. To reach it you must walk up six flights of stairs for the building has no elevator and looks as though it could not sustain the shock if an elevator were to be introduced into its’ decaying superstructure. The stairs are tired and sag to prove it. The walls were papered once but the pattern has faded into a dim memory of itself. Occasionally, if you happen to attempt the climb, you meet rats and mice who greet you in the manner of very small and velvety doormen. Sometimes a particularly bold rat will escort you all the way to the top floor.

There is a landing above the uppermost step, but no hallway. The other floors have hallways but even passages cannot be bothered with sixth floor walk-ups. Instead you get a landing and a green door with a tarnished placard that reads only “Mr Sharpe”.

The tenant’s name is not, it may be observed, Mr Sharpe.  Read the rest of this entry »