A long ride in a bus is hard (with complaints about bladders and cramped spaces, hunger and thirst), but a long ride in a abandoned city, your city, that’s nearly impossible.

Henry Arthur (the man who took the hit earlier, had introduced himself) suggested (for lack of better words) we stop to rest for the night.

Richie (short for Richard) Williams agreed to this adding that the hotel on a near street where his uncle lives, would be good for pillows and blankets “So” he reasoned with us all “we could hit two birds with one stone, be my uncle’s getaway car while collecting supplies.” It seemed a logically sound plan, yet I had to ask anyway “Is he wealthy? I don’t see how else he could afford to live in a place like that.” his response was “Trust me he’s not rich, he’s just staying there for some special reason.” and with that we continued.

Now after about another half an hour we finally reached the building. Though we started off at down it was now the blackest of black surrounding us.

The young lady whom did ride with me twice now, Grace Harding was also silent and asleep during most of both trips. For this Richard stayed back a while longer to wake her up and see her off, saying to the rest of the group “It’s the forty fifth floor”.

Then I and Henry noticed upon entry of the red carpet floored lobby, that it’s lights were not on, no not them or the air conditioning, the refrigerating, the non battery powered clocks, or ceiling fans and also not the elevators, so I knew my will soon ache.

Step step, breathe I heard going up the steep stairwell, step step, breathe breathe I heard going higher and higher. The further I went the more I heard, step step, breathe breathe. As I go higher it changes it’s darkly tune to step step, breathe weave, then it grew worse, step step, weave weave.

At this point I stopped gasping so I could speak to Henry “Go further, I need to rest.” instead he stayed with me sitting, I am not sure if he was acting to comfort a weary worn old man, but he seemed as tired has I was.

Now after a time the young Richie and Grace appeared from the level below, and then lead the old (me and Henry) up.

We climbed three more floors until finally exiting this steel ascending steps.

Going down the long hallway for a short time, we stopped at the room. Entry of the room allowed me to see a dirty man about the same age as mine, he sat with little expression in a steel chair by a window. Richie swiftly began packing non perishables (can food, bottled water etc) and clothes. Now out of curiosity I prodded this older man with a question “What is your name sir?” to answer he spoke in a emery voice “Gary, my name is Gary.” the scar he carried, his voice and this unmatched name left a cold silence. Luckily the young boy Richie didn’t search about to long before he called to everyone to go has he left through the exit.

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