“I’m sorry,” she finally said.

The Stranger looked to her dark outline, and stopped spinning the metal bolt between his fingers.

“You shouldn’t be,” he told her.

In anticipation of their leaving, he set the bolt down against the wall.

“I did all those things and this is where I got us,” she accused herself.

He understood.

“There are worse places,” he consoled her, “or maybe not, but since we’re dead anyways we might as well get a good look at this place.”

He wondered if that counted as consolation.

“What place? They just burned everything down.”

“Haven’t you noticed? We’re already out of the city.”

Clearly, she had not noticed and now there was a long silence.

“This is how I originally got out,” he explained.

He heard her stand up and in the dim light seeping though the grating, noticed her put her hand up against the wall.

“This is.”

“You were worried over-

“They are going to come after us.”


“What?” she asked him.

The Stranger stood.

“If you realize, then it’s time to go.”

“Ready to go.”

“Ah, yes.”

He put his hand overtop hers.

“Sorry. It’s just a little dark.”

She let him guide her through the dark.


He turned and started walking along the wall, leaving the light behind. He didn’t stop to ask if she was afraid of the dark or whether she even wanted to be there. Things like that didn’t matter anymore.


“When did you do this last? she asked him.

“About four months ago,” he admitted.

They had squished side by side into the wall space behind the vent.

“Will you tell-

He put a finder to his lips and she quieted. People passed by on the other side.

“Not so loud,” he warned her.

“Will you tell me?” she asked quieter this time.

Only now did he feel slightly annoyed at himself, after all, she was no more than a desperate woman.


He scanned along the wall for the next fissure of light. A cluster of three bullet holes marked the spot he needed.


“We’re almost there.”

“We are?”

“I mean were almost to my place. Getting out isn’t that easy so I’m getting some ammunition.”

“You’re making me wait here.”


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