Angel in Flight (1)
Sounds and movements from the outer door. A voice speaking Greek. A key rattling in the lock.
Angel glanced quickly over to the foot of the stairs. No good. She couldn’t get up there in time. Useless, anyway. It was a dead end.
She was in, the door pulled shut behind her, her breath coming in ragged gasps.
The outer door opened.
People coming in, footsteps and voices. Louder. Coming in her direction.
She crouched down motionless.
Footsteps growing still louder. Voices almost in her ear.
The steps went past, the voices were no longer close beside her.
The men opened the door of a room at the other end of the passage. In another moment they had gone in.
* * * * *
Angel pressed further back into the closet. It was deep, a small room. Only one door. No windows. A collection of junk filling up the space, pieces of household equipment. Brushes, a mop-bucket which cut her shin.
She tried to flatten herself against the rear wall. There was something in her way. She found herself backing into it.
Old clothes. A pile of them, propped against the back wall. She turned around, feeling cautious with one hand.
She didn’t want to believe it.
Up from the depths, in spite of her efforts to push it down, came realisation.
She moved her hand carefully round. Something very cold.
She knew then.
Outside the closet, all was quiet.
Her exploring hands must have unbalanced it.
The dreadful bundle fell forward, the cold face kissing hers, the dead arms embracing her.
How did she manage not to scream?
The two men had closed their door. When she looked out of the closet there was no light from that direction, only a few faint beams from the moon shining through a nearby window. She thrust the closet door open. Half lifted, half dragged the body forward until the faint moonlight fell directly on the white face.
She recognised him immediately.
There was no doubt that he was dead.