December 7th, 2012
The wind whistled through the dilapidated building, rattling windows and piercing my skin, like serrated knife edges. My apartment had never held any heat, but now, as the boiler struggled in vain against the harsh winter, I struggled to get any kind of heat into my body. Huddled under a threadbare blanket, I considered the letter which had dropped through my door that morning. Unemployed for the last six months, I’d fallen behind in my rent about 3 months ago, and the barren apartment that I called home would be swept from under my feet in just three weeks’ time.
Three weeks until I was homeless, penniless and friendless.
Well. Not quite friendless.
I reached for my phone, where 1 text still sat, unread, from the one person I knew I could count on. Inconveniently, he was also the one person I knew would probably get me into some serious trouble one day. Still, I needed somewhere to crash – the consequences could wait.
As I picked up my phone, something stopped. I knew there was something going on. A crash from downstairs was followed by three…no, four, voices, shouting in a language I didn’t recognise. I scrambled to my feet, hands scrabbling at the bare wood floor as they searched for the gun I always kept nearby. I’d been in enough danger to know those voices weren’t going to be friendly if they made it my door.
A scream pierced the suddenly still winter air, as my door swung open. I turned, raising the gun as I went. I felt a searing pain in my right shoulder, and everything went dark.
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