Thursday, November 26, 2015

Hunted - 1

Logan looked around the small attic room and decided he could make it work. It wasn’t as if he really had much choice in the matter at the moment. His funds were almost depleted, and—since he’d just arrived in the city just two days before—he had yet to find a job.

He turned to the landlady, who was watching him in question. “Would there be a problem if I got one of those small fridges to put in here?” he asked.

“You are allowed to share the kitchen with the other tenants,” she pointed out. “But I suppose that would be all right. No hotplate though. They’re too dangerous.”

“I understand completely.” Logan gave the area one more look and then said, “I’ll take it.”

Half an hour later he deposited his two bags on the low platform at one side of the room and muttered, “Home sweet home.”

The first order of business was to hit up the thrift store he’d seen a couple of blocks from the house. He made a mental list of what he needed---a mattress, a small table with a couple of chairs, a set of shelves—and hoped he had enough to cover that as well as sheets and towels. The refrigerator and a microwave oven could come later when he had a job, unless…

Logan looked out the small window at one end of the room with a nod. It was almost dark and in this area of the city there was a chance he could find some of what he needed for free if he checked out the alleys.

“Being broke sucks,” he muttered as he opened one of the bags to take out a pair of jeans and a dark blue hoodie. The rest of his clothes would have to stay in the bags until he found something to use to hang them on.

He took off his slacks and button-down shirt, carefully folded them, laid them on top of the other bag and put on the jeans and hoodie as well as a T-shirt. Then he left the attic room via the narrow flight of stairs that led to the second floor hall. As he made his way from there down to the first floor he heard voices coming from the community living room. The last thing he wanted right now was to have to introduce himself to the other people who lived there, so he quickly hurried past the archway to the front door and moments later was on the sidewalk outside the house. He turned right, walked to the end of the block, then right again until he reached the alley.

It took two hours to search several alleys in the neighborhood but in the end he had a small, battered table and two mismatched chairs to show for his efforts—which he had taken back to the house in stages, leaving them in the backyard for the time being.

A quick check of the time told him he could make it to the thrift shop before it closed, if he hurried. He got there with minutes to spare. The clerk looked as if she wanted to tell him he was too late, but when he told her all he needed was a mattress, if they had some, she led him to the back of the store. He chose what looked like the best of the three single mattresses, wrestled it down the cluttered aisles to the front counter then asked if she had sheets to fit it, as well as some towels. She did and after he made his selection he paid for his purchases and waited while she bagged up the linens.

“Is your car out front?” she asked when he was ready to leave.

“No car,” he said succinctly.

“You’re going to carry the mattress?”

“No choice. I have to.”

“I could call a cab for you. I’ve seen big ones that could hold it, I think.”

Logan debated for a moment then nodded. “Thanks. I’ll put this outside though so you can close up.” He maneuvered the mattress out the door then, after he checked to be certain she was on the phone and not watching him, he took it to the alley next to the shop. Seconds later he and the mattress were in his attic room.  

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