There is a knock at the door. Michelle has been gone for long than you expected. Relief cascades through you as you look through the peephole. Michelle is looking away from the door, at something down the hall. She knocks again. You reach for the deadbolt but stop yourself from turning it. There are procedures to follow.
“Who’s there?” you call through the door.
“It’s me. Michelle,” she says.
“What’s the password?” Your hand moves to rest on the deadbolt knob.
“Havana.” She flashes three fingers and then one. The real password.
You start to turn the deadbolt knob without looking away from the peephole. BANG!! Something slams into the door. You jump away from the door and then back to look through the peephole. Michelle is still standing there.
“What happened?” you ask through the door.
“I don’t know,” she’s looking down the hallway, “Something rushed by me and hit the door. It ran away. Open the door before it comes back.”
You reach for the deadbolt knob but stop yourself. Procedures. “I lost sight of you. What’s the password?” you ask again.
“It’s me. Open the door. I think something is following me.” You aren’t suppose to open the door if you aren’t sure.
“Please just open the door! I can hear it on the stairs!” She sounds panicked, maybe something is out there. Then she turns slightly toward the door and you see her perfectly calm face. “Please! Open the door! Open the door! Open the door!”
You back away from the door. That’s not Michelle out there. The voice keeps yelling. If the building wasn’t empty you might worry about the neighbors but you and Michele were the only ones left. The only people left. The voice stops mid scream. There is a knock at the door.
“Let me in,” something says with Michelle’s voice.