With His Knife
A moment’s consideration and the proper course of action revealed itself. He put down his knife and stood up. Self-consciously wiping the blood from his face, the man made his way to the door of the apartment. The peephole revealed nothing. Confused, he opened the door and looked out into the hall.
Crumpled in a heap at his doorstep was a girl.
Nicole opened her eyes. Her migraines had never been that bad before. Groaning, she put a hand to her face, sat up on the bed, and looked around.
She was in a small room. The smell of copper hung heavy in the air. The lights were off save for one small nightlight, and the two doors out were closed. Nicole stumbled over to the one that couldn’t be a closet and winced as she turned on the lights. The wallpaper had been designed by someone who clearly idolized Jackson Pollock but lacked his color palate. The light hurt, too. She quickly turned them back off and, hoping for a more modest source of illumination, opened the door. Her wish was not granted.
“Oh, you’re up,” said a figure, “I was starting to worry that I’d need to take you to the hospital. I hate hospitals,” it added.
Nicole blinked a few times as her eyes adjusted. It was a man talking to her, mildly handsome despite needing a shave. He was wearing an apron. In fact, this new room was a kitchen.
“Where am I?” she asked.
“You’re in my apartment. It seemed prudent to let you have my bed.” Sensing her wariness, the man continued, “You collapsed outside my front door. Don’t you remember?”
“Now that you mention it, yes. I had a migraine.” Her forehead pounded. “Have a migraine. Who are you?”
“Anthony Miller. I’m an actor. You?”
“I’m Nicole. I’m a rising senior.”
“Ah. High school.” Anthony’s expression darkened momentarily. An awkward pause followed. “So, Nicole,” he said, turning back to his cooking, “Why were you outside my door?”
- She lives in the same building.
- She ran away from home and a friend lives in the building.
- She was visiting a client in the building.
- She doesn’t remember how she got there.