It hadn’t changed. Not one bit.
It was dirtier, sure. The windows were grimy with dirt and spray paint, and several newspapers had been stuck to them once, but had peeled off, leaving a film of grey text. The demolition notice was the only fresh piece of paper, crisp and out of place amidst the aging graffiti.
She dragged a foot across the floor. Her shiny heels left a deep furrow in the half-inch deep layer of dust and dirt. Slightly disgusted, she shook her foot, trying to dislodge the clump of dust that stuck to it, but that only stirred up even more dust. She sneezed.
“Jesus,” she muttered, pulling her silk scarf across her nose and mouth.
The towering stacks of half-filled cardboard boxes and dusty furniture seemed to teeter slighly at her presence. She didn’t remember there being so many.
It was eerie, the way it had been mummified beneath a cocoon of dust, preserved and untouched.
This was a bad idea. Why had she let Clark talk her into this?
“It’ll be fine, Lana, honey,” he had said. “Just sneak in and sneak back out. Quick and quiet. Nobody needs to know you were there.”
Quick and quiet, she told herself. In and out.
The air was uncomfortably still, like the intake of breath before a gust of wind. She wanted to scream or shout. Anything to break the dead silence.
Where was it?
She closed her eyes, trying to recall the fuzzy details.
God, I just want to get out of here.
She stepped forward and her hand brushed a stack of yellowing papers. They fluttered to the dusty carpet in a flurry of noise. Another wave of disgust swept through her and she almost gagged. The smell was so achingly familiar she wanted to scream.
That was it. She couldn’t take another minute of this.
Silk scarf still clamped over her face she turned to leave.
And was greeted by a large figure in the doorway.
“Sh-” her swear was cut of by a violent cough.
“Lana,” the figure said in a deep voice. “It’s been a while, hasn’t it?”
“What the hell do you want from me?” she demanded. It took all her strength to hide the tremble in her voice.
The figure laughed. “Oh, you’ve already given me everything I need, dear. See, we’ve been looking for this place for years after you disappeared. We had all but given up. That was until now. Ah, you hid it from us for so long, dear. But now that we’ve found it, your usefulness has run its course.”
All the blood drained from her face. “Oh god, please, no please-”
A single silenced shot.
Her blood stained the yellow papers red.