Escape clause

fire escape on brown brick building

More of Andrew’s Story…

On a street usually deserted of parked cars, the dark burgundy Impala was an ominous silhouette. Andrew noticed it sitting across the street from his apartment when he walked home from the City Square. Situated just outside the halo of a blinking street light, the car was out-of-place in a neighborhood where most of the residents walked or rode the city bus wherever they went. When an unfamiliar car showed up, it was either someone having an affair, or an unmarked police car.

Andrew recognized the driver too. Slumped down in the front seat, the man did a poor job hiding. His outdated business suit was as unmistakable among a sea of haute couture that mingled around the square, as his car was along the empty curb. Andrew watched his stalker with the skilled eye of a master litigator.

A glint of light reflected off the small metal disk of the parabolic microphone Hollis Drake directed toward Andrew’s apartment. The mirrored tinting on the front door was the perfect subterfuge for Andrew to watch over his shoulder. Fishing out his house keys, he lingered almost too long, close to giving away that he knew he was being watched.

Inside his quiet rooms, Andrew stood back from the windows, but only far enough not to be seen. If Drake’s listening device was sensitive enough, it could pick up the click of a safe’s lock tumblers. He left the hidden vault closed, and instead went about preparing his meager dinner.

A sharp knock on his door made Andrew jump. A quick look out the window reassured him that the Impala’s occupant was still at his post. Looking through the fish eye peephole, Andrew confronted a bloodshot, muddy brown iris pressed against the glass.

“Mayfield.” Andrew opened the door to a young man carrying two sacks of groceries from the store on the first floor of the apartment building. “I’ve told you to stop standing so close to the door.”

Stumbling into the room, Mayfield did a half-step dance to keep from dropping his packages.

“Didya see the man outside?” Mayfield sat the sacks on the kitchen counter, then stood around waiting for his usual tip.

“Didn’t notice,” Andrew said, handing the young man a ten. He didn’t want the shadow outside to know he saw him, just in case Drake was listening.

“Ya need ta look around sometimes, dude.” Mayfield said, holding the bill up to the light before folding it into his pocket. “I think it’s ol’ man Watson on Two. He’s stepping out on the missus. Prolly some cheap P.I. snappin’ dirty pitchers.”

“If you say so, Mayfield,” Andrew opened the door, an overt hint for the young man to leave. “I’ll call Mr. Sotomayor later with my order for next week.”

Locking the deadbolt and chain lock after Mayfield left, Andrew turned off the apartment lights to better conceal his movements. Watching at a safe distance from the front windows, Andrew waited in the dark until Drake gave up for the night and drove away. Once he thought he was safe, and no longer under surveillance, Andrew began packing, just in case he had to make a quick escape…. again.

5 thoughts on “Escape clause

    1. The two easiest ways… 1) click on the link at the top of this post, “More of Andrew’s story…” or 2) on the top nav bar, hover over Works in Progress, and click on “Andrew” from the drop down menu. The chapters are posted newest to oldest.


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