|Photo by Dan Skinner [link]|
Luigi looked at the clock-radio next to the bed. It was 4.55. Still dark outside, as dark as it ever got in this part of the city, with its street lights and the lights on every house porch, every block of flats’ walkway. He needed to wee, but it was warm in bed, snugged up against Cody’s body. He yawned sleepily. If he got up now he might get back to sleep again afterwards. He might even get another couple of hours’ sleep before the day began. But if he didn’t, he would drift in and out of a restless sleep. Might as well get it over with. Carefully, he slipped out from under the bedclothes and lumbered clumsily, still drugged with sleep, through to the loo. He was just turning round to go back to bed when he heard stealthy footsteps on the walkway. Some instinct warned him that something was amiss. Later he couldn’t have said what it was. Some primitive part of his brain, the part which in an animal warns that a predator was watching, the part, perhaps, which makes you look up from your book when you feel someone’s eyes on you.
The kitchen windows faced onto the walkway. They were frosted, but the walkway was well lit. Against the windows a shadow moved, shifty, subtly feral. For a moment he paused, thinking. Should he wake Cody or not? Cody was so tired. He needed his sleep. Let him sleep. Maybe this was nothing. Most probably it was nothing. People came and went from the flats along his level, at all hours of the night. He must not let himself get paranoid.