About three hours later, I came to a ladder up against a straight wall. Above was a sort of circular trap door. I climbed, wondering where in the world this could lead. Throwing the latch and pushing the door open proved a difficult feat, as the metal on the door was rusting. It swung open, and the sunlight blinded me. As my eyesight ajusted, I clambered out onto a paved pad, a parking lot of some kind. And the hidden door was covered in asphalt as well. I let it clang shut, wondering where my flight had led now. A stream of cars flew past on an open freeway about three hundred meters to my right, and to my left was a giant abandoned apartment building.
I put my hands on my hips, surveying the buildings dilapitated state. It seemed safe enough, and I did not sense any danger. With an inward shrug, I walked towards the door nearly hanging off its hinges.
"Hello?" I asked the stillness. "Anyone here?" The only answer was a creepy echo. I mentally prepared myself for anything and started up the stairs next to the broken elevator. Cobwebs hung off the dusty wooden banisters, and quiet scuffling and shrill squeaks informed me that the palce was infested by vermin. Pushing my pace higher, I jogged up the last five flights of stairs, arriving in a corridor lit only by the sun's rays from a window at the end of the hall. I tried the first door to my right.
To my surprise, it opened easily, and what was inside the room surprised me even more.
It was fully furnished wiht lavish velvet and silk furniture. The bed hap a gold canopy, and the carpet was a rich brown. A telelvision screen covered the enitre west wall. But these were not the most intriguing of the things in the room.
A woman, with long golden hair and bright green eyes, stood looking at me kindly. She wore a pale blue blouse with a jean skirt. She flipped her hair over her shoulder with one pale hand and smiled.
"Hasn't anyone taught you that it's polite to knock?"