Spectra fumbled for the key to the door of the tidy little vinyl sided bungalow. She kept it neat; its yard as neatly trimmed as Spectra’s short bobbed hair. Her demure frame fought to keep the grocery bag balanced on her leg while she felt through her purse trying to find the key. At last she found it.
Well manicured arborvitaes lined her narrow walk from the street to stoop. As night fell harder, the arborvitaes, tall enough to conceal, were merging into the darkness.
The street was quiet. To the east, a dome of pinkish yellow sodium phosphor lights from Mercodema inc.’s parking lot lit some of the darkness. Spectra didn’t notice the light, but she could hear the factory’s hum and smell the soot of the curing furnaces in the hot evening air.
She didn’t live in the shittiest part of town, but she knew that others had done better in life. Spectra was part of the town’s working class; most of whom worked at Mercodema. Poor, but proud.
The grocery bag she carefully balanced finally gave into the stress and broke. Eggs, bologna and a quart of milk fell to the porch stoop’s concrete. The milk bottle burst, egg shells cracked. The bologna package slipped along her leg before it hit the ground. Spectra cursed. In a split second, she continued fumbling for her keys.
The trip to and from the store had taken longer than expected, and she sensed it getting darker. She’d clean up the porch’s grocery pile after she opened the door. If at all.
Feeling along the door-jamb, Spectra found the key slot and twisted the deadbolt mechanism. It gave a solid ratcheting sound as the bolt disengaged the jamb. Spectra tried to aim for the doorknob’s slot now. Scraping along the ridges of the knob, the key wouldn’t find its mark.
Other groceries were falling out of the sack’s busted bottom. She was growing impatient, and worried.
A wind blew in and rustled the trees lining the street. The bungalow’s Ivy’s began to sway. Picking up more speed, the wind began to move Spectra’s skirt across her thighs. Spectra worked harder to get the key into the lock. In an instant the street was engulfed in a spray of dust and fine debris, sandblasting Spectra’s skin. The key found its mark; she opened the door and stepped inside, out of the storm. But some of the dust, the dust that had settled in around the town since the landing, followed her inside.
She shut the door against the wind.
Inside the darkened house, Spectra, comfortable in knowing the layout well, found her way to the kitchen. Pissed off that she had wasted a trip to the store, and that groceries were now sitting bare on the porch stoop, probably going to feed some stray, or whatever it was that walked the streets these nights, she found a jar of jam in the fridge, reached the cupboard for bread, and began to make herself a sandwich.
She cursed quietly for not being quicker at the store.
She returned to the door, to clean up the dust, as she turned the corner out of the kitchen, she heard a voice, looking up, the dust had….