8th and Kensington
Borough of Westchester
City of Promenade
A cold gust of wind rips through the street, battering the metal signs and rattling wooden shutters drawn shut over windows. In the pale blue light of intermittent street lamps the dead, parked cars seem to glow from the thin snow draped over their skins.
There is no light, save for the lamps. There is no sound, save for the whistling of the wind and the rattling of the shutters. And there are the near-imperceptible clicks of hard black rubber against concrete.
A figure, wreathed in a long, dark cloak, advances past door after door. Even in the stillness of night, its motion is barely perceptible; its very footprints are lost in the slurry of snow and half-melted ice on the sidewalk.
Its motion halts suddenly at the corner door. 8th and Kensington. From the shadows of the cloak, a black-gloved hand draws a thin, stubby strip of gray metal and slides it slowly into the worn brass lock cylinder of the door.
As a strong gust rips through the narrow street, the lock clicks free and the door opens just enough to suffer the cloaked figure an entry. An instant later it is shut and the street returns to its slumber.
The silence is punctuated by the high, clear wail of a siren. Blue and red lights wash against the faces of the squat buildings that wall in Kensington Street. The cruiser tears down the road, its hard, white headlights searing through the dimness of the night.
As quickly as it arrived, the sudden assault of light and sound is gone. As quickly as it entered, the dark figure departs the corner house, pausing only to close the lock behind it. Once more, all is quiet at 8th and Kensington.