He climbed the stairs, his boots falling heavily on burgundy floral carpet and, where it was threadbare, on the scarred oak beneath.
The stairwell was unlit; in neighborhoods like this one the bulbs were stolen from the ceiling sockets and the emergency exit signs as soon as they were replaced.
John Pellam lifted his head, tried to place a curious smell. He couldn't. Knew only that it left him feeling unsettled, edgy.
Second floor, the landing, starting up another flight.
This was maybe his tenth time to the old tenement but he was still finding details that had eluded him on prior visits. Tonight...