It was ten o’clock and the leftover heat of the day was still baking the stucco house. Fans spun at the highest setting with windows flung wide open and yet the air wouldn’t budge. One step outside and the temperature dropped eight degrees. It almost made a person want to sleep outside, but in this dense urban environment the idea wasn’t appealing.
Sweat trickled down her ribs and between her breasts, adding a new irritation to her long hot list of complaints. Desperate for some relief, she sat on the edge of the bathtub and filled a basin with cool water to soak her feet. The dog lay outside the door, whimpering and panting, despite her lack of activity.
As she sat, she stared sightlessly out the bathroom window overlooking the small parking area for the building next door. Her thoughts drifted lazily, as if on a rudderless boat, until she realized that there was a tall figure of a person standing in the shadows of the trees between the buildings. It looked like she was in his sightline and a spasm of adrenaline ran through her.
She quickly dried her feet and walked across the room to turn out the light. She returned to peek through the curtain, but the man was gone. He could be anywhere, now.