a hush

Her shoes whispered to the cobbles as she walked. They were damp, and she could feel them slightly gritty beneath her feet. They were not smooth, or slippery. She liked that. Her hands dug into her pockets for warmth, her right fingers wrapped tightly around an old key. She held it like a talisman; it comforted her. The collar of her black coat was pulled high, a scarlet scarf tucked tightly to her neck. She felt cozy as she walked, even as her breath steamed out and dissipated into the cold air around her. The sky crept close to the ground, dark clouds lumbering slowly from west to east. The town around her sat quiet and empty. The houses and streets were lit but silent as her shoes whispered to the cobbles and her right hand squeezed the key. 

The whispering stopped when she came to the doorway of a house that stood right where the cobbles stopped and the tarmac began. She drew the key from her pocket, the metal warm from her grip, and slipped its teeth into the tattered looking keyhole. Her breathing stopped for a moment, and she closed her eyes as she turned the lock. It was stiff for a moment, but the tumblers then gave with a satisfying 'chunk' that echoed across the cobbles, pushing back against the silence around her.

She exhaled, but then held her breath again as she turned the brass knob and opened the door.