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Day 2

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I’m clutching the laptop against my leg, closed but warm, the fan still running, when I find the key. It’s under a flowerpot by the front door. I’m about a mile from home, too far to risk running, and all I can hear are screams and howls from the main road behind me. 
This is the seventh dark house I’ve tried.
It’s empty. It feels empty. I check anyway, ranging through the small house from room to room, but see nothing until I return to the hall and look more closely, my eyes adjusting to the gloom. There’s a prosecco bottle smashed onto the floor, still wet. The blood’s wet too.
I think: someone lost their mind yesterday.
Nonetheless, the house is secure, locked tight. It’s all wood and leather, wool and paper. No television, no wifi, no way to check the news. It smells sweetly of multivitamins and urine, like rotting old age.
There’s a den, a windowless room with armchairs and shelves. I seal myself in and check the word count on my laptop: 1,030 today.
I’m running out of time.

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