Sam felt that all the passions and primitive emotions curled up meetings in his mind like wild beasts, frightened in the night. He felt inexplicably paralyzed by a sharp sensation of terror. He began to read the letter mentally.

"...Your life is in danger, in this very instant...."

As the seconds went by, his mouth felt drier...

"....death is behind you, silent, invisible...."

He attributed it to the fear, a reason why here maenads in complete immobility like

An animal that sharpens the senses to perceive anything outside of the normal...

"... your death will be horrible..."

He was panicky, just like when he was a boy waking up with nightmares. If he didn't

move, maybe the monsters would not see him.

"...your privacy no longer exists..."

He remained motionless, containing the breath, and maintaining fixed view on nothing. .

".....you're mine...."

His apartment seemed to him a dark and solitary place that gave him fear. The silence

was ominous...

."....you're exposed....".

He felt a knot of terror in the chest. His blue eyes became vitreous, as

if he was in a trance...

."..You're as vulnerable as a prostitute tied...."

During a moment he felt icy cold. He didn't move a single muscle nor took a breath.

His mind was a confusion of thoughts and emotions...

".... carefully, without guilt, I will make an incision in your body...."

He was arguing with himself, trying to concentrate.

-Calm down .. breathe deep - you calm down, relax. Think, think!

He forced himself to listen, trying of to perceive other noises, but the apartment was in silence. Summoning all his courage, he crossed the corridor quietly until seeing the front door.

Moving with caution and slowly, he made his way towards the door.

-'Maybe the light was on in the corridor, and damage was only in his apartment. '

He had the doorknob in his hand when he decided to look into the peephole. He leaned forward to take a look. The corridor was dark. His heart was up in his throat; swallowing with difficulty and taking a second cautious look, he felt a current of air entering below the door.

He began to rotate the doorknob, opened the door slowly with care and walked into the black corridor toward the stairway. The hole of the stairway was dark. Making sure carefully of the handrail, he began to descend in the darkness. He groped slowly for the wooden stairways that creaked under his weight. He saw the obscure light ray of a lantern that was lit.

He immediately felt alleviated. Edward, the doorman.

-Edward! - He screamed, - Edward, it's Sam!

His voice bounced off the stone walls with a mysterious echo through the
hole. The figure who sustained the lantern continued climbing quietly, inexorably,

-Who goes there!? - Asked Sam.

The only answer was the echo of his words. The light of the lantern came closer, just a

floor or two below. His heart began to beat as a forge hammer and he felt his legs

weaken. He gave turn quickly and climbed up the stairways until he reached his floor.

He was still listening to the stairway before arriving to it.

-'Was it two men? Was somebody up there, in the dark corridor, waiting for me?'

The sound of the footsteps that advanced up the stairways was stronger now, nearer,

and Sam continued ascending with fear of looking behind. With a dry mouth, Sam

turned and walked into the corridor, dark as ink. He began to knock on the door of

his neighbor Rupert, the only one in his same floor, and he remembered Gerald had

said that he left on a trip.

When he reached his apartment, he heard more closing steps in the stairway. The keys
slid out of his nervous fingers and fell to the floor. He looked for them frantically,

found them, opened the door and entered, tossing the key. For a minute he was still

looking at the door, then took a step back, fear pressing on his throat.

-'Where could I go? What could I do? How have I gotten myself into this? Damned Grutt!!'

As the seconds passed, he remembered that he had two telephones:
one next to the bed; the other one on the wall in the kitchen.

To Sam's fright, the doorknob began to rotate; he was sure that the door was closed

With the key, but he knew that if the murderer wanted to enter, they would. The handle
turned in the opposite direction. He took another step back and touched the hallway

table. A vase and a picture frame fell to the floor with tremendous noise.

Sam's heart gave a jump. He accelerated to take a step to the side, crossing toward the bedroom. Sam bent to fall on his hands and knees and slipped under the desk of his room.

The strong blows at the main door seemed to shake the whole apartment.

Sam was surprised that the murderers didn't shoot it open.

He looked for the telephone and dialed 911; the operator answered, his only
bond with the external world. He spoke in a very low voice.

- Operator. This is an emergency...

-Your number please.

He gave it to her.

- A moment, please.

He heard more blows and somebody that pried at the entrance door. Something touched his leg. Sam jumped and hit his head against the top of the desk. The penholder and other things fell to the floor, causing a horrible feline screech. It was Mallory, the pregnant cat.

-'What other incident could happen?'

-Quick, operator!

-A moment, please, - replied the voice impenetrable, cold.

When the strong blows ceased to the front door, the silence descended on the apartment.

Sweating, Sam made an effort to hear anything that revealed to him what was happening

He walked towards the bathroom, trembling, his legs shaking. When the light came on, Sam was so sunk in deep thoughts, that he stood paralyzed for several seconds, not breathing. He heart stopped for a moment. Then, deep percussion of the sounds of his CD player filled the apartment. He tranquilized and started again toward the bathroom.

To the sounds of "Friends of Mr. Cairo," he looked in the mirror to see the damage caused by the attacker. His lips were colorless. The left eyelid was lightly swollen and perhaps he would have a black eye as a result. In his left cheek there was a contused area the size of a coin and the left part of the bottom lip was swollen and sensitive. Tugging smoothly on the lip to see the internal part, Sam discovered a laceration of two or three millimeters. It has made against the teeth soon after the blow. A small quantity of blood in the corner of the mouth came out easily and that improved his aspect very much.

He climbed into the bathtub and let the water run over him as strongly as possible; he was dressed but didn't care about it. He let the water hit his head while he tried to think.

Deep in thought, he heard the shoot on the CD with "Friends of Mr. Cairo;" he froze and bit his lower lip. The result was painful. Stop!! He to slide until sitting down inside the bathtub, he didn't want to think more






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