Janie sped away in her convertible. Her car’s speakers blasted AC/DC’s Highway to Hell for good measure. She smiled as she mouthed the lyrics, ironically feeling like she was escaping hell.
Janie looked out of the window of her new fourth-story apartment. She could see the beach down the road. On quieter days, she bet she could hear the waves splashing on the shore.
The neighborhood was stunning with just enough colorful buildings. Not too crowded. The tallest ones had five or six floors at the most, giving everyone space to breathe.
The inhabitants were intent on making the most of the beach. People who lived here weren’t exactly rich, but they didn’t have money problems either. Not that Janie cared about that. It would just be nice to hit Peter with the facts when he started nagging that she’d downgraded her life somehow.
A couple of hours later, Janie sat on her sofa and took in her spacious two-bedroom apartment. It was modern and vibrant without being too quirky. It was completely her. She had only a few boxes left to unpack. She smiled to herself, dialed her mom on her cell and left a message.
“Hi, mom. Just calling to say I’m almost settled. This place is amazing. Remember, you can’t give this number to Peter. Or my address. Not yet.”
She hung up and dialed Greg. Got his voicemail.
“Hey! You were right. This place is something else. Thanks for everything. Let me know when you want to meet up.”
Past midnight, Janie was sound asleep in her bed. Suddenly, loud hardcore metal music with brutal vocals blasted from downstairs and jolted her awake.
“What the hell?” she yelled and tried to go back to sleep. She buried
her head in her pillow. The music continued. Frustrated, she took her MP3 player from her top night table drawer. She put her earphones on. Before she could push play, she heard the loud crack of a gunshot. Then another.
Shaking off her initial panic, Janie dialed 911.
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