You remember Maribel’s words. If you leave the stairwell now, you’ll end up trapped with Eric on the fourth floor, with no building exits. You continue down, running as fast as you can, trusting Eric’s size and weight to make him slower than you as you plummet down to the third--the second--
On the first floor, you lunge for the handle. You twist it. Shake it. Fuck, it’s locked.
Eric’s only one flight above you and closing fast. You turn and sprint for the last flight, the ones that lead to the basement. You turn the handle of the door and explode into a dank, flickering, empty parking garage.
You slam the door shut behind you and search for a lock on the handle. There isn’t one. You sprint away from the door toward a source of the dull gray light that must be an exit.
The door opens behind you. You don’t spare a glance backward. You run faster, harder.
Something cracks--a gun. Your side pinches, and you topple down hard, smacking your cheekbone on the concrete. Eric jumps on top of you, a knee in your back, knocking the wind out of you. His hand snakes around your neck, and a thin, sharp slice crosses the skin of your throat.
And then nothing.