John Walsh walked down the street, brushing aside his brown hair to clear any bugs attracted to the pools of street light he moved in and out of. The night was dark, with a warm, damp summer air. He glanced behind him, and walked into the nearby apartment building. Down the hall and up stairs.
He came to his apartment. He heard Tyra next door, singing to herself. John smiled.
The lock unlatched, he opened the door, and entered.
It was small, a minimal, run-down studio. Filled with stacks of books and papers, he was sure that if his land lord ever did anything other than take a check he'd be evicted for fire code violations. It didn't matter.
Nothing mattered. At least nothing that the filthy plebs he dealt with daily considered important. The song was what was important.
It came from the cave, on the edge of the city. The damp stone, from the humid depths inside, wetter than the mid-summer heat wave he'd just come in from. An aria that touched the soul, on the breath of something deep within the Earth.
He sat down on the green couch and turned on his television. It was old enough it needed a digital converter box to get anything out of the old rabbit-ear antenna set by his window. The local news came on, with a set of generiaclly attractive local news casters.
“…word yet from local law enforcement on the string of missing persons from the Bell City area. They are still taking any leads on their anonymous tip line, located on the bottom of your screen right now. Since last April a total of sixty people have gone missing from the…”
John turned off the screen.