As I looked down into the greasy emerald sheen of the pool, I realized that my keys were at least that far away. I'd dropped them down the elevator shaft trying to move out of the Twilight Apartments. I'd run back to my pad to get some kind of instant tool to reach my keys three floors below.
Darnell didn't tell me the hot water would stop and never start again. Nor did he mention any other pool color but green. Darnell was the official apartment manager. His unofficial office was the phone booth just outside the entrance door. No one knew his last name, so he was always just Darnell. Twilight Apartments didn't have leases or rental agreements so residents didn't sign any papers prior to moving in. I had no idea that I'd be the only white blues guitar player in residence, but that fact made my life a lot better. Darnell loved blues guitar. I'd heard of another white resident, but she apparently burned herself up along with most of her apartment... developing pictures. Right.
One morning he tapped on my door, and I opened it to a seriously hurting Darnell. He hadn't been ass-kicked or anything, but he'd mixed drugs so strongly his morning squint had collapsed his whole face nose first. He tried in vain to look cool, and said, "My man, got anything for a my-brain headache?" I bit my lip hard to keep from smiling, and got him some Tylenol.
This epic morning I took another frigid but lightning-quick shower, grabbed a few boxes, and headed for the elevator. Just after I put the boxes down inside, my keys slipped out of my hand and slithered to the edge, and then into the space between the car and the shaft.
As I came back down the walkway to the elevator, I recognized the smell of the pool wafting far up into the day, into my nose, and motivating me to get the hell out of the Twilight Apartments. I'd made a lasso out of some string and a coathanger, so I dropped it down that two-inch-wide slot down to the basement. I'd never been to the basement. Didn't want to. Ever.
A few snags later I had my keys, and I kept moving out. By midafternoon, I was gone.
I called Darnell at his phone booth the next day. The power was cut off a few hours after I was out of there. Too bad. Now the pool light couldn't struggle to shine through the green sheen.
Note: This is a fun piece of fiction that is a collaboration between me and James, my hubby. I started writing and got bogged down, maybe the green pool was just too grungy, so James did some editing and finished the story. We hope you enjoy it.