The slightest living thing...passes, as we do, from one stage to the another, from darkness to darkness, into a distance where we, too, vanish out of sight. - Freya Stark

He checked the closet one last time, picked up his change from the bedside table and wandered quietly through the apartment. He picked up his suitcase and headed out the door, making sure it locked behind him.

He passed by the Franklins' apartment. He'd been invited to their daughter's graduation party.

He'd have to miss it.

The Porters lived next to the elevator. He said good morning to them every day as they left for work.

Not today.

Fred, the doorman, wouldn't come on duty for another hour. He and Fred traded investment tips every morning, compared notes every evening.

Not any more.

He popped the trunk, shoved the suitcase in and slammed it shut. Jeff's '67 Mustang sat waiting across the way. They liked to kid each other about their cars.

He pulled out of the ramp and headed up Mulholland.

He had a new apartment to check out.