“Thanks for your time, Mrs. Lee. We’ll look into your husband’s disappearance.” I closed my notebook and shut off the recording.
“Be sure to check down the hall. They’re always doing something weird at the end of the hall. Strange sounds and lights. It’s not natural. They must’ve had something to do with it!”
I nodded to her and turned to go.
“Aren’t you going to check down there?” she pointed at the apartment at the end of the hall.
I barely suppressed a sigh. “I’ll go check.”
I went to the door and knocked. “This is Detective Faraday, NYPD. Please open up.” I repeated the knock three more times to no answer.”
“See,” said Mrs. Lee from her doorway, “they’re suspicious!”
I looked down at the floor and sighed, which is when I noticed the fog. It crawled out from under the door in slow tendrils, one of them clinging to the door and snaking up it. Motes of light sparkled in it, like twinkling stars. I squatted and fanned my notebook at it. The fog reacted, but it was delayed, like an internet video buffering. And when it did, it was in slow motion.
I sniffed at it, but there was no odor. Nothing chemical that I could distinguish from the ordinary smells of the building.
I pounded on the door again. “NYPD, open up! Something is coming from your door.”
“I’m coming in!”
“Yes, get them!”
“Mrs. Lee, go back into your apartment and stay there.”
I got on my rover, asking for the FDNY to come out. If this was a precursor to a fire, I’d want them here, pronto.
I tested the knob, the door was unlocked. Very unlike any Brooklyn apartment. I pushed the door in, uncovering a room full of the same sparkling fog. Light came in from the window, but it wasn’t as bright as it should’ve been. But on a patch of floor near the window was a lump that looked a lot like a body, like someone had collapsed due to whatever the fog was.
I took a deep breath and plunged in.