A movement through the vent caught her eye and she stopped what she was doing to see what was outside her room. Nothing seemed to be moving, at least in her field of vision.
It looked like a couple of homeless men had camped out near the door while she was asleep. Not that she was surprised by their presence, the warehouse was warm and dry. One of the men stood up and gave the man who was still lying on the floor a vicious kick to the chest. Shelley gasped in shock. Maybe it was a fight or a robbery, it didn't look like the guy on the ground was moving.
The attacker turned and left without looking back. Shelley didn't move until the clattering of his boots on the stairs faded away, then she pushed her way out of her sleeping bag, hastily repacked her gear and climbed down from her perch atop the shelves.
Sneakered feet quiet on the concrete floor, she crept past the man on the ground. She was almost to the door when she heard her name. The man called again.
"Mr Branson?" Shelley whispered, she wasn't taking any chances in case the other man was still around, sound carried well in the empty warehouse. Mr Branson used to work with her grandfather, they weren't what you'd call friends, but she knew him to say hello to. He was a nice man, always friendly, but after a drunk driver killed his wife and daughter, he couldn't cope any more.
"Are you okay, My Branson?" She helped him to sit up, he winced as she did so and Shelley thought he might have a broken rib. "You need to see a doctor, Mr Branson. Do you think you can stand up?"
Mr Branson grunted and forced himself to his feet with a great deal of effort. Shelley put his arm over her shoulder and helped to support him. "You're a good girl, Rachel." That's why she had always like Mr Branson, he got her name right.
"Let's get you out of here." They slowly made their way to the door, Shelley keeping Mr Branson upright and moving as fast they could manage. The stairs were trickier, but with the handrail on one side and Shelley on the other, they made it all the way down without mishap.
As Shelley reached for the door, a hand grabbed her shoulder and wrenched her around. She lost her grip on Mr Branson and he toppled over, landing with a small cry of pain.
"You've got yourself a little girlfriend, old man. Shouldn't be holding out on me." Mr Branson's attacker stood over her, taller from this angle, his lank brown hair escaping from beneath a bright green woollen hat. "Let's play little girl."
Shelley backed up against the door and stared up at the man.
15minuteficlets — word #82: consumed
Part of the Abandoned!verse