All Rooms had Doors. Or at least, this was a Rule as far as the Visitors knew. Come to think of it, if a Visitor had gotten his way into a Room without at least one Door, the others would never know about it because he’d be stuck there. It wasn’t worth thinking about. That alone could stop the Walks, and that alone could lose the battle.
Walking was the only thing they could think of that could help. It was the only tool they had in this long, strange battle against an unnamed and unseen enemy. The disappearance of so many people all at once had everybody on edge.
Rob didn’t know if this was a sign of the Second Coming he’d heard so much about. The way he was raised, there wasn’t a First Coming yet, so he was suspicious. The disappearances didn’t look like a Coming, so much as a Going, to him.
He knew he had to find Julia. She and Mickey were his best mates, and it had been too long since he’d seen either one of them. A month was like a year in this life. Each Room took something out of you that you never got back. This definitely was a job for the young.
He had to keep looking. Eventually he would find the right combination of Doors and get back to their favorite Room. It had multiple Doors, so it didn’t time out like the rest of them.
Some Rooms were more useful than others – they marked those, like hobos did with their chalk codes a century back. Safehouses, of a sort. Refuges. They were meeting spots where they could discuss strategy or just rest.
Rob could use a rest about now. It had been too long on this Walk, and he was getting a little punchy. Everything he saw made him jump more than usual these days. His guess on the boulders was right – not only did he get there just before the storm hit, but it was a Door, and a good one. It emptied into an alley he recognized. Soon he could catch his breath.