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The Apartment #226


Rick saw her collapse and shouted "Help!" as loud as he could.
It came out as a strangled yelp, hardly audible, a tiny cry in a vast universe.
Timmy, lying next to his mother, tears streaming, tried to shout too, tried with all his might to copy his father, but his mouth wouldn't work and he couldn't understand why.
Rick staggered forward, fell to his knees next to Timmy and took the sobbing child up in his arms.
Rick tried to swallow.
He shouted again.
And again.
Nothing more than a croak.
He reached down to Tracey. She didn't move.

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