Samantha Walsh was new to the city. Not necessarily to cities, but to this city, to Pittsburgh. The biggest city near her had been Columbus, but after all the trips she had made out there with Alice, well. She couldn’t bear to go there when she finally left the small town she’d grown up in behind. So she’d crossed the state line and found a home in Pittsburgh. Her apartment was over the gym she had bought, which was where she was just then, locking up.
She finished locking both the door up the staircase to her apartments, and the front door to the gym before she took off down the street. Her backpack shifted on her shoulder and she shrugged it back into place. It jostled the hammer inside and she heard the sound of it tapping against her police scanner. Even though she had no intention of fighting tonight, she couldn’t bear to go anywhere without the bag and the hammer. They had become a kind of extension of herself, and she felt naked and exposed without them.
That was a completely silly thought because she could beat the shit out of anyone who tried to start something in her vicinity without the hammer. She just felt underdressed if she left home without it.
“Home”. That was such a strange word to her, all these years later. It had been eight years since her “home” was taken away from her, and she was still trying to recover. She pushed the thoughts away before they could take purchase and make her spiral into a fury that could only be helped by the swing of a hammer and the crack of bone.
That wasn’t the purpose of that night. That night, she just wanted to go to the record shop she had seen. It was about a thirty-minute walk away, but she managed to catch the bus on her way out. She still didn’t know all the routes and the times, but a quick Google on her phone had provided her with the route that led to the shop. She stepped off the bus about two streets down from the shop and walked the rest of the way there.
As she approached from up the street, she saw a man shuddering the shop up. She must have just missed their closing time, then. She crossed the street anyway and walked right up to the man, with no fear in her posture or voice as she asked, “Hey, did you guys just close? Could you tell me when you open again, maybe what your hours are? I’d like to try to swing by some other time.”