We were in an older building, climbing through narrow hallways up spongy stairs in the darkness. She looked at me as we neared the tip. She could see the lights from the outside world. Streetlights, but still lights.
We left the top of the old rickety stairwell and looked out, from the top of a damp, grassy hill down a tree-lined street. The houses and yards were nicely manicured from what I could see in the dark, and the street at the bottom of this hill led straight away from us up another hill, much gentler than the one that led us here.
As we began our walk down to the street, walls crept out of the ground around us, and we quickly found ourselves in a courtyard with a door leading to the street.
We jogged outside, and the streetlights died out and gave way immediately to morning sunlight. We found a car and drive up that street about a mile towards the end, parking at a small diner, and preparing ourselves for the coming storm.
My father was impressed with this town. The streets were steep, and the buildings were mostly direlects at this point, but I think he appreciated what it once was. He could see those sorts of things, the sort of sight that came with a certain mix of wisdom and imagination.
We carefully strolled up the main street, walking though the three or four blocks of the old business district, and began our ascent up the steep, old, concrete street. As we neared the top, the grade of the road forced both of us and the handful of other refugees to use our hands to help keep us from falling backwards. Once the summit was gained, we looked upon another town, slightly newer, also abandoned years ago. It was pretty. Creeks and ponds meandered through parks. The houses and businesses were built to respect that. No single street or sidewalk was straight. They all followed the water.
Thunder rolled in the distance. We'd have to find our way inside one of those places soon, before the rain comes...