There was no-one in the apartment: it was empty, abandoned.
The fish tank buzzed and the blinds flapped against the window frame.
Sensing that he shouldn’t be there he made his way out onto the balcony and shielded his eyes against the sunlight. He saw the high-rise sinewing its way into the sky, like a piece of smooth white coral. The block had been built a few years before and by and large its occupants were classed as the frail and elderly, they’d come here to eke out the last smouldering years of their retirement. But now all of them had gone.
He’d spent the morning trying to work out what had happened and wandered freely between apartments in the empty block, passing from the living room of one to the bedroom of another. He noticed that all of the residents’ belongings were still there, the clothing, the newspapers, the walking frames, the pictures of grandchildren and the packets of dried food, but the occupants had disappeared.
Standing out on the balcony, in the light and in the breeze, he realised he had to leave. The place had troubled him enough. He didn’t know what had happened here or why, but what he did know was that there were now 400 empty apartments, and just as many unanswered questions.
Dr Kevin Hinkley is a GP in Aberdeen