She tried first to raise the barricade, but only the lowest rungs moved even a little. The rest stayed frozen in their tracks, rusted shut or clogged with dirt or both. Still, she could lift that bottom rung as high as her knees, which was enough to slide under if she could get the doors open. Which she couldn’t. Although she could work her hands into the opening, just pulling at them didn’t budge them in the least.
Backing off (but not giving up, not yet), Ana worked one arm into the opening and tried to shine her light around, but all she could see was a smallish space, like any foyer in any restaurant, with another Out door dead ahead of her, blocked off with an enormous pile of junk, and part of the wall with a few posters still stuck to it. The opening wasn’t wide enough to let her get a better angle and the barricade kept her from getting any closer.
She had a prybar in her toolchest, but that was blocked off even better than that other door was. She might be able to reach it from the truck’s cab window, might even get the top drawer open, but there was nothing in there but screws and nails and bolts and shit of that sort. Her serious tools were in the bottom; they might as well be on the moon.
Ana hunkered down to stick an arm under the barricade and tug at the doors some more. Angle was wrong. No leverage. She shifted onto one knee, wedged her other foot between the doors, grabbed the opposite door in both hands and both kicked out and heaved back with all her strength. Her two-day-old tattoo protested, but her efforts were rewarded and the scraping shudders with which the old doors reluctantly prized apart made it easy to ignore something as insignificant as her body’s pain.
The doors gave up another foot or so and not one more inch would they release. Between that and the barricade, she’d won herself an opening a little bigger than the average doggie door.
She’d gotten through tighter spaces before.
How bad did she want to see the inside of this place?
“Fuck it,” said Ana, getting on her knees. “What’s the worst that can happen?”