Climbing down the ladder we came to the ground floor, with the passage leading to the pantry. “Should we stop here?” said Aisha, taking the iPhone out of her mouth and shining the torch light up the dingy corridor.
“I really think we need to check out the basement.” I tapped my foot impatiently on the rung above her head. “We don’t know if Crazy Junifer is waiting in the kitchen.”
Aisha looked up at me and frowned. “She could be anywhere.”
“Can we just get going? The faster we get to the basement the faster we can get out of here.”
Aisha started moving downwards again, her iPhone back between her teeth. I could hear her mumbling in the dimness. Within a few minutes she had reached the bottom and lowered herself to the floor. I came down after her.
“How’s the phone charge?” I said.
Aisha checked. “Not good. It’s down to 22%. That torch app uses a lot of power.”
“We need to find another light source. There must be a light switch somewhere.”
The basement was larger than expected, maybe thirty feet to a side. The light from the iPhone pierced the darkness, revealing numerous crates and boxes stacked against the walls, along with what looked like furniture under dust sheets. The ladder was at the centre of one wall. Directly across the room were two doors on separate walls. I could just make out what looked like a light switch near the first door.
We walked over. The door was made of steel, with thick bolts rimming the edges. There was no door handle. “Well that’s just perfect,” said Aisha.
I flicked on the light switch. A neon globe sprung to life in the ceiling. “Let there be light,” I said.
“I hope you’re a better salesman than you are a comedian,” said Aisha. She checked her phone for signal (none), then switched it off to save the battery. I pushed on the door, but it didn’t give.
“All right, mister ‘let’s check out the basement so we can get out’, what now?” said Aisha.
I started checking the boxes. After opening a few, success. “Flashlights,” I said, holding aloft two medium-sized Maglites. I tested each and tossed one to Aisha. “Just in case.”
She was standing at the second door. It was the same make as the other, but had a handle. “Looks like we can either try this, or go back up the ladder and try the pantry,” she said.
I walked over, smiling. “My vote’s to try that one. This house can’t get any worse, can it?”
Aisha shrugged. She opened the door.
Then things got worse.
To be continued…
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