At the top of the stairs, another corridor: four sets of doors, two on each side. Aisha smiled grimly. “I know this part of the house. The bedroom I hid in is the last door on the left.”
“The secret passage,” I said. “We can take the ladder down to the pantry and double back around behind Silas. We’ll be closer to the entry.”
There was a crash as the door at the bottom of the stairs slammed open. “Come back here!” screamed the aging butler/mad scientist/serial killer. A bullet impaled the frame next to me. Aisha and I rushed through the door she indicated and shut it behind us. We grabbed the dresser and dragged it to block the doorway.
The room was much as we’d left it. The panel of the secret passage stood open across from the antique four poster bed Aisha had lain under for a day.
The entry door rattled against the dresser, Silas cursing as he pushed. We ran for the passage, closing the panel behind us.
“We have to move quickly,” said Aisha. “Or Silas will work out what we’re up to and be down in the pantry before we get there.” We moved hurriedly through the tight and musty passage, my flashlight beam reflecting off floating dust motes and stringy, hanging cobwebs.
“Then let’s go down to the basement. He won’t be expecting that,” I said.
“Are you crazy? Last time we did that, we almost got killed.”
“We might be able to find a weapon.”
“I seem to remember you saying something similar last time. And we have a knife, now.”
“I was thinking more like a gun.”
“I’m sure Silas leaves AK-47s lying around everywhere,” Aisha said, raising an eyebrow. “If we do find something, I hope your shooting isn’t as bad as your throwing.”
“Hey, it was a heavy flashlight.” I paused and grinned. “If we get a gun, maybe you should handle it.”
Aisha’s strained laugh died as we reached the top of the stainless-steel ladder. I went down first, shoulder pain searing with every movement, gripping the Maglite in my mouth.
“I don’t want to even think about how bad this could turn out,” Aisha said.
I mumbled unintelligibly and kept climbing down.
To be continued…
Missed earlier instalments? Click here to read more.
What is The Sale?
The Sale is an unplanned, multi-part short story I created to challenge myself as a writer. My intention is to write an episode as often as possible, generally (but not always) ending with a cliff hanger, then work out how to solve the issue and continue the story.
Only you can tell me if it’s successful, or not. I hope you enjoy my little experiment.