Thursday, 17 November 2016

What I found in the basement

Hidden by trees and the shape of the land, there is an old manor house, alone and forgotten. In the basement of the house there is a square, dust-covered rug, which has been chewed slightly at the edges. On top of the rug is a sturdy table and under the rug there is a trap door. A shaft leads down into the dark below. So much have I discovered and I dare not go further.
     The house is not large and part of the roof has collapsed at one end, but most of the windows are still in place and the rooms are largely unchanged from the days of its use, which I cannot determine. I found the basement on my first visit, but it wasn't until my third exploration that I noticed the creak of wood as I crawled beneath the table. I dragged the table far enough to lift the rug and there was the trap door. There was no handle on it and as I tried to lift it I found that it was bolted underneath on all four sides.
     On my next visit I brought a supply of tools and working carefully I was able to dislodge each bolt. The door sat on a ledge that ran around the sides of the hole, to prevent it falling down, and so I eased it up and laid it on the floor of the basement. Then I shone my torch down the shaft. There were rungs down one side, disappearing to a distant bottom that I thought I could just make out. A cold shiver ran down my spine and I leaned back from the edge.  Strange fear overcame my curiosity and I replaced the door, the rug and the table before leaving the house silently.

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