Categories > Original > Fantasy > Tradewinds 10 - "Reflection"


by shadesmaclean 0 reviews

Shades searches the sub-basement

Category: Fantasy - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Fantasy,Horror,Sci-fi - Published: 2009-11-10 - Updated: 2009-11-10 - 816 words - Complete

Drawn by an irresistible curiosity— which had only grown more so since ending up in this dimension— Shades went back downstairs again.

At the second landing, the stairs entered the hall from the side, about midway along its length. There were several doors on each side, and he found them as tightly locked as the door at the landing. It didn’t take long to remedy that, though each door made him hold his breath a little bit, no matter how foolish it made him feel.

For some reason, he half expected to find the room with the Book of Fate. And he just kept telling himself that no matter how eerie the place felt, it was only just the way it designed. That he had seen his share of abandoned places before, knew they took on an aura all their own.

He was pretty sure he felt alone down here, then again, it was a pretty big place.

For all the suspense his nerves built up, the rooms themselves turned out to be something of a letdown. On one hand, he was more than glad not to bump into any of the perils of their last destination. On the other, though, one whole room turned out to contain nothing but boxes of toilet paper, all clearly marked. Another was loaded with office supplies, and still others held furniture, batches of framed pictures that all looked like they belonged gracing the walls of corporate offices. Justin would have reported that it all matched the accoutrements upstairs.

One held stacks of empty, folded boxes; one room was totally vacant.

“I wonder if Justin wants any of this crap…” Shades muttered as he walked away from it. Then it was down the rest of the stairs, to the door at the bottom. This time, the door was unlocked.

Even so, he paused for a moment after turning on the lights, again assailed by that all too understandable desire to go back up and make sure the first floor was still where he left it. Fighting the impulse, he looked up at the skylight above, the blue sky seeming to mock him. Much like how “outdoor” vistas did inside the Harken Building, the disconcerting image popped into his head of himself being trapped down here forever, while the rest of the world went on about its business above…

Calming himself, he entered a hall very much like the one upstairs. Decided to start at one end and work his way across. The first door was unlocked, as well, and led to a small, grey-walled room with a desk, a couple bookshelves, and a closet in the corner.

Shades turned on the light, taking a quick cursory look around to make sure the room was as empty as he thought it was. The bookshelves were stacked with academic-sounding titles he decided he would have to take a look at later; no telling what knowledge he might glean about this realm. There were maps and charts scattered across the walls, but the one that held his foremost attention was framed above the desk. The whole thing was a collage of photos and sketches of that coin he and Justin found earlier, displaying both sides, from multiple angles. With a hand-written caption on the bottom consisting of a single word.

Immortality, huh?” Shades commented to himself as he began searching the desktop. After lecturing Justin so much, he was taken aback for a moment when he realized he was wishing he had thought to bring his backpack. Doing so would mean having to eat his own words later, but he was at least going to grab an armful on the way back to the ship; now that Justin had set the precedent, he felt there was too much useful information here to abandon the chance.

Now that Justin had opened that door, he couldn’t bear to close it behind him empty-handed.

Wondering what the people who lived here might know about that creepy coin, he opened the top drawer of the desk, finding a notebook. That might have been rescued from a garbage can. The cover was torn, its spiral bent out of shape, several blank pages hung by a thread. On closer inspection, he could tell that entire pages were missing.

As much as it made him feel like a voyeur, he wanted to know what all of this was still doing in a house that was supposedly for sale:

(13/13/093) I am relieved to discover that the references in that volume to there being two other Amulets were an historical mistake. Once we have obtained the Amulet, we shall soon unlock the secrets of Immortality, that we may keep building our house forever…

Shades wasn’t quite sure what the author of this journal was up to, but he was liking it less and less the more he read.
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