Saturday, November 1, 2008
New Kid in Town: Chapter 3
The young men’s muscles were too much for the warping and rust that resisted them and the bookcase swung open. Adrian and Sam looked inside, but only when Adrian held out his electric lantern could they make out what they revealed. It was a room. Like the rest of the house it had been relieved of its contents decades ago. The plaster on the wall was cracked, but for the most part intact. The kudzu from outside had yet to make it’s way into the room, and with no sunlight to coax it, would likely stay that way.
“Check that out.” Adrian said with a grin on his face. “Anyone tell you about this?”
“Nope.” Sam answered. He had talked to quite a few of his teammates that had gone through the team’s initiation of spending the night in the Krenshaw House. None of them had mentioned anything about a secret room. “I don’t think they knew this was here.”
“Sure looked that way. From the dust I don’t think anyone’s touched this bookcase in years.”
“I’d heard about some older houses having hidden rooms for keeping valuables in. Never seen one though.” Sam smiled at Adrian. “This is turning out much cooler than I thought it would be.” Sam walked forward into the room they had revealed. The opening was large enough that he did not have to duck to enter. The room itself was approximately eight feet wide and about ten deep. Adrian’s lantern easily lit the entire space.
Sam stopped dead in his tracks the moment he entered the room. A gasp escaped him as he froze. It felt as if the temperature in the room was at least forty degrees colder than the rest of the house. The hairs on his arms stood on end as goose bumps rose from his flesh. He quickly backed out of the room, nearly running into Adrian.
“AH! God!” Sam exclaimed as he shook off the sudden chill. Once out of the room the temperature felt normal again.
“What is it? What happened?” Adrian asked urgently.
“It’s freezing in there!” Sam answered quickly. “What the hell was that?”
Adrian set his gaze upon the room. Nothing looked out of the ordinary, but something had definitely happened when Sam entered. He turned back to Sam.
“Hang on a second. I’m going to check this out.” Adrian told him and started towards the room. Sam did not stop him, being still a bit shaken by the surprise of the experience. Adrian walked into the room, and immediately felt the same cold Sam had felt. He moved to the center of the room as Sam watched him.
Holding the lantern at arms length, he slowly turned around examining each wall. He let out a slow deliberate breath and it became visible in the cold. He said nothing, but Sam could tell Adrian was processing all of it. More surprising than the experience of the cold was how calmly Adrian was taking all of this in. It seemed to Sam that this was not Adrian’s first time in dealings such as this.
Adrian exited the room and looked to Sam. His face betrayed a slight smile.
“Well, the house is haunted.”
“What?” Sam exclaimed.
“Easy. I was generalizing.” Adrian held up his hand and motioned for Sam to calm himself. “It’s likely someone died here years ago. Sometimes when that happen houses develop hot or cold spots.”
“Are you kidding me?” Sam said in disbelief.
“You felt it yourself. I know it seems weird…”
“It is weird.” Sam interrupted.
“OK, yeah. It is weird. It’s not that big a deal though.” Adrian’s hand absent-mindedly went to his neck and pulled the necklace into view. He rubbed the medallion hanging from it between his thumb and forefinger. “If it’ll make you feel better we can close the room back off.”
“Yeah. Let’s do it.” With some effort they swung the bookcase back into its original position. Sam glanced over to Adrian, and looked at the medallion hanging from his neck. “So, you gonna tell me about that?”
“Hm?” Adrian looked at his companion.
“That.” Sam repeated pointing at the medallion. “I know Randy was giving you grief over it, and at pretty odd for a guy to be wearing something like that.”
“It was my dad’s.” Adrian answered has he held the medallion up to look at it. “Him and mom passed away last year. That’s why I moved down here. I’m staying with my aunt and uncle.”
“Ah, geez man. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean…” Sam felt bad for prying so deeply into Adrian’s life.
“Its alright.” Adrian replied, letting Sam of the hook. “You didn’t know.”
“That thing must have meant a lot to him.”
“It means a lot to a lot of people.”
“Got to tell you, man. Wearing odd necklaces and knowing stuff about haunted houses and things like that. It’s a pretty easy way to get yourself labeled a weirdo.” Sam said with a slight smirk.
“Oh yeah? Do you think I’m a weirdo?”
“Oh hell yes.” They both burst into laughter. Adrian delivered a light punch to Sam’s arm. The two returned to the room with window they entered through. They decided that it would be the spot for them set up their sleeping bags. There was a bit of small talk between them as they both settled in for the night. Adrian seemed restless.
“You OK?” Sam asked.
“I don’t sleep very well.” Adrian replied.
“Something like that. If you hear me wake up in the middle of the night don’t worry about it.”
“Don’t worry, I won’t hear you over the snoring.”
“It’s easily the scariest thing in the house.” Sam said with a laugh as Adrian chuckled and turned out the electric lantern. The sleeping was comfortable enough and after a few minutes Sam drifted off to sleep. While the cold spot in the hidden room was disturbing, it seemed to only be in that one room. Sam was still curious about how Adrian knew about things of the sort, but those questions could wait.
Sam did not know what time it was when he felt a hand upon him. He woke with a start and could make out Adrian kneeling next to him in the dim light. The light was not coming from the windows or from any of the lights that the youths had brought with him. Adrian said nothing and Sam’s own voice caught in his throat at the sight to the apparition before them.
About this month's artist: Bridget once snorted orange-flavored Pixie Stix dust when she was younger, simply because someone dared her to. Not only would she be sneezing orange for a week after the incident, but many would blame the act for her current mental state. All evidence suggests otherwise, proving she was never the brightest sandwich in the galaxy even before the lapse in judgment.