They descended down the eerie stairs, slowly and cautiously. The walls of the stairs permit only a single soul to pass through, so Nik went first, followed by the others. The walls looked old, preserved, and unrepaired. It was wet, covered with mold. The air was stuffier as they took steps down.
“There’s a grill,” Nik alerted the party. After a steep descent, they encountered a rusty but sturdy iron grill door blocking their path. Nik jerked the grill door but it would not budge.
“It’s locked. Let’s go back,” Sarah commented and had turn around, ready to leave.
“Kick it,” Wendy suggested and Nik complied. It slammed wide open and the party proceed with caution. Finally, they reached the bottom, lighting the basement with candles and their torch. The basement was dark with no source of light other than their own and from the kitchen from whence they came. The ceiling was high, not surprising as the stairs down was steep and long. It reminded Amara of a dungeon, one the movies always portray. It was dark, humid, dirty, mouldy, stuffy and hot.
The descent to the basement was slippery that Wawa, being the last among her friends slipped down and landed on her bum. Her ankles were sprained and she reached down to massage her ankle. The fall startled the already anxious group.
“Are you okay?” Sarah asked trying to help her friend.
“Yea, I’m fine” Wawa said, gesturing to her friends to continue exploring the basement and Wawa massaged her own ankle but her fingers felt foreign object in the side of her socks she had not noticed earlier. Wawa pulled to find a brown paper, written in red. Angered at the prospect of committing such a blasphemous act, she crushed the paper and threw it into a puddle of water of the humid basement floor. Quickly she got up with a little groan and joins the others, limping as the sting of the previous fall was still lingering. Something about the handwriting made her think, as if she had often seen it before....
It looks like....nah..impossible – Wawa thought. She turned to the now wet paper to salvage it and examine it further, but on second thought, she decided to let it be. The paper was like a taboo, picking it up was out of the question.
“I will not take another’s life even if my life depended on it,” she said despite the fear of losing hers. Resolute in her decided action.
“Look! Here’s the symbols Susan mentioned,” Nurul pointed to a series of symbols written all over the walls.
“What does that mean?” Sarah asked.
“I know the symbol of life. The ankh. That’s the pentagram again..And what is that? A bow?,” Amara pointed (can anyone give me a synonym for point? :D) out, examining the symbols closer.
“Those looks like one of those Russians writing right? And that’s Egyptian I’m sure, and that....that looks like an animal.... A dog maybe? No...a hippo? With the head of a bird?” Wendy asked, referring to the other symbols and drawings.
“The drawings seem old,” Ambun ran his fingers against the markings.
“Okay, this means what Susan said was true. The basement doesn’t seem like there was any recent “visitors”,” Nurul deduced and looked around.
“Guys! I found the altar,” Wawa called, after recovering from the discovery of the mysterious note. Wawa light the crooked table, missing a leg as it was eaten away by termites. It was tilted to the side, so the contents that were on it had fell to the floor.
“Shards of a bowl....a carcass of an orange cat maybe?” Nurul used her foot, not wanting to touch the tainted objects with her fingers.
“That seems like a remnants of the dolls,” Wendy pointed to a rotten straw doll, that would have been unrecognizable if Wendy hadn’t pointed it out. Memories of the dolls which documented their fallen friend’s demise ran shivers up their spine. They were reminded again of how close the killer was to them. The rotten doll also suggests the mass murder had something to do with what the original owner of the mansion wanted.
“The cat was a sacrifice, to conjure something. The ankh, that means life. So the owner would have wanted to bring something to life. Nad told me about the ankh once...,” Amara said, remembering all the talks she had on Egypt and on ancient Greek that was once Nad’s passion.
“If we could decipher what those other 4 symbols are, we would know what the murderer’s were after. They might be delusional, but knowing what they want can give us some advantages to manipulate,” Nurul said and the others were silent, but agreed in the idea.
A sudden creak followed by a slam alerted the party...dum dum dum...
When i wrote this, i did a little research...So one fine day, i asked Wawa a question. I wanted a quick response and without bias, so i just open the chat box, clicked Wawa, and threw a question. Her response was....
Lol... sorry Wawa...I couldn't resist print screen
Psst: Initially, the story about the basement people and the lounge people were supposed to fit in chapter 16...but it was too long to add both.. This story will take longer than expected.