For this story i had to start with the opening line, “I never would have purchased this house if…” and end the story with, “that’s why tomorrow I’m setting it on fire.”
I never would have purchased this house if I’d known that a strange man resided in the hidden basement. The Realtor decided it would help his sale if he kept it quiet. He must have thought about what would happen when I found out or worse, the strange man had escaped. I guess he thought the consequences wouldn’t be dire. Boy was he wrong.
It took me a few days before I realized that something was wrong. I was sitting at my kitchen table enjoying a hot breakfast consisting of eggs and a cup of black coffee. The strange smell overpowered the aroma of the freshly brewed Arabica beans and immediately caught my attention. The smell was so rancid. I thought it was my neighbours at first. They were always in the backyard stirring a black pot with a dark green liquid inside. The whole neighbourhood was insane in fact. I never should have bought this house, but the price was so good I couldn’t pass it up. I was sick of living with my parents and my whore sister. I was about to go outside and confront the odd couple next door when I realized that none of the windows were open and that the smell was not coming from outside. I stood puzzled in my kitchen for a few seconds before I heard a loud crash. I ran into my living room expecting to see the television lying on the hardwood floor in pieces but everything was still intact. It sounded like it came from in here, I thought. I didn’t know that behind the book shelf (that came with the house) was a secret stairwell that led to a basement containing a man. I decided to think nothing more of it, besides it was time for me to leave for work.
When I got back home from work I noticed that my odd neighbours were still outside in their yard. I thought about going over to introduce myself but then thought better of it, maybe another time. I went inside my grand, black painted, white shuttered, two floored home. I started preparing supper when I heard a rattling sound coming from the vents. I stopped stirring the mashed potatoes and bent down over the vent. I could hear two soft clinks and then one loud smash over and over in a consistent manner. What is going on with this goddamn house?! I walked back into the living room where the earlier noise was coming from to see if I could hear any other strange noises. I was standing in front of the book shelf when I felt a cold chill rising up my pant leg. There was cool air coming from beneath the bookshelf. I put my hands on the sides of the bookshelf and felt cold air coming all the way around the tall shelf. I got to one side and started to push it. Sure enough there was an empty archway with spiraling stairs heading into a screen of black. I ran back into the kitchen and grabbed a flashlight from a drawer and began my descent down the damp concrete steps into the void. It was cold and dark but I shone my light in the room at the foot of the stairs. Everything was made of concrete and there was no furniture. I could hear the clink in the far corner, much louder than before. I aimed the beam of light into the corner and I almost dropped my flashlight. It was an old man about 70, he was naked. His skin was clinging to his bones for dear life and all the hair had fallen from his body into a pile around him. He was chained up and looked in despair. He looked at me and screamed so loud my ears popped. I ran as fast as I could back up the stairs and out of the house, I ran down the street and had no idea what to do about the old man. I took a room at a motel and thought about what to do. Nothing came to mind that would prevent me in probably going to jail. That’s why tomorrow I’m setting it on fire.