“Here we are!” my mother exclaimed as we piled out of the car.
I stared at our blue-grey house in dismay. This was our new home? I mean, aesthetically there was nothing wrong with it, but it was far away from my hometown and my friends. Which is why, I though as I carried a box through our new house, I already hate it here.
I dumped the box on the polished wooden floor and jumped out of the way just as Dylan and his mindless follower Kip came racing through the door.
“Watch it, maggot!”
I glared at the twins as they disappeared down the hall and claimed their rooms. Great. That means that I had the upstairs bedroom. As I started to collect my belongings for the long haul upwards, the movers turned up. I helped with the furniture placement and grabbed a few beers for them while they heaved my furniture upstairs. Mom insisted we buy them beer because in this hot weather she doesn’t want to be dealing with grumpy movers – especially if she’s paying them.
The men cheered as I presented each of them with an ice cold bottle. They headed outside to cool off while I ascended the stairs to sort out my room. I could hear everyone shuffling their own belongings about, and Mom was yelling at Dylan for some reason.
When I reached the landing I stopped dead. My furniture had been unceremoniously dumped in the middle of my room, but that wasn’t why I was gazing in awe. The second floor had just enough space for one person, and it was all designer – shiny wood floors and plush carpets, a bathroom to my right that had dark wooden cupboards and polished mock marble tiles, and a sloping ceiling on my left. My mom came up behind me.
“So, do you like it?”
I was speechless. Do I like it? How was I supposed to hate this place now?
“Don’t think for a minute that this is going to get you off dragging me away from my friends,” I glared at her. Then I smiled, “But I love it.”
At that moment we heard a crash. Mom and I winced before she raced downstairs.
I felt my toes sink into the soft carpet when I entered my room. I sighed as if I was in heaven. It took a while for me to decide which way round I wanted my room, but eventually I figured it out. I unpacked my bags and boxes, and was done in a couple of hours. After having admired the design of this place, I sat on my bed and realized I was bored stiff. I decided to do a bit of exploring.
The movers were gone and the sun was blazing. Our property was on the small side, with only a strip of grass on each side of the house which led to a small back garden. We had a wide driveway at the front of the house which could double as a basketball court if we put a net up, which the twins would love. I made my way round to the back of the house but didn’t particularly marvel at our yard. The grass was a little too long and was growing up the sides of the steps that led up to the back porch.
I wouldn’t have seen it if it weren’t for the sun and my keen vision. The sun was at just the right angle so the light cast the thinnest of shadows. I walked up to the side of the porch and looked closer. It was the outline of a door.
“Maggie? Could you come and help unpack the kitchen stuff please?”
It looked like the door would have to wait. I raced up the porch steps and slid open the back door into the kitchen. The hours until dark were a blur of utensils and coffee tables and technology as we got the rest of the house cleaned up. We ended up ordering pizza because we were too tired to cook, and by nine we were all in bed.
As I was lying in bed I remembered about the door. Too agitated to sleep, I threw on some clothes and crept downstairs to grab the torch. Sliding open the back door I tiptoed onto the porch and slipped on my sneakers.
I made my way down to the door and shined the light on the wood paneling. There didn’t seem to be a handle. Clearing the grass from the bottom of the door, I tried to find a latch of some kind. Huh. There was nothing. I sat back on my heels. Maybe it was just an oddly cut panel. Standing up, I brushed the grass from my jeans. I leant on it trying to see through the gap. When I leant back there was a muffled click and the door popped open.
I pried it open against the clinging grass. Shining the torch inside, I could see that it was nothing more than the underneath of the house. Walking around, I could see twigs and piping and a whole lot of dirt, until I tripped. I landed with a thud on my side. Sitting up and rubbing my elbow, I moved the beam of light to where I fell. A rusty metal ring jutted out from the ground, covered in dirt. Curiosity got the better of me and I crawled over to it. Chipping away at the dirt I discovered that it was attached to a wooden hatch. Eager to know more, I dusted away the rest of the dirt until the whole hatch was uncovered. Should I?
I positioned the torch so it illuminated the ring. I wrapped my hands around it and pulled with all my might, stumbling back when the door finally came loose. A cloud of dust billowed around me as I let the door swing to the ground. Coughing, I cleared the air around me and peered into the opening. It was so dark down there. I tentatively placed my foot on the first step and checked my weight on it. When I was sure that it would hold me, I grabbed the torch and cautiously walked down, guiding the light into the abyss below.