I grabbed a flashlight, clicked it on, and started toward the door, looking for any sign of electricity. A switch; an overhead light. There was nothing. “Let’s go folks. No time like the present.”
I saw the four of them, from the corner of my eye, exchange glances. Gabe still stood behind the camera.
He grabbed his handheld video recorder and joined us. “I’ll record it!”
I laughed. “From the rear?”
“Ladies first,” he said with a snide grin.
With a shrug Mike and Alyssa grabbed their flashlights and followed. Kylie and James were directly behind them, and Gabe was behind them. The hallway, with blond brick walls, went on for about five yards, and then we came to a stone staircase leading to a sub-basement. I started down the stairs and at the fourth step, my flashlight blinked out.
Behind me I heard Mike. “What the fuck?”
I turned toward him. His light had gone out, too. Alyssa and James were the only two with working flashlights. Gabe, of course, had the video recorder. I handed my light up to Alyssa. “Here, Alyssa, give me your flashlight.”
But the second I got hold of it and pulled it toward me, that light blinked out, too. I could feel something at the bottom of the steps looking up at me and a feeling of cold terror washed over me.
“Let’s go back up,” Mike said. There was a hint of nervousness in his voice.
He didn’t have to suggest it twice. Everyone turned and high-tailed it back up the stairs, through the dark hallway and back into the lit basement.
You know how when you’re in a scary basement and you’re going back up the stairs you get that feeling that something terrifying is right behind you, chasing you? Yeah – I had that feeling.
When we were finally free of the sub-basement, we all checked the flashlights. Every single one of them worked.
“That’s really messed up,” Mike whispered.
“You’re telling me,” James said.
I stood, transfixed on the opening in the wall. “I’m going back in.”
“Not without spelunking gear, you’re not,” James said.
“Spe-what?” Alyssa asked.
“Caving gear, for safety. We don’t know how secure the structure down there is. So we’re going to need headlamps,at least sixty feet of rope, knives, more flashlights, all with tested and fresh batteries and backup lights. Maybe some glow sticks so we can find our way back,” James said.
“Where are we going to get caving gear at this hour?” Mike asked. It was already almost eleven, after all.
“Let’s run down to my storage. I have all that stuff,” James said casually as if finding hidden, dark, spooky sub-basements was an everyday occurrence for him. “Though we’re only going to have three hard hats with head lamps because that’s all I got. I could call my friend Mark for more…”
“Nah, three should be good,” Mike said.
Kylie lifted an eyebrow. “Cool.”
“Yeah, for vacation this year I was going to Malaga, Spain to do some spelunking in Cueva del Gato.” He shrugged.
“Cave of the cat?” Alyssa asked. I had no idea she spoke Spanish.
“Yeah. A few of my friends were raving about it so I thought I’d join them this year,” he said, then turned to Gabe, “Wanna go to storage with us to give us a hand with the gear?”
“Sure.” Gabe turned off the video camera and set it down. “See you ladies in a few.”
With that, Mike, Gabe and James went to retrieve the caving gear, and we went back up into Kylie’s study so we could get fresh batteries. We also wanted to go back through the folder to see if we missed something. I was hoping to find a clue that would, in the very least, lend some insight into why Marco would have built the house with a creepy ass sub-basement that was subsequently walled up. It was suspicious to say the least.