The Basement – Part Three

by cunningstuff

Part Three, a bit slow, but it is my first short story here, and I am using the back burner method of simmering the story out. It is also based on a dream, a place I feel the most important stories come from.

I slept fitfully, I kept feeling like someone was in the room with me. I knew it was just nerves, what with the weird rent agreements and all. I got up though, and went into my new bathroom. It was sparse, just a shower, towel bar, sink and one small counter for the sink. I took a shower, but the water never really got hot, just lukewarm. I got out and took a look at the clock. 3:00 p.m. and for me, with the overnights, a decent start for the day. I decided to go explore the next room, the one with all the shelves, and see if I could find a radio.

Walking into the room again, I was just amazed at the amount of display shelves in the room. I would walk around, there were six rows of shelves, each with sides on each row, and no matter how many times I would walk around, it would happen that I would see something completely new. One thing though, it stood out even when I just first glanced around the room. A shelf stereo, and it was something I had never seen before. I immediately thought it might be oriental, or perhaps japanese, because every stereo set up I had ever seen was the required grey, black, or the occasional wood or brass. This stereo was gold, with red oriental dragons in a pattern throughout the gold. Like an oriental silk, red curving dragons of glossy bright red, with gold leaf over the rest. I thought, well… if someone wants it back, I will return it, I am just moving it over a room.

I noticed it had no dust on it, and was as shiny as if it was brand new, so I could not wait to play some tunes. I put it all into a large wicker basket I figured would suit as a trash can, with a liner in it, and brought it back over. It must have been the confusing set up of the room, but I could have sworn I would need a shelf to put the stereo on, but there was a small one, perfect size, beside a support pole waiting for me when I got back. I thought I should maybe draw the room out next time I had a chance, and get my sketching skills back in order. I set it up on the shelf, and plugged it in. Soon the sweet sound of rock and roll was playing in the room, and I felt a little more at ease. A trick of the place though, maybe the large room, after every song ended it seemed I could hear clapping, like amusement or happiness from the song. I liked this college station, and there were no commercials, but since it was amateurs doing radio, there was often silence after every song, if only for a minute. I would walk over to the stereo and turn it down, but eventually I figured it was acoustics and decided to ignore it. It wasn’t very loud and I could never found out what the sound was bouncing off of.

I opened the other doors, and all of them had some sort of collection in them. The kitchen and the toilet were plain and simple like the shower, but the other rooms were highly interesting to look at. One room specialized in porcelain dolls, another stuffed animals and small plastic animals, like in a specialty toy store. A third was what looked like a complete Barbie collection, and I was pretty sure some of them were very old and worth a bit of money. I didn’t write anything down, but took a hard mental note of what was laying about, as I would take a look on some collections in ebay and see if they matched up for some money. I’m not into collecting, but I knew that some things were worth a good bit to hardcore collectors.

This actually sufficed for a good hobby for a few days. There were literally thousands of items, all toys, that were in these rooms, but most looked worthless, missing shoes, hair all in knots and messy, or cut, crayon scribbling on the cloth and boxes, but everything was fairly neat, in a box, usually the original toy box they had come in. I never got to sleeping well, so I would leave the radio on all the time, something I did as a kid, having grown up in a loud large city. I would sleep for two or three hours, then get up, sure there was someone in the room with me. I would hear someone talking, but it always seemed like it was children, or maybe just a child that was talking, always in my dreams.

One night the hotel had a Drum and Bass party in its basement. I had been fired at work for showing up late, mostly because of the duo of working overnight combined with the lack of sleep, but I wasn’t worried, I had 300 US in my pocket and had paid rent for two months in advance already, so I asked if I could hang out at the party. It was on fliers all over the music stores, so there was no reason for anyone to tell me no, and I thought maybe I could meet an interesting girl or at least have a conversation. I was at the party for maybe an hour when three girls and a guy that were cliqued together at the bar started to talk with me. One thing lead to another and I ate some mushrooms with them, and we went into the room that would lead into my set of rooms.

This was the half-finished room, the one with all the drainage depressions and grates. I knew it had to be the drugs, because all I could see and hear was dripping water. I asked the girls about it and they said it was just dry concrete, calm down, it is just the mushrooms messing with my vision. I would stick my hand in what looked like a stream of drops, and I could feel the cold water hitting my skin. I could hear rain, heavy rain, beating down on the floor above us, and I would run up and look, only to find there was no up, just back into the basement party, and then into the hotel. Eventually I was left alone, after not to subtle messages about laying down and letting things wear off. I felt a little crazy, to be honest, because I had been a very veteran party goer all my life, and never wigged out before. I eventually put very calm music on, some classical, and fell asleep.

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