"That which is overdesigned, too highly specific, anticipates outcome; the anticipation of outcome guarantees, if not failure, the absence of grace."
-- William Gibson, All Tomorrow's Parties
Dwelling miasma.

The shadows whispering assurances hard experience has taught me to distrust, I take another step into this accursed houses basement. The concrete and wood mutter to themselves, ignoring me; I can understand the gestalt of their constant discourse, though. In great detail, they recite the litany of horrors enacted in this place.

There are six rooms below, each darker than the last. Each full of a greater level of terrors. When the victims would be moved from one room to another, deeper in the basement, the door behind me would be left open. If it were day, the sunlight would shine down, blinding the prey. And then they would be moved back, away from the light, into deepening gloom.

When moved at night, the walls and ceiling remind, there is a flood light set against the far wall upstairs. While not as good as real sunlight, the effect is often the same.

I take another step down, slowly, the vile patina filling my mouth and ears. Behind me, the girl's bird hisses: "Fool. Hardy."

Two more words the girl will never use.

Perhaps once this was just a house; just beams and nails and heavy oak. Terrified blood has soaked into the wood, into the concrete and stained the paint, and now like any other rabid animal, the house is quite mad.

Atrocities occurred here, and in the creaking of the stairs as I descend another step, in the wind against the shingles, in the very air settling throughout the dead spaces within the damned walls, the house is more than willing to share them.

I wish, in my very core, that some dark power brought this place to its current insanity. That some demon slipped through, investing itself into the foundation and mortar. I can feel the intent that shaped it, though, and it is man. A man, singular, unique in his perversion; the ghosts of his actions are enough to arrest my progress. The pressure increases with every step down, making it harder to breath.

The bird lands on my shoulder. Its claws dig into my flesh, bringing me back to myself. The cacophony of the house quiets, becoming again a muttering background.

The bird's mistress is not down here. We both know it. It can sense her absence, and I can feel the pregnant emptiness. But we both must see.

Must know.

February 24, 2008 1:17 PM