True Detective Mysteries

A single electric bulb looped down from the uneven ceiling. It sparked hot white. A man with dark features stepped into the bright circle below it, which lit up a scar near his left eye.

The dark man palmed his hat and crunched his unlit cigar. He surveyed the entire room, fixing his eyes into its soft, webby corners.

Hello? he asked. His accent started from a growl and slid upward.

The room smelled of damp cement, wood, and oil. Two other men followed him in. One was enormous. The other was short and wore overalls. That one looked at everything with keen, moving eyes. He was looking for shiny nails. The fat man perspired. As the dark man searched, the short man knocked on the walls with his knuckles. He listened to the walls as if they were speaking to him.

He held up a hand and they all stopped.

There were pipes and a tin sign and some saws on the floor, but otherwise the room was more or less empty, except for a large bench against the wall. In the corner of the room was a bag that they were all staying away from. After a moment, the dark man began stepping in slow circles on the planked flooring. The others followed him into a corner, where exposed brick lay against the bottom half of the wall. The fat man took off his coat, then his vest.

The short man in overalls examined the large table. He motioned, and everyone helped him move it. They pushed it to the side and stared downward. The floorboards were missing. Instead, in the cement floor, they saw a door, set into the ground like a gate to hell.

The dark man dropped to a knee. He pulled back the door and stared down into a black hole in the ground. They listened again for voices. There was no telling where it went.

Call her, the man said, as he jumped in.



Copyright © 2016 by Brad Ricca