Ground Floor, Second Room To The Left by Chris Sarantopoulos is a 37-page tale of Joe and Lucy on a type of scavenger hunt. It was more a hunt for salvage that could be sold. Copper gets a good price. Lucy is just along for the ride with her latest husband, Joe. Her entire life has been “go with the flow” or “along for the ride.” She had been through many jobs and relationships. Things fell apart for her when anyone, whether on the job or in a relationship, called her crazy. Lucy was sure Joe wouldn’t do that but Lucy had been sure many times before. The abandoned house they entered was old, large, and had big rooms. The copper they were looking for was in one of the smaller ground floor rooms. Lucy didn’t like small rooms. She liked them even less when the door locked behind them in the room where she was watching Joe tap the walls to find salvageable material. Then messages started appearing on the walls. Joe had to use her mirror to read the reverse writing. The messages were not welcoming notes.
Joe and Lucy both see messages written by construction crew persons from the past, people who disappeared. The messages tell a story of something in the house, something evil, something that threatens them. Lucy also sees a set of messages that Joe can’t see. They tell her what she needs to do to leave the house. Joe sees a set of messages invisible to Lucy. The messages tell him what he must do to leave the house. Whether Joe or Lucy, one must act first. The outcome will be bad for the person who acts second.
Sarantopoulos uses vivid imagery to describe the house. I could almost feel the mold on the windows and appreciate the ancient floors. I gave this four Amazon stars and will look for more short stories by this author.