Burned Down to the Ground

He nodded and started doing the same thing. It didn’t take long before one of us found the keyhole to the door. It was a simple key and lock mechanism like on any normal door. The only problem is neither of us had the key.

“You have that lock picking set with you?” I asked Richard.

He took his small messenger bag off of his shoulder and started searching through it for a moment, “No, I don’t think so. I didn’t think we’d need it to check out a burned down house. Think we can break the door if we find something heavy enough, bash our way through?”

“Probably, but there’s barely anything left we can use around this place.”

I stomped on the door a few times to estimate just how much force we’d have to use to break it in but in the end, I ended up giving myself heel pain for the next few minutes. I narrow my thought process from thinking about the entire door to focusing directly on the lock. Forcing our way through is the only solution. If we had something that could pierce through the lock, we’d be on the right track.

I kept repeating the words “pierce through” over and over to myself as I scratched the growing stubble underneath my chin. That’s when I realized that we both had something that we can use to get through.

“Rich, back up.”

“Why?”

“I don’t want you to get ash in your eyes.”

Confused, he slowly backed a few feet away from the door. I reached for my holster and take out my modified handgun. It’s similar to the standard police-grade one Richard has, but I had mine fitted with a different barrel, making each shot pack a bit more punch.

I took a few steps back myself just to make sure I wouldn’t get splashed with ash. I lined up my sights, “This should no more than four rounds.”

Elbows bent and arms steady, I pulled that trigger without hesitation, landing two rounds square onto the lock. The rounds kicked up a little bit of ash surrounding the lock, but it quickly dissipated, showing that the rounds managed to shoot out the lock. With it out of place, we could open that door.

I motioned Richard back over to help get this door open. While I pulled it up from the latch, he got his hands underneath the door and pushed it up. When it opened, he was the first person to get a look inside.

“What do you see?”

“Just a few steps. Aside from that, I can’t see a thing; it’s pitch black.”

I come from behind the door and crouch down in front off the hole in the ground. Just like Richard said, it was only a few steps that were visible. The remaining were shrouded in darkness. We couldn’t even see how far they went.

Richard couldn’t take his eyes off of the new entryway when he asked, “How far do you think it goes?”

I couldn’t rely on my eyes for the moment, so I grabbed a piece of burned wood and chucked it down the steps. With each step it hit, it made a loud sound of breaking wood against the stone steps. When it came to a stop, the last sound was a damp one like it landed in a shallow pool of water.

“Judging from how long it took to reach the bottom, we’re dealing with a few flights of steps. At least four I’m guessing,” I told him. It was only a guess, but it was still better than nothing. “Only thing is, we don’t have anything we could use to keep ourselves from skipping a step while we head down there.”

I don’t like this, I thought to myself. First, we’re sent out to investigate a burned down house in the middle of the forest. Now, we found a damn door in the floorboards. This is slowly leading to a darker reason behind everything. And I’m the person who has to figure out how all of this started. Thankfully, I’m not alone.

— via Daily Prompt: Partner

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