“In the basement,” I answered. Rather dryly.
“Hmm.” Donny didn’t say anything else for a moment. I started walking down the stairwell. The crows were still at the door. She jumped up when there was a particular hard thump. I heard her rush down to my side. I could hardly see her in the dark.
“So what are you going to do now that we have a mad scientist on the loose?” she asked. We walked together down the stairs. It was close. The air was cold.
“Why do I have to solve the problem?” I snapped back. I knew I didn’t have to be quite so irritated. But I was irritated that I seemed to be the only one with some sense in the house.
“Well, who else is going to?” She returned. I threw my head back with frustration. “You’re the one who keeps going off into the woods and running after girls in distress.”
“If I recall correctly you were in the woods, too,” I pointed out. We walked out onto the floor of the basement. There were no lights, but I could feel the cement rubbing under my soles.
“Do you know where the light switch is?” she said. We both started walking out, blindly searching in the dark. It wasn’t pitch black. But it was close enough.
“I can’t see a thing,” I answered. Crow still echoed down from the stairs. Now from above too.
I heard Donny trip and knock against a box.
“So as I was saying,” she said. “What are you going to do?”
“You know for a girl who was practically just thrown out a window and murdered, you have a rather chipper attitude about the whole thing,” I returned. In the dark I found a door, after sort of running into the knob. I supposed it was a closet.
“Well, for someone who just saved a girl’s life and became a hero you sound pretty salty,” she returned.
I cut down a sharp sigh. Then I let out a soft snicker. She was right.
And she knew it.
At the same time I opened the door. It was dark in there too. I stepped in, no idea of the closet’s size. But as I reached up my hand found a chord.
I pulled it, and there was light.
I heard Donny give a cheer behind me.
I had found the cellar. And it was quite large. However that didn’t help the situation at all. Until in the new found light Donny found the another stairwell upstairs, just as I hope there would be.
I heaved a sigh of relief and ran over to her. She had already started walking to the stairwell. When she started up it, I paused at the foot.
“Wait,” I said. I had a second thought. She stopped and turned round towards me. She started putting her bird’s nest hair in a ponytail.
“If we go back up there – the crows are going to find their way around the house. They’ll be everywhere.”
“Well I’ m not staying here forever,” Donny returned.
“But we can’t go back up unless the Double Effect ends,” I told her. “We’ll get pecked to death if we do.” I wondered for a moment what had happened to everyone else up there. What was happening.
“Well we can’t do anything from here,” she said. “I mean how do you end the Double Effect in the first place? Only that slimy – wait. Why was he trying to kill me in the first place?”
Either her terror or seemingly scattered brain caused her to forget that question. I knew the answer. And it gave me a thought.
“He was trying to end the Effect.”