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Wednesday, August 20

McKinley Boulevard: Part 8 – Men at Work

The basement windows were small, narrow, and at the ceilings—designed to let in light but baffle thieves. All the windows were boarded over. Though the walls of the upstairs were wood, in the basement the walls were of well-set stone. The house’s foundation had settled slightly in the southeast. A few inches of standing water covered most of the floor.

Hammer, Gideon, and Archive shouted Kristian’s name, peering into different rooms.

“Shh!” whispered Archive. “Did you hear that?”

It sounded like a young boy screaming for help.

They made their way into the laundry room, which was awash with several inches of foul-smelling water. There were wall faucets, but the water was turned off. Two pairs of concrete tubs with sides slanted for washboards rested on the floor. A locked door was set into the wall.

Archive put his ear to the door. “I can hear him, but it’s very faint.”

Gideon tugged on the handle but to no avail. Then he grabbed it with both hands and, putting all his strength behind it, strained to open the door.

Hammer tried, then Archive, then all three together. They tried prying it open with a piece of metal Gideon found in one of the other rooms.

“Screw this,” said Hammer. “Stand back.” [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 6:59 AM


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