Caroline said we'd reach her new house at tea time, where we'd clean up a little bit and then have dinner. Of course, Caroline being Caroline, we've only arrived now that sunlight is almost out... and, of course, her two friends Susan and Lisa have “unexpectedly” shown up as well. So much for the dinner for two that I was promised.
She hands me the key so I can open the entrance door for them; I enter last and close the door behind me. As Caroline goes to inspect the kitchen and Susan and Lisa go up the stairs to check the bedrooms, I take a look at the living room I'm standing in now — there's stuff everywhere, and even if only mildly dusty, it's obvious this house hasn't been lived in for quite a while. Caroline implied there would be less than an hour of work, although I understood, knowing her, that it would be more like three to four... this is going to take several days.
I walk up to an elaborately carved wooden cabinet in the far wall that has drawn my attention. I pick up an old bicycle that partly covers it and try to put it off to one side, but the spot that I intended to move it to is now occupied by two large suitcases. I look back at the cabinet, and now there are a bunch of partially rotten wooden beams right where the bike was. Confused, I look at the suitcases again — an old landscape painting is now on top of them.
I let go of the bike while I shout to Caroline and her friends that we need to get out immediately. I turn around; there's debris all over the floor that I walked on not one minute ago. I wade around it and open the door. I turn my head one more time to call them again, just as I realize I'm neither hearing anything from them nor any kind of noise coming from elsewhere in the house. I look back at the entrance as I try to go outside; there is now even more garbage on the floor, which would actually block the door if I tried to close it. I trip on something; weighty stuff falls over and traps me. With my one free arm, I barely manage to reach out to the screen door, which I'm certain wasn't there on our way in; it's old, rusty and has several holes, one of which is wide enough for me to stick the tip of my middle finger into and poke outside, with the slight hope that some neighbor might spot me and help me out.
It's dead silent; the street lamps should be on at this hour, but aren't — only the chandelier in the living room keeps the outside from total darkness.
The chandelier goes off.