“Man Under The Staircase”

As he awakened in the total darkness surrounding him, he was unsure of where he was. It was black dark, so much though he could not see his hands before his face. Wandering in maybe a night or two ago, he started to recall and began a timeline in his mind about the events that lead him here. He is feeling safe and dry here, although the darkness distracts from his sense of depth perception. He sat up on what feels to be a thinning mattress of sorts, maybe was over a sturdy hard bench, as his eyes begin to adjust to the sunlight starting to peer in through the small foundation seams, it becomes more clear to him as to what had happened and why he was here. A storm it was, wet and blowing and he was looking for shelter when he had stumbled into this warehouse that was presumably unoccupied at least for now. With the crashing blows of thunder and flashing moonlight he found a makeshift door under a wood staircase leading to another floor above. It was this door he managed to open although it had no latch or lock, but a large bolt head the size of a quarter that was his invitation to open. Once inside he had pulled the door shut with the opposite end nut that was attached to the protruding bolt. Pulling it flush with the walls as it was originally, he laid down on the bench seat mattress exhausted and was here that he fell into his deep slumber as his wet clothes and wet backpack dried on him.

After consuming some food and water he had left in his backpack, he began to consider his options after looking around the dimly lit warehouse along with his acquired living quarters. A furniture production site this building was before the fallout, workers tables and benches everywhere along with assortments of tools scattered about. They must have left in mid-day, realizing now that all had been left behind. Lunch totes left open around the work areas, along with other remnants of wrappers, containers, etc. He sees a calendar still hanging on the wall marked at mid August, suggesting to him that this warehouse had been abandoned quickly and recently, about three weeks ago. The large flip out style window panes were all closed and had been covered with black plastic trash bag material and yet there were two small windows intact but not covered in a corner office at the back of the warehouse. Upon his further inspection he noticed a hanging light that was still on, just the line draped over a stud with a small bare bulb. The rest of the power, so far as he knew, was off. He wonders now if there would be power in his room under the the staircase. With this being early September, there would still be time to render some heat as the nights would be getting colder soon.

The hanging bulb light in the back office was all that seemed to be working, so he removed it from the nail it was hanging from and then brought it to his quarters to see if the outlet box worked. Two of the four outlets worked and he knew now that the circuit running the outlet box was separate from the warehouse, with something else on the same circuit. The storage building outside most likely but yet it had been forgotten about during the devastation when all the power was either shut down or interrupted by other means. With the hanging light fashioned over a stud above, he would inspect his room under the staircase more closely. About six feet wide and eight feet deep with the height of the room diminishing farther away from  the door because of the staircase directly above. There is the bench seat mattress he had slept on with a small storage closet attached at the end. Next to that, a counter with a sink. Turning the faucet on there was a discolored trickle of bad water. Even if it had been clear water, he would not have trusted it enough to drink anyway. Sleep would be better now with some cushions and the blanket like material that he gathered from the abandoned workers areas. He would rest for now and tomorrow begin to see what was left outside this warehouse that he would now call home.

End ~


#fallout #dailywrites #shortstories #kentxsandersxwriter

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