I did not bother to turn on the hall light as I made my way by the setting sun to my bathroom. Supper was quiet and slightly awkward sitting between Lucas and Vincent, with Walter making eyes at me from across the table.
My foot slipped down one of the steps and my body fell to the side, slamming into the wall. Instead of stopping there, I found myself on my back, looking up in darkness.
It was not this dark in the hallway.
I sat up. The very tip of my head brushed against something solid. I reached up and felt a wall. I looked to both of my sides and saw a wall on each.
What was this? I crawled into my hallway. I turned to see the hidden compartment that I fell into. Where did it go?
I could hear music drifting through the tunnel.
Quickly, I went to the bathroom, washed my hands, and grabbed a flashlight from under the sink before returning to explore my new find.
The man-made cave did not look like all of the secret findings in the movies; it was clean—relatively—with a single, thin layer of dust and no spider webs. Thankfully. I hated spiders. The tunnel angled downward with bump-like protrusions every foot or so, possibly to keep from sliding down when coming back.
I checked my watch: 5:25 P.M. Good time to figure out where my new discovery ended. I entered the underpass.
A few feet after the entrance, the passageway opened up higher, allowing me to stand. The music was getting louder.
I checked my watch again. Not even a minute had passed.
I could feel a draft. I picked up my pace and soon I came to a knee-level vent—where the music was coming from.
It was classical piano music by some old dead guy; I wouldn’t be able to tell anyone more than that.
I peered through the vent to see a tall figure facing the opposite wall.
I noticed a small rope attached to the inside of the vent and hinges on the opposite side. The vent opened into the room. I pushed open the vent and crawled into the room.
The room was large with mostly white walls and crème carpet, dark oak bed, bedside tables, and dresser. The room belonged to one of the twins, considering the man who stood across the room was blonde and fitting the stature. Next to the man was a pallet of paints and assorted paintbrushes.
“Uhm…” I breathed.
The man turned around, his green eyes landing on me. Vincent’s eyebrows were arched in slight shock.
“Miss Clark,” he greeted, no question in his voice. There was a paintbrush in his hand. “I did not hear you come in.”
“I… uh… I found a tunnel,” I explained, pointing to the vent behind me. “It leads from my hallway to your room.” I laughed nervously.
Vincent nodded, his eyes never meeting mine. He looked at the door then at the brush in his hand, then at the door again. With his head facing the door, Vincent held the paintbrush to me. His side-long glance was inviting, awkward, but inviting.
I smiled to myself, stepping forward with an outstretched hand to take the brush.