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Old Mar 30th, 2013, 10:20 AM
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Chapter 1. The Basement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trout
Tuesday morning falls out of bed and hits the floorboards of Earth with a cold whack. Sky like steel wool. Wind like steel (just steel. Cold steel. Nothing woolly about it) The roads are clear, though, and that means your last hope of avoiding spring cleaning with Joe in the sweltering basement underneath the Pittston House is gone.

0902. Tyler arrives. Cold. He waits.
0912. Victor arrives. Far more punctual than is necessary.

0922. A large truck carrying a metal dumpster pulls over to the curb and starts unloading.

0930. Jac arrives.
The dumpster hits the ground harder than Tuesday morning, but barely. The driver lights up a cigarette and loiters outside his truck, oblivious to the temperature with his three filthy sweatshirts, and paunch.

0932. Robert arrives.

Jac's cell rings. It's Jimmy, on his way. She can almost imagine the noise of his decrepit Mercury somewhere off in the distance.
At last, as Jay-cubed arrives in his ancient, gray, gas guzzler, one of the second story apartment doors opens and Joe steps onto the street. His ex wife lives up there. She rents an apartment from him.This scenario constantly causes drama the likes of which Pittston makes legends from. If you think that Joe has got a loud voice, then you should hear Matty when she's angry at him. Windows and coffee cups alike are known to shake from their frames and vibrate across linoleum table tops.

Joe sticks his hands into the pockets of his white--grayish in most places-- sweatshirt and motorboats a breath through his lips. The fat diner manager version of a sigh.

"Mornin' everyone. Shitty day for spring cleaning, isn't it. Not very spring-like." There's something funny about the way he says this. Nothing you want to laugh at, but something that's not... exactly... Joe-like. He unlocks the diner, and leads everyone in for coffee, letting the air of suspense tinkle to the frozen concrete. It was a fragile moment, anyways...

Mug of sugar with a dash of added coffee in his hand, Joe comes back into himself a bit more as he alternates between waxing philosophical about love and life and women, and motorboating his lips and staring at different stains on the grimy walls. Everyone else puts together cleaning supplies for the basement. Buckets, mops, stiff-bristle brooms, boxes of trash bags, dust pans, anything you(or Joe) can think of, especially if he's not actually carrying it down the stairs himself.

With Joe still spouting sexist nonsense, and advice, to nobody in particular, loudly, the party makes there way out of the diner, through the back, and into the basement. It takes several trips to carry all the cleaning implements, the trash receptacles, and the pot of coffee, down the hellish confinements of the staircase. The staircase was originally put there in the '80s by a hack of a carpenter (a cousin john situation, no doubt,) and has been repaired and added to at least a hundred times every year since then. The result is a flight of stairs so narrow and unsure of itself that it hides all the mirrors in its house for fear of seeing its own reflection and breaking from the shock.

Ahh. The basement. Hereafter referred to as the Basement out of sheer respect.

As I said in the "Looking-for" post, the Basement is epic. Two restaurants, and the second-hand shop from the same building all use it for storage, The ceiling is so low that you have to duck to avoid the plumbing when walking around. The Victor was complaining that people seemed to hang around for an unbelievable mount of time despite the void of alcohol. This incredulity is credible during the daytime hours of operating. During nighttime hours, however, all kinds of scummy Pittston creaturs come from the surrounding countryside to socialize moronically over a pint of pisswater.kegs and soda for the bar at Joe’s are all stored down there. There are three functional walk-in freezers, a defunct one from the 70s, and ages worth of retired equipment from the dark-ages. Nobody you know has any idea exactly how big it is. There are three light-bulbs for the whole area, and the walls are lost in greasy murk. Nobody you know, including you-- even if you're not exactly on speaking terms-- has ever found all four walls.

Joe plub-plub-plubbrbrbs what must be his millionth sigh of the morning, and stares wistfully into the subdinerian gloom. He strikes a pitiable picturesque figure on the end of the stairs with a crooked elbow and a coffee cup in his hand, and a forlorn look of... something-- that something again-- on his pug face. One would almost feel sorry for him.

The basement is almost 80 degrees. Nothing new, there. Joe takes a pack of newports out of his pocket, taps one out, and sticks it in his mouth. He gives instructions.

“Alright. All this shnit, here, is trash," which means put it in the dumpster out on the street, "Put these things over here, these over there, and then move all this crap to the back. We can’t throw it out yet, but I can’t pucking stand looking at it every time I come down here. When you’re done with that, then start cleaning up. It shouldn't take that long, and I’ll come over and check on things every now and then. Got some paperwork to do. Seeyah.”

He turns and grunts and creaks his way up the tiny staircase, which also grunts and creaks.

Yeah right. Paperwork.

Take liberties with what exists down here. I'm not going to bore you with the full inventory, while creating a static and inflexible environment for improvisation at the same time. For example: there's probably a flashlight or two in the pile of stuff for cleaning with.
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Last edited by Trout of Doubt; Mar 30th, 2013 at 10:38 AM.
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Old Mar 30th, 2013, 03:05 PM
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ICAs Joe's footsteps died away, Robert took a step forward and immediately slammed his head into low-hanging pipe, shattering the sullen silence.

Well, sort of silence. It was even arguably sullen, for all that no one actually wanted to be here, in a small town like Pittston this basement was the thing of legends. Rumor had it that it had eaten any number of household pets, cherished family heirlooms, and somewhat less cherished children. At the moment, the background hum of the lights and walk-in freezers had an angry intensity to it, a surprisingly furious buzzing that hinted at insectoid ancestry somewhere in that crumpled glass and tungsten line of descent.

"Owch," the Asian muttered, rubbing his forehead in consternation. He eyed the mad tangle of plumbing with considerably more respect, hunching forward exaggeratedly as he moved forward into the basement. "Careful guys," he warned, tentative toeing what looked to be half a roller skate away from his foot. It squeaked uselessly down into the gloom, a splash of flame-patterned stickers and blackened foam winking out of existence. "It's pretty cramped."


OOCSorry! I only had around 20 minutes to write a post, somehow didn't notice it was in present tense - I'll change it later?

Last edited by DustyParadox; Mar 30th, 2013 at 03:06 PM.
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Old Mar 30th, 2013, 03:06 PM
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"Sure, sure. See you later man." Jac takes a long look at the mountains of junk, sizing it all up and wondering how the hell to go about this.

Joe, you're an angel in heavy disguise, but this is pushing it. I need a drink. Another one, anyway.

She brightens up as Robert hits his head. "Niiiice. I'll look out... Ok guys, I guess I'll start on the big heap of boxes. Assumin' they're empty that'll take-" She opens one of the more accessible ones, flipping the damp cardboard flaps aside and peering in. "Nope, jinxed it. This one's a broken lamp and a hideous rabbit statue. Guess I'll get sortin' 'em into junk, garbage and crud. Joe told me once there's a dead freezer behind these. How much d'you want to bet it's still got ice cream in it?"

She starts chucking things out of their individual boxes and into the biggest she can find, ready to be fed to the dumpster. "Anybody know what's bugging the boss? I mean, obviously Matty, but he seems more... you know, down than normal.
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Old Mar 30th, 2013, 03:26 PM
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Present, simple past, future perfect. As long as we know what he does/did/will have done.

The pipe that Robert smacked his head against wobbles precipitously. A bit of dust drifts down. Hopefully it's not one of the important ones.
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Old Mar 30th, 2013, 04:03 PM
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Jac looks up at the floating dust. "Eh. It'll be fine." She returns to shovelling detritus with vigour.
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Old Mar 30th, 2013, 06:23 PM
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Jimmy

Jimmy stares up the stairs after Joe as he takes off, long after Joe has disappeared. "Classic Joe, all the way," he mutters as he scoops up a flashlight from the pile of cleaning crap.

He rolls his eyes at Robert as he slams his head into the pipe, snorting in amusement. "I think I'm OK without having to duck, Bobby boy."

Jimmy sighs with disgust as he grabs a bucket and shovel then saunters over to the pile of filth that Joe had designates as trash. "Well, this will be a fun day. Hey Vicky, you gonna make us some whore-dooors in a couple of hours? Heh!"

Jimmy scoops a shovel full of filthy trash and slowly pours it into the bucket, carefully watching for anything interesting that might be embedded. When the bucket is full, he makes his way toward the stairs and sees Tyler still standing there with a stupefied look on his face. "Hey Tyler, great friend you have in Fred, eh? Bet you didn't know he told Joe you were 'taking his place' for today, huh? At least you have a job for the day. New record, I know!"

Jimmy chuckles evilly as he shlups the bucket of trash up to the street to the dumpster.
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Old Mar 31st, 2013, 06:32 AM
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Jac rolls her eyes at Jimmy. Trouble, that one. Still, that's dickish even for Fred. I'll have to find out if that's true.

As she empties and flattens boxes, a surprisingly large space is revealed on the other side. Without warning Jac leaps onto the pile and clambers over it, sending unidentified objects clattering to the floor. "Ooh! Found the lost freezer!"

And with that, she slides down the other side of the box mountain and vanishes into shadow.
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Old Mar 31st, 2013, 08:51 AM
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The old walk-in could probably function as a bomb shelter, and by the current state of its shell, it might have at some point within the last 50 years. A monstrosity with a door handle the size of Jac's leg. The ground around it is littered with cardboard boxes, dust, and restaurant product wrappers. Apparently this part of the basement is not used for storage.

Around Jac, the heat and the hum create the true Basement atmosphere.
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Old Mar 31st, 2013, 11:41 AM
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Jac kicks stuff across the floor until the door is clear to open. Apparently she doesn't care where it ends up. She puts her back into it and does her best to shift the old handle, straining against the weight and age of the old machine and cursing through gritted teeth. "Hrrung! Open, you bastard! Antique hamburger, here I come!"
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Old Mar 31st, 2013, 12:12 PM
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Jac finds the right way to jiggle the handle, and the door opens with nothing but an ominous whooosh. There is no sound at all from the inside. No sound at all. The smell is powerful, warm. Hint of bananas, and that faint industrial basementy smell of corners caked with greasy cobwebs. It is dark as a tomb. (A really dark tomb, like at night or something.)
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Old Mar 31st, 2013, 01:10 PM
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"Haha. How far back does this thing go?" Jac returns from the doorway, barging boxes out of her way. "Somebody get a torch. I wanna see what's living in there."
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Old Mar 31st, 2013, 01:54 PM
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"Torch?? You've been listening to Vicky too long... I'm coming with a FLASHLIGHT though."

Jimmy works his way over the pile of boxes and somersaults down the far side,ending up upside down at the bottom of the pile.

"SONOVA!!!" Jimmy mutters a long line of cursing as he gets up and hands Jack the flashlight while rubbing his head.
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Old Mar 31st, 2013, 05:28 PM
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"Hey, I lived something like seven years in Britain before I came over here. If I say it's a torch it's a torch. Jac watches her co-worker bump and slide of the debris, raising an amused eyebrow as he falls. "Niiiice. You got some crap on your head." She bats the offended object off him, gives him a hand to his feet and takes the flashlight.

*click* The depths of the freezer are illuminated, for better or worse.

...Ok, who am I kidding? For worse.
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Old Mar 31st, 2013, 06:20 PM
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The ... and forever after referred to as such flashtorch beam falls across three crowded boxes filled with... birthday supplies. Streamers. Paper plates/cups. Deflated balloons in bright colors. Conical cardboard birthday hats, and one blue-chrome plastic tiara, with pink cursive "Birthday Bitch," across the front.

Surprisingly: very little dust. The boxes give off a definite 60's vibe, however. It's amazing what mere fonts can do for an era.

The shelves have large plastic containers of things like mayonaise, mustard, maraschino cherries(they look no older than the day they arrived, of course.) The strange patina of the graphics and fonts is transportive, hypnotizing. Jac and Jimmy find themselves experiencing a little bit of temporal dizziness.

"Birthday Bitch," it glitters.

I'm going to keep moving, Narsis. I know it's probably Easter for you, but there are no hard feelings anyways. (I hope you're having a good time )
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Old Mar 31st, 2013, 06:28 PM
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"Huh," a voice noted from behind Jac's shoulder, peering into the garish glitz of bygone decades. Robert had been on the other side of the room a moment ago, making surprisingly efficient headway into the discovering the mythic fourth wall, but he was here now, the glare of reflected torchlight having drawn him like a moth to the flame. "Ever see The Cabin In The Woods? The one with Chris Hemsworth?"

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