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Author's Chapter Notes:
AJ and Brian look for rooms and come across a dungeon.
A flash of lightning and a clap of thunder erupted in the night. AJ looked out the window and saw it had begun to pour.

“Damn, where did this storm come from? I hope the bus driver isn’t lost out there in that. Even if the bus driver finds help or a way to fix our bus, there is no way we’re getting out of here in that,” he said under his breath, pointing at the storm brewing outside.

AJ and Brian walked along a narrow hallway and saw a small foyer to the side. A black coffin stood at the corner next to a bust of a man. Brian was curious to see the bust and walked over to it with his flashlight. Behind the bust was a painted portrait of the man on the bust; he had a top hat and long curly hair, a menacing look was frozen on his pasty complexion and his lips were blood red. The man’s eyes were dark brown and seemed to hypnotize Brian as he stared at the portrait.

AJ noticed Brian awkwardly gawking at the portrait and reached over and nudged him.

“Rok, you alright?”

After a minute, Brian shook out of the trance he was in.

He looked at AJ, who stared back at him in concern.

“Let’s keep moving,” he murmured. AJ looked at the coffin to the bust and to the portrait briefly and wondered what made Brian act weird. He didn’t stay long to find out.

They continued down the hall and found a door. They opened it and stood at the top of a spiral staircase that led to a dark dungeon.

“I wonder what’s down there,” Brian said.

“Do you really want to know, Rok?” said AJ, turning to him.

“Come on, let’s just look at what’s down there,” Brian urged, as he started his way down the spiral stairwell.

“Why? Even if we find rooms down there, do you really want to sleep there? It’s dark and it’s freezing! Who knows what we might see down there,” AJ said, shivering from the sudden chill that ran up his spine. Maybe it was fear or it was the cold air, either way, he was starting to think like Nick. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea and he had a bad feeling about it. He finally started down the stairs after Brian.

The thunder outside began to sound louder, the lightning flashes became frequent, and the rain rapidly drummed against the roof.

They reached the bottom of the stairs and shined their flashlights around the dungeon. A sarcophagus stood up against the wall with jars covered with hieroglyphics surrounded it. Whoever lived in the mansion probably had an interest in ancient Egypt and ancient artifacts.

They walked further into the dungeon and looked around. Brian hit his leg against something made of metal. He cried out in pain and shined his flashlight on an iron maiden lying on the floor. There were other torture devices scattered on the floor and a bed of nails lay on the dirty dungeon floor.

“You alright?” AJ asked in concern.

“Yeah. I wonder what these were used for,” Brian said, clutching his leg and checking if it was bruised or gashed.

“Frankly, I don’t really want to know,” AJ said. “Let’s get out of here. This place gives me the creeps.”

“I agree. And it’s freezing down here.”

Brian and AJ went back upstairs and shut the door behind them.

AJ and Brian made their way passed the ballroom and turned around a corridor where two doors were on either side of them.

“You take that one and I’ll take this one,” Brian delegated. AJ nodded and went through the door to his left as Brian took the one on his right.

Brian pushed his door open and walked into a small bedroom. Yes, finally a bed! I am so tired! he thought relieved.
He looked around at the animal figures around the room; the bed was covered in a fur comforter. Mounted on the walls were an array of various animal heads, and Brian was beginning to wonder if it was too late to switch rooms with AJ.
Brian sighed. He set his bag down on the floor near the foot of the bed and examined the bed with his flashlight. There was a small layer of dust that covered the bed so he did his best to shake it all off before climbing in it.

Meanwhile, AJ entered the room across from Brian’s. He felt his way around and found a lamp which he turned on. The room had an elegant, Victorian look to it. The windows were covered with large red curtains and the bed was covered in a violet, silk bedspread. The bed looked queen-sized or even king-sized.
I have the best room in the house! AJ thought to himself. He set his bag down next to the bed as he sat down. He looked around and saw masks hanging on the wall and a little doll figurine placed on the bedside table. AJ finally got in the sheets and went to sleep.

Unbeknownst to the Boys, the lid of the black coffin in the foyer slightly opened.