room at the top of the stairs

They climbed the crumbling concrete stairs one by one; Macy in front and Amber close behind.  As they ascended, they slowed their pace, uneasy about what they might encounter above.

When they reached the top of the stairs they found themselves at the end of a long hallway lined with a series of heavy wooden closed doors.  Light filtered through the cracks in the doors and the air was fresh and cool from the breezes that flowed through under them.

The floor appeared deserted; in fact it felt devoid of any living energy.  They could not hear or even sense that something or someone was there.  They stood there for a moment, slightly out of breath and not sure if they should move forward.

At the far end of the hall a door stood partially open.  Macy stepped forward and began to walk towards it.  They walked slowly past the doors and approached the opening cautiously.  The door creaked as Macy slowly pushed it open further and they stepped in to a small narrow room lit by a window on the right side.  Several moss-covered floor tiles had been pried up and were leaning against the wall below the window.  A leafy plant grew from an accumulation of soil in one of the cracks in the concrete where one of the tiles had been, illuminated by the light shining in from the wooden framed window.  Above, the crumbling stucco ceiling revealed an old wooden timbered structure.

At the end of the room, the upper part of the wall had been panelled with dark varnished gumwood and below it sat a beautiful old altar also dark and varnished.  A long flat tray sat on the altar and Macy went over to examine its contents.

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