The Basement

Woah there. Before you adorn your dressing, grab your cocoa and place yourself by a roaring fire in your comfortable chair (your usual spot for reading my blogs, naturally), this is not one of my short stories, despite the implications of the title. If you wanted to read a short story that would blow your mind, well I’m sorry to say you’ll be disappointed today. Unless you click on this link to one of my previous efforts of course.

But no, this blog is about the basement at work. Granted, it could easily be turned into a story. The idea is definitely there. In fact, if you ever read a story written by me about a basement, there is a good chance it will have originated from the hell hole I have to work in.

I should explain. We have a lot of files at work. So many in fact, the filing room cannot contain them all. AS a result they are spread across the Earth (albeit in a five-mile radius) with some in our room, some at a different HR/Filing room and some…some in the basement.

So when people come to request a file, there is a good possibility that we won’t have it in this room. Sometimes we know this by the first initial in the surname, while other times we’ll conduct a brief fruitless search that reluctantly draws us to the conclusion that it might just be in the basement and we’ll have to go and have a look for it. Oh how we hate those times.

You see, the basement is not a happy place. It drains you. It feasts upon your hopes and dreams. It steals your spirit and leaves you disillusioned with the world around you. You go into the basement full of life and vigour, and come out a soulless husk unable to think, care or love.

Or maybe it’s just me who feels that way…no wait, it is indeed everybody. Which is why nobody goes down there. Except for us foolish administrative assistants of course.

The basement could easily be used in a horror movie, it really could. It has everything (or alternatively nothing) going for it. Isolated, damp, dark (eerie), old, locked doors, peeling walls, rusty filing cabinets (the worst part!) and an incredibly suspect lift. Add in the hatch at the end of the corridor (affectionately called the Krueger- or was it Voorhees, I really can’t remember – shaft) which is sometimes open, sometimes closed, the building site you have to walk through to get there and finally that you will often go down there in the morning and every damn light is off and well, you have a ready-made torture chamber. The dungeon castle place in the legendary (terrible) Hostel looked less frightening than this basement. Get the picture?

Unfortunately I had to go down to the basement not once, not twice, not three but four times today. And it was not at all pleasant.

The basement floods when it rains, don’t you know? Only a little bit though, providing it is a light rain that is.

Today, however, it did not rain lightly; a brief shower that was over by dinner. Oh no. This started yesterday and didn’t stop until…oh wait, it still hasn’t stopped. I had to take a five-minute detour this evening because the path and road were completely flooded. My long-winded path round didn’t stop me from getting wet though because it turns out puddles are incredibly hard to see when it’s pitch black (who’d have thought it?). Needless to say both shoes ended up being soaked in my exertions.

Anyway, point is there was a lot of rain. And this resulted in a huge puddle that spread from the basement’s IT storage room (full of mildew; go near the door and you can smell nature!) across the corridor and into our filing room. Add this in with the puddles across the far side and you’re in for a great time.

It was dreary. So very miserable. And all we could hear was the drip drip drip of water. Didn’t know where it was coming from but it didn’t take long for us to bloody notice it. It was endless. Drip…drip…drip.

…is Basement Fever a recognised medical condition? I feel it should be. Surrounded by water, files and inhaling air that has been filtered through layers and layers of dust, one (I’m thinking of a handsome, young filing clerk) could easily lose his mind and go crazy. It is a massacre waiting to happen.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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