“What are you doing here you thieves?” Eliot asked the minute he saw the black folks from across the room.
“We are no thieves,” the young boy said.
“Oh really? So how do you explain you being in a house that does not belong to you, snooping around?”
“It’s much the same as what you’re doing here, if I may say. Nothing at all. You’re also snooping around a property that does not belong to you. For all anyone knows, you are the thieves,” the black boy said.
“Stop inciting them, Steve,” the girl whispered to the boy but the others heard her all the same.
“Listen to your girlfriend, Steve. Really mind what you say,” Eliot sneered.
“I’m not afraid to speak the truth, Maria. You call us thieves ’cos we was here when you came. But you got no right to be here either. So we might as well all be thieves,” Steve said.
The fact that he was exchanging words with a Negro annoyed Eliot. That the said Negro was right aggravated Eliot even more. Without thinking, he charged straight at Steve and the girl with him. In a flurry of actions, all the others ran into the house in an attempt to stop Eliot from beating the young man silly.
As they ran in pursuit, they heard a loud slam from behind them and all of a sudden, the whole house was dark except for the light filtering in from the open shutters. As they stood looking at one another confused, the shutters closed one after the other. The only light left was the little light filtering in from beneath the doors and shutters. They all spun around in the direction of the door that had been ajar but was now slammed shut.
“Who did that?” Rachel asked, fear seeping into her voice. She had no idea why she was scared but she was. And she couldn’t shake the feeling.
“You’re saved for now, nigger,” Eliot said as he turned around and walked back towards the door. Placing his hand on the door knob, he tried opening the door but it wouldn’t budge. He tried again but the door persisted.
“Why’s it taking so long to open?” Kate asked, getting afraid herself. “Open the door, Eliot.”
“It’s fucking stuck. I can’t get it to open,” he said, still tugging at the door knob. “Who shut this damn thing?”
“Probably the wind,” Elijah said as he walked up to the door himself. “Let me try,” he said and took over from Eliot. Even after his fourth attempt, the door still wouldn’t budge. “It won’t open.”
“Oh great! Now we’re stuck here,” Nathan said. “The door’s old. Maybe that’s why it’s messing up like that. Let’s try kicking it down. It shouldn’t be so hard to do. The door is too old to take more than a few kicks.” Nathan joined the other two and they started kicking the door. The door looked weak on the outside but despite the numerous blows it suffered, it didn’t as much as splinter.
“Oh what geniuses you lot are,” Steve said as he walked a little closer to them. “You really think your kicks can open this door from the inside? It’s shut the other way. Now the most you can do is hit the door right beside knob. I’m not even sure that would work.”
“Who asked you?” Eliot said, glaring at Steve.
“I’m just saying,” Steve replied but instinctively took a step back. He didn’t want this Eliot guy turning the aggression of not opening the door on him.
“Then stop saying,” Paul snapped.
Even though Eliot hated the fact that his suggestion had come from Steve, his need to get out of this house far outweighed his hatred for the colored boy. He started to hit the door right where Steve had suggested. After numerous failed attempts, he turned to Steve.
“So much for your great idea,” Eliot said, “Dumb nigger,” mumbling under his breath.
“I told you it might not work seeing as you’re kicking from the wrong side of the door,” Steve replied.
“And how in the world is this the wrong side?” Eliot asked, no longer bothering to contain his anger.
“Because the door opens this way. You need to be on the other side to get it to open.”
“Whatever, nigger,” Eliot said and turned back to his people. “We’re fucking stuck!”
“Calm down, Eliot. We’ll find a way,” Elijah said.
“Calm down? You want me to calm the fuck down? We’re here because of you, man. So it figures we’re stuck because of you.”
“Me?” Elijah asked, taken aback.
“Yes you, Elijah. You brought us here. You are the reason we are here. And so we’re locked in here, with these niggers, because of you.”
“If you hadn’t been so consumed by your anger at the coloreds, we’d not have had to rush after you to stop you from killing him. And at least, one of us would have stood guard at the door and prevented this shit from happening. So if we are really going to be pointing accusing fingers, then the fingers should be pointing in your direction!”
“Guys!!!” Paul cried and finally got Elijah and Eliot’s attention. In their rage, they had not heard Paul call out to them.
“What?” they both snapped at him.
“If you hadn’t been so busy with your stupid squabble you’d have heard what we were hearing.”
“What…” Elijah started to say.
“Just shut up and listen,” Paul snapped and Elijah went quiet.
There was no sound coming from anywhere at first. Elijah had almost immediately turned on Paul when he heard it. It began lightly. Too low to notice there was even any sound. Then there it was again. Only to be heard by the patient ear. The pitter-patter sound of a pair of footsteps.
“Oh shit! That doesn’t sound right. That sounds like the footsteps of someone,” Kate said in fear.
“No, that doesn’t sound like someone. It sounds like something,” Steve’s companion said.
And just at that moment, a two foot tall doll peeked its head from behind the wall.