“Come on, get a move on,” she calls, already to the bottom.
He picks up his pace, coming to the landing where the walls are nothing more than flaking cinder blocks, the only lighting flickering torches that make the shadows sway in a ghostly dance. He tries to keep his focus on the sound of his own footsteps as they clack on the stone floor, because off in the distance he can hear the rumble of thunder; while right here, in this very chamber, he hears the echoes of bygone screams forever trapped in the walls.
As with the floor above, cobwebs fill in the crevices and cracks, they dangle from the archways and ceiling, hide in the swirling shadows. He can’t help but bat the air in front of him as he inches forward, worried that any moment he may walk face first into a giant tarantula.
Or a dead body.
They round a corner – she’s still twenty paces ahead - when he comes upon a thick wooden door that sits slightly ajar. Peeking in he can see a table, chains and pulleys strewn atop, a lumberjack-sized axe stuck in one of the tree-trunk legs. Chain-link bindings hang from the wall next to an open box with a variety of knives and nooses and even a long, thin, sharp stake, something like what his dad might use for a shish kabob.
“There are s-s-stains on this t-t-table,” he stutters out.
“Well, what’dya expect?” she says with a roll of the eyes and a dismissing shake of the head, “it’s a torture chamber.”
From somewhere behind, a tormented moan fills the air, followed by several shrieks of terror.
“AHHHHH! That’s it for me,” he shouts. Ignoring the webs and chains and haunting shadows, he dashes past her and down the hall. Racing by three or four more open doors - none of which he has the slightest inclination to turn his head for a look - he comes to a slow bend in the corridor that finally leads to the exit.
He bursts outside, stopping at the closest tree to catch his breath, gather his wits. Maybe even quit shaking. He’s only there a moment when she pops up behind him.
“That was fun. Let’s do the roller coaster now...”