basement - quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing
Light flooded into the basement from the windows that crowned the room. My eyes were drawn upward toward the flowers of spring that were blossoming into the newly warmed air. All about the room were comfy chairs, a book shelf and guitars. It was the sort of place you could go to feel calm, to feel cradled by the earth and yet still under the sun.
The basement was once a wine cellar. The most exclusive vintages of Europe were shelved in wooden racks, trusted to the natural refrigeration of the soil behind the dense stone walls. There are ancient brackets for candles every few feet, but it's been so long since they were used that there isn't even any wax residue on them. It smells musty but in the dim light provided by the single bare bulb that dangles from the ceiling I can't see any water seeping in. At five foot seven I'm hardly a giant but I must keep my head bowed as I walk around it. It's larger than it seems from the doorway, and there are some alcoves built in. It's the perfect place to store the medications with it's moderated temperatures and lack of sunlight. Even in our frequent black-outs we won't loose the stock. So I send a text to my agent to buy it. She'll bargain hard of course, that's her job, but in the end the deed will be purchased.
The basement is the only salvageable thing about the house. Constructed from quarry rock, its walls are thicker than a medieval castle, but the house on top was just wood. It is a warren of small rooms with only one way in or out, somehow another exit will have to be made. Close to the low ceiling, just under the rotting beams that suspend the floor above are windows, long and skinny, mostly covered in soil that lightened the darkness. The rebuild will have to make these walls higher, give an eight-foot clearance and enlarge the windows to a more regular size.
Most people think of basements as dingy places with low ceilings and mould, but my cousin Vinny had his decked out like a movie theatre. It didn't matter that the windows were small and kind of high up, the low natural light just added to the ambience. He had the biggest plasma you ever saw covering almost entirely one wall, just awesome. There were four speakers, each six feet tall, surrounding the five lazy boy recliners that were lined up in-front of the screen. There we sat every Friday night with beers and buckets of popcorn in front of some scary thriller, crapping our pants and grinning like loons.
The basement was barely more than crawl space, you had to hang your head low just to walk in there. But it was perfect for Fred who kept all his contraband down there. The olds never went in it and the heating from the house kept the mold off.
Lenny gazed around the unfinished basement while the realtor checked the messages on her cell phone. He could see the possibilities. He could build down here himself, no permits, no-one would know. He could build a secret room, invisible to casual inspection. He could sound-proof it, make it windowless and impossible to escape from. He had the skills. And he knew just the person to put in there. He'd be ready in six months. "I'll take it," he said.
The basement was dank and smelled of cigarettes. His aunt must of sat here while she smoked herself to death. The walls and ceilings had a yellow-tar sheen on them and the once cream carpet was dark grey and gritty with grime. He opened the back door to the concrete steps that lead up to the overgrown backyard and watched the dust laden air swirl in the breeze.
The basement was more of a bunker, all concrete and no personality. Near the ceiling were long low windows, no wider than the slits in a castle turret but lying on their sides. Without any circulation of air the stagnant aroma made it dungeonesque and the unsoftened echo of Autumn's feet brought on a claustrophobic feeling.
There was a door, one that looked much like any other cupboard, except it lacked the usual grubby marks about the handle. In some households that might be a sign of a house proud owner, but not this one. Mac moved over to the door and dusted for prints, he had a hunch that whatever lay behind it would break the case. After taking his samples he opened it with gloved hand. Beyond was a narrow staircase, a bare bulb hanging from the ceiling to illuminate the bare boards below. Without touching the dark side-rail, Mac descended, his nose wrinkling before he could place what the stench could be.
The basement below as a warren of small rooms, all of them crudely built with drywall and timber. Without any natural light and no back-up he moved back to the kitchen above...