Georgie wrinkled her nose at the stench that wafted up at her from Michael's room, mix of stale coffee and mouse droppings. She gagged in disgust. She yearned to go back upstairs, but Michael hadn't come up for two whole days now, and she was getting worried. She stumbled over a misplaced shoe, stubbing her big toe on the corner of his guitar. An eerie, screeching sound reverberated in her ears. It needed to be tuned. Groping around the wall, her fingers found the light switch. But already she had stumbled over leaky spots in the low ceiling that left her fingers moist and sticky.
Georgie groaned and wiped her hands off on her jeans. The lights flickered on, illuminating the basement. It was a jungle of dirty clothes and uneaten food, homework and textbooks. Georgie began to wade through the mess. Empty cereal boxes littered the floor. Occasional pillows surfaced from the sea of dirt, thrown from the bed in the far corner of the room, where broken lamps lived in abundance. But even in danger of broken glass and vermin, Georgie's mind could only clearly form one thought.
"Where is Michael?"