As I follow Caleb to the cottage I notice that everything is cleaned up. There are no traces of what happened. Even the grill is put away somewhere. Only the broken windows remain as a sign that the explosion-like thing really happened.
Caleb leads me back around the house and into the kitchen. Now that I think of it I don’t remember seeing a staircase anywhere when I was in here earlier. Nor were there any second-storey windows to be seen outside. How exactly am I to get to the attic and is it even habitable? I watch Caleb as he opens the pantry door and am quite confused. I checked the pantry for food when I was last in the kitchen. It’s very small, and only has the far wall lined with empty shelves. And my new companion is climbing them like a ladder? I get what he’s doing after he slides the ceiling panel aside. A secret passage?
“Clever.” I climb after him as soon as he disappears through the hole and enter darkness. The only bit of light is what’s coming from the way I just came, but it’s not nearly enough to see anything.Then Caleb lights a candle and the room becomes visible. The sight is…
“Wow.” I thought it might feel suffocating here due to the lack of windows, but I was wrong. The gable walls are filled with paintings that are so lifelike that I feel I could walk straight into the scenes. A big farmhouse on the nearest wall, and there are six young children playing in front of it. The next scene shows a dark haired young man in military colours. He has a lopsided grin on his face. One hand is resting on the hilt of his sword and the other is raised as if in greeting. I scan the closest illustrations and they all give off a happy vibe. I make a mental note to give them a closer look later.
There is no furniture that I can see, and the only things here beside the paintings are books. Piles and piles of books. And this is the place where I’m going to live? I can hardly believe my luck. My hands are already itching to grab a volume from the nearest pile and dig into it. I turn back to Caleb.
“Will all these remain here with me?” I wave my hand in the general direction of the books with a hopeful expression.
“Yes, they will.” Caleb sighs and rubs his forehead before speaking again. “I realize that you countryfolk have some strange notions about the written word being dangerous, but I assure you that there is nothing to fear. These pieces are simply hidden here to keep them from falling into the wrong hands.”