The lock turned over with a click and the door creaked open. The entrance way of the room was shrouded in shadow and Steve had trouble seeing what was inside. He could feel his heart beating in his chest like a jackhammer—there was something about this entrance that made him increasingly uneasy. Mr. Jones picked up on this right away.
“How about you go in first this time?” Mr. Jones asked, knowing Steve wouldn’t want to.
“Are you,… sure?” Steve stammered. “I mean, yeah, sure.” He corrected himself in an attempt to show Mr. Jones that he was capable of doing this job.
Steve, demonstrating extreme caution, took one step inside. His mind started racing with all the images and thoughts of what could reside beyond the shadows of the entrance way. What the hell is in this one? he asked himself, thinking about all the crazy things he’d seen in the building already.
Another step forward and he was inside. He looked back at Mr. Jones for affirmation that this was safe, but was immediately dumbfounded by what he saw; Mr. Jones was looking up at him from the ground. “What the hell?” Steve questioned just before his head smacked into the ceiling. “What the fuck is going on!” he barked.
Trying to grab onto anything, he tried his best to not freak out. But then he saw Mr. Jones come floating by him with confidence. “Come on, we got work to do,” Mr. Jones said nonchalantly.
Steve watched as Mr. Jones glided through the air as gracefully as a figure-skater. The old man seemed to propel himself forward with a stroke of his arms, and before Steve knew it, Mr. Jones had entered what looked like a living room in the distance.
“Hey Eric, come meet the new guy,” Mr. Jones said.
Bobbing through the air like a half-inflated balloon and smacking his head and shoulders off the ceiling over and over, Steve began to mimic Mr. Jones’ movements until he was able to get himself away from the ceiling. With a slow and uneven pace, he made his way into the living room. Upside-down and with his head craned backwards towards the ground, Steve saw Mr. Jones speaking with Eric.
It was the sight of Eric that caused Steve to flail with fear and launch himself into the ceiling with a hefty thud. Knocked through a loop and seeing stars, it took a minute to regain his composure. Once the room came back into focus, Steve realized he was now floating in the middle of the room with Mr. Jones and Eric. They didn’t seem to notice Steve’s show of moronic ineptitude for handling the situation.
Unbalanced and trembling with fear, Steve caught himself staring into Eric’s lifeless, black, dinner plate sized eye. It wasn’t a man he was looking at. It was some sort of monstrous squid creature with more tentacles and double the size of any known squid in existence. The creature also sported a hard outer shell covering it’s perfectly pointed head. The shell had rough dents which Steve imagined to be battle scars.
Eric spoke in a strange guttural dialect that contained garbled English words and bizarre throaty sounds. The creature was very animated in the waving of it’s tentacles and even though Steve couldn’t understand what it was saying, Mr. Jones seemed to have no problem.