Huge Problem – The HOUSE – 36


( Continuation – Read “Back Underground” first )

Then it stroke me.

I clang to the rail and just stood there in disbelief. How in the world didn’t I think of that?

“What’s wrong?” The young man was still admiring his piece of art imprinted on the chewing gum.

“We are screwed.” I never used that word before, but it just came out of my mouth.

Phillip gazed in my face, still happy about his newest accomplishment. “I don’t understand.”

I couldn’t wrap my head around of what we’ve done without taking any precautions. “I’m sure these guys, whoever they are, have cameras all over the basement and they know we are here. They will report us to the police.”

That was a surprise to my neighbor, as well. I could see him getting nervous, and he bit his lips. Then he made a sign to move forward. But I didn’t want to go upstairs. I wanted to go back.

I passed by him and rushed down the stairs to the poolroom. Maybe I was wrong and the owners didn’t have cameras. But I needed to see and prepare myself for what to expect.

If I wouldn’t have been that stressed out, I could have sworn I heard the door we’ve tried to open, hitting the wall. But because of my erratic state of mind at that moment, I couldn’t guarantee that was what happened. The door was closed.

Phillip was one step behind me.

Then my heart fell into my stomach. There were at least four cameras on the ceiling, one in each corner. How brainless was I to put us in such a mess?

All my life I stayed out of trouble. I taught my son to be a man of good character, to tell the truth, to respect other people’s property and the laws, and here I was becoming a criminal.

Our clothes were still dripping water on the floor and I was cold, so cold.

Phillip placed his hands on his hips and started pacing up and down.

“What now?”

( To be continued )


Wave Breakers – The HOUSE – 34


(Continuation – Read “The HOUSE -33” first )

While resting to gain my strength, my neighbor went on a scout. He swam to the end of the blocks and managed to get out of the water.

These constructions built from the shore to some length into the ocean were open for the public most of the time. But when the waves were too big or during high tides, the lifeguards on duty kept the people away. Otherwise, audacious tourists liked to take a chance to climb and walk all the way to the end.


I pulled myself up on another rock to try to see the shore. I couldn’t recognize the cottages afar. If we came on a straight line from the house to the ocean, the closest way to get to the water was under the street ending with a couple of palm trees. I looked for the palm trees and they were pretty far, at the end of the sidewalk.

From that point further there were the cottages with a semi private shore. I’ve never been there before.

Then I remembered.


There was one time when soon-to-be my ex took me to a beach party a while ago. It was dark when we got there and I couldn’t recognize the house, but it was on this beach, on the outskirts of Newport. When we got there, a few couples had had already too much to drink and looked overjoyed to see us. One man seemed sober though, my ex’s new business partner, as my ex introduced him to me.

“Phillip, ” I called as I saw the young man swimming back. “Did you find anything?”

“I don’t know.” He blew his nose and held on to the rock near me. “Everything looks normal, but one thing.”

I waited.

“Someone took the time to paint the end of the blocks in white.” He paused and waved his hand. “Anyway, maybe this is the norm and they do it to every construction, ” he continued.

“How about when you go surfing?” I asked. “Do you remember any of these blocks in Newport Beach being painted?” My question didn’t bring too much light. “I don’t remember. I don’t do surfing at the end of the wave breakers, but between them.”

Great! After the ordeal I went through trying to stay alive while swimming under the water, we had more questions than answers.

“What now?”

The man let his body in the water and called. “We go back.”

-To be continued –

On the Other Side – The HOUSE – 33

Blue planet

CONTINUATION (Read “Shred of Light” first.)

Phillip saw the despair in my eyes and reached to my face, in a gesture of tenderness. “Sophie, I will not let you drown here. Be sure of that.”

I needed that. “Come,” he commanded and pierced with his body somewhere to the other side. I took a deep breath and said a short prayer. I followed him. Starfish and shells were attached to the blocks all the way. I fought to keep my mind calm and let myself watch the beauty under the waves. It didn’t take long until I started to swim up, to the sunlight. I could see Phillip’s legs moving under the water in front of me. Then they stopped.

I fret. The oxygen in my lungs was gone. Would now be the moment when my brain would blackout and I ‘d faint? There were a few seconds when my whole body moved chaotically to get out of there. I screamed from inside, but nobody could hear me. I struggled to move myself up pushing into the rocks on the side, when two arms reached to me.

“Adam,” I called without a sound.

“Sophie,” I heard like from a mile away, and I closed my eyes.

Shaking, I took my first breath of fresh air.

“Adam, ” I called again.

“It’s Phillip,” I heard and clang to him with both hands.

“Easy, easy,” and he helped me lean my body weight on one of the rocks. “Are you O.K.?”

I nodded my head, busy to take in more air. It was so good to hear his voice again. The imminence of unexpected death was terrifying.

I looked around. We were at the end of one of those rock constrictions built to break the waves. I couldn’t see where we were exactly, but somehow I knew we were still in Newport Beach.


-To be continued –

Shred of Light – The HOUSE -32


-CONTINUATION – (Read “In the Tunnel” first.)

The young man motioned his head. “No. If I don’t find what’s going on here, I’ll try to come back again and maybe that wouldn’t be possible anymore.” His blunt answer rolled my feelings in a state of panic. I wasn’t sure for how long I could keep myself together and not climb on his back or something. I was cold and scared.

Every few seconds a new wave broke into the tunnel, moving the body of water up and down.

A few steps further, and we barely could feel the ground

anymore. I saw Phillip floating, and I did the same. I felt so scared that I could feel my heart curling into a ball. I realized there was no sense on focusing on the situation where I have placed myself. I tried to pull myself together and follow my neighbor. Far ahead, the darkness gave in to a shred of light.

“Are you all right?” he asked me.

I wasn’t all right. I was feeling half dead, but there was no other way to survive. I had to get to the end, whatever that end was.

The wall on my right turned into a rock structure made of huge blocks on top of each other.

“I know where we are,” Phillip said waiting for me again. “Are you able to hold your breath?” I was holding my breath most of the time since I was in the tunnel and taking in gasps of air now and then. Hyperventilation made me feel extremely tired.


“I think we have to go through a blanket of water to get outside

in the open. It looks like the end of the corridor is under the water.”

I saw the surface tilting, if that was even possible. Actually the wall on one side of the tunnel and the blocks on the other side were coming to such an angle that made the water pour inside to the ceiling.

Maybe that was it, I thought.

If the tide I had to swim through was too thick, I was done.


-To be continued –

In the Tunnel – The HOUSE – 31


-Continuation- (Read “The Tunnel” first)

“Where does this tunnel go?” And the man walked in the channel. The ceiling was too low for him to stand and he started swimming.

“What are you doing?” I didn’t like he was leaving me behind.

“Come, we’ll get to the end of this.”

There were only two options: to follow him or go back by myself.

“Is it safe?” My questions didn’t seem to bother him.

The man stopped and waited for me. “Do you really think that we are in danger or something? I mean, to be attacked?”

That was a wild thought, “to be attacked.” I had no idea.

“Maybe it’s not out business to do this. We should call the Police,” I said.

“And say what? That we trespassed in somebody else’s house and wander around ? Come on!”

The darkness and the narrow space made my heart skip a beat. “I hope there is enough air.”

The young man took my hand. “We’ll be fine.”

In a few moments it was pitch dark, but we kept advancing. We walked on ground for a while until it changed in sand. “We are close to the beach. Maybe we are ending up in somebody’s basement.” My joke was out of place.

“I have the feeling that this tunnel is illegal,” my neighbor spoke out loud.

We were in the water for at least 5-6 minutes now. I was sure we were going toward the ocean. Walking on the street from Adam’s place to the shore would take about 3-4 minutes. Dragging ourselves through the water might take a few minutes longer. All of a sudden I felt the ocean breeze coming in. Then I felt the first waves, slowly in the beginning, and increasing its strength, as we kept moving ahead.

“Do you know how to swim?” Phillip asked.

“I think I can survive,” I assured him, but deep inside I was scared to death.


Why was I there? Wasn’t my life complicated enough not to

make it unbearable now getting into things that were not supposed to be my concern?

Unfortunately, there was no way to go back by myself.

“Phillip, we should go back,” I tried in a normal voice, but the squeal in my tone didn’t help.

-To be continued –

The Tunnel – The HOUSE -30

new water channel in Ravne Tunnel Labyrinth, April 30, 2015

FOR A MOMENT I thought the new owner was a swimming enthusiast. But then I saw something strange. At the end of the area where the pool edges shrunk into the tunnel, there was a boat.

I walked to the far end to see if I could get into the tunnel without stepping into the water. Eh, that was impossible. I took a tour around the pool on the narrow path to another door I didn’t see in the beginning. I tried to open it, but it was locked. Weird as it was, the space in front of it was wet, sign that somebody or something was there not long ago.

I knocked. “Is anybody here?”

Then I heard Phillip barging in the room. His face dropped. “What is this?” He saw me staring at him. “This is new to me, you know. Mom never put a pool under the house.”

He moved a few steps to the water. “And what is this? A connecting tunnel?”

“A connecting tunnel to what?” I asked.

Next second, the man left his sandals on the pavement and dove into the water. “I’ll check it out.”

For my amazement, the pool wasn’t deep. The water came up to Phillip’s waist. “Are you coming?” he asked waving his hand. “No, I’ll just wait here,” I said, but immediately changed my mind while speaking. It didn’t matter that I got wet since I lived next-door. I slipped into the pool and followed my neighbor to the tunnel. “We need a light,” he mumbled. “Maybe the tunnel is lighted,” I replied pretty concerned to be left behind. The man reached to the boat and searched under the two benches. He pulled out a bag. “What’s this?” he talked to himself and opened it. There was an empty glass bottle, the ones you could find in a pharmacy in the past. “Let me see,” I asked and took it from his hand. The lid was wet. I opened it and a strong smell of chloroform stung my nose.

“Gosh! You can put to sleep a horse with this smell.” Phillip didn’t bother. He looked at the two paddles on the boat’s floor. “These are pretty new.”

You could see where the engine used to be. “They don’t use an engine,” I said, and that caught Phillip’s attention. “I wonder why…” “Maybe it broke. Or maybe they don’t want to make noise,” I continued.

-to be continued-

The Basement – The HOUSE -29


I heard the helicopter of the Police circling in the air somewhere near by. Nothing new for this area. With the exception of the towel I saw on the floor and the disappearance of it, and of a faded smell of some chemical, everything else looked all right to me. But I wanted to take full advantage of this visit and get answers about the few things I’ve perceived being out of place in the last hours since I’ve moved on the Peninsula.

So, I dared.

“Phillip, maybe we should go in the basement.”

The young man came out from one of the rooms with something that looked like a small knife.

“I didn’t know mom held to this for such a long time. Gosh! The blade is almost gone.”

“Where did you find it?” I moved toward him to see. “Do you want to keep it?”

“This belonged to my grandpa. It was handmade.” My neighbor didn’t answer to any of my questions and went back to check for more stuff.

I could tell he was pretty moved going through a past time when he was a little boy with his mama.

I took on a small hall and then down the stairs. Interesting. From a particular level underground, there was a new addition of stairs. The concrete looked new and there was a barely perceptive line on the wall from where the new steps were added. I kept going down for way more than only to getting to a regular basement. There was no switch for lights and I held to the wall to make sure I don’t trip.

There was a door at the end of the stairs and the moment I opened it, the smell of chemical grew in intensity. I didn’t dare to take another step until I checked the wall to turn some lights on. They were not hard to find and when I turned the switch I was speechless.

There was a pool covering the whole area and continuing in a tunnel at the end of the building.