"Please go ahead."
Mr. Kenan asked me to enter the stairway that would lead us into the unknown. I was curious and eager to escape the building, but the mere sight of the place was scary enough to push me away.
"Do you know where these stairs will lead us to?" I asked him.
"I only went a few meters down." he said. "But I think that this place was probably a bomb shelter or something similar. Despite the overall bad design of the prison building, they could at least think of building a shelter."
"You went ONLY a few meters down!? How deep does this thing go?" I said.
"I have no idea. If you want me to go in first, I can; but I would personally prefer seeing you in front of me as I walk." he replied.
"You don't want to solve mysteries anymore, eh?" Idil said to me.
"Oh, of course I do." I said. "In fact, I'm going in first."
I got past the door and stepped inside the dark stairway. I went a few steps down, and Idil followed me. Finally, Mr. Kenan got inside and closed the door behind us.
"Hold on, are we sure that we can open that door from inside as well?" Idil asked.
"Calm down, I told you that I came here once before, I know we can open the door. Otherwise I would still be trapped in here." Mr. Kenan said.
Inside of the stairwell was disturbingly humid.
"It smells like rotten potatoes in here." I said.
"Just wait a bit until olfactory fatigue kicks in." Mr. Kenan replied. "It won't last long, you will get used to it."
"I hope so." I replied.
"I can't really see anything in here. Are you still in front of me?" asked Idil and tried to touch me to confirm my position, waggling her arms around. She could finally touch my shoulders. "Oh, there you are." She kept holding my shoulders in order to not lose me.
Just then, I remembered that I had a cellphone in my pocket. I had taken it from the body of one of the dead teachers long time before. I got it out of my pocket and started pushing random buttons to activate it's screen.
"Damn, it is out of battery." I said.
"What are you doing?" Idil asked.
"I had a cellphone with me, I thought I could use it as a light source, but it is out of battery." I said.
"Do you have a phone, Mr. Kenan?" Idil asked.
"I do, but mine is almost out of battery, so I'm saving it for really important moments. We can walk without a light source as long as you check your steps." Mr. Kenan replied.
I sighed and slowly kept walking downstairs.
"What if someone else discovers the door and tries to chase us?" I asked. The door we closed behind us wasn't locked, after all.
"I don't think that anyone will discover it soon, but in case it happens, we have to be quick." he said. "Keep walking."
While I was walking down, I hit my head on something and stopped.
"Back off, I hit something." I said.
Idil went a few steps back.
"What is it?" asked Mr. Kenan. "Can we walk by it?"
"I have no idea." I said.
"Well, here comes an important moment." Mr. Kenan said. Suddenly, a bright white light illuminated the long stairway ahead. Mr. Kenan had turned his cellphone on.
The stairway was very narrow, and the ceiling was very low. I looked ahead and saw an old style lightbulb swinging at the end of a set of cables, hanging from the celing. I had probably hit that bulb as I was walking down. The set of cables were going down deeper into the stairway by the corner where the right wall and the ceiling met.
"At least you didn't break it." Idil said.
"How could I know that there was a lightbulb in front of me? It was pitch black." I said.
"Can anyone see a switch?" said Mr. Kenan. "Inspect the electricity lines, maybe we can get the lighting system to work."
"There it is!" said Idil and pushed a small toggle switch on the wall.
The lightbulb just ahead of us faintly lit up for a few seconds, but the wire inside the bulb burned out. Luckily for us, the hallway was no longer completely dark, because some other bulbs connected to the same line deeper down in the stairway were working. Mr. Kenan turned his cellphone off. The stairway was now faintly illuminated by yellow-orange tinted lights ahead of us. I still couldn't see the end of the long stairway, but I could progress more confidently now.
"Great, let's move." Mr. Kenan said. I started walking down the stairway again, Idil and Mr. Kenan followed me.
"I now understand why they've covered this door up and hid it." I said. "No one would like students to get too curious and try to explore this place."
"How long are we going to walk?" Idil asked.
No one replied, and I just kept walking. We got past a few functional lightbulbs on our way down.
"I think we are there." I said. I thought I could see the end of the stairway ahead.
"What do you see?" Mr. Kenan asked.
I squinted my eyes and looked ahead. At the end of the stairway, there was a door similar to the one we saw hidden into the wall in the cafeteria.
"A door. It is closed, I can't see anything further." I said. We walked down near the door.
"I hope it is not locked; otherwise we would've wasted all the time, effort and willpower coming all the way here." Idil said.
I inspected the metal door, and found a piece of paper taped on it.
"Someone left a note here." I said.
"What does it say?" Idil asked.
I read the note aloud:
"QUARANTINE AREA, ENTERANCE WITHOUT PERMISSION WILL BE PUNISHED."
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