“What do you mean you planned it this way?”
I couldn’t tell if Jim was drunk or joking. Or both. I just knew we could laugh about this later. Right now, we needed to start tearing down this wall while the mortar was still wet.
I walked over to the toolbox. Jim got there first. Slammed it shut. Locked it. Swallowed the tiny key.
What the fuck?
We had nothing else. Our cell phones were lying on a counter in the kitchen, at the top of the basement stairs Jim had just foolishly bricked up the entrance to.
Jim walked over to a corner we’d finished last weekend. He pulled out a loose brick at the bottom. A cockroach ran out, but then quickly retreated to the wall, attempting to find darkness again. Jim reached his hand further through the opening where the brick had been.
“Dude, what are you doing? We need to bust these bricks down now.”
Jim stepped away from the wall. As he did, an army of roaches began trickling out of the wall. There must have been thousands of them. Jim was known for his pranks, but this was going way too far, even for me.
What I did next was going to hurt in the morning, but I had to get out. I threw my body up against the freshly laid bricks. Jim leaned against a far wall, watching, and giggled.
Thankfully, Jim had done a shitty job of mixing his last round of mortar and it was entirely too watery. After a couple of rounds of throwing myself up against the wall, I was able to get a few bricks loose enough to start peeling them out one by one.
I had cleared a hole big enough and reached for the knob on the staircase door. Locked.
“Looking for this?” Jim held up a key, dangling in front of his big white eyes and belting out huge belly laughs.
He dropped the key in the sea of roaches. Dozens of them crunched under my feet as I walked giant steps over to where the key was dropped. I knelt down. I closed my eyes and began feeling around on the floor for the key. Roaches began crawling on my feet and arms.
I threw up.
I found the key. I ran over to the door. The key didn’t fit.
“Oopsies, daisies. Wrong key. It must be this one.” Another key dropped to the ground. I wasn’t doing that again.
I picked up brick and threw it at the wooden door. And another one. And another one. It was one of those old, thin wooden doors probably from around the 70′s. I picked up another brick and walked over there and just started pounding it against the dents I had just made. A hole opened up and I unlocked the door and opened it.
Running out of the house, I noticed I had dozens of roaches still on me. Thankfully, it was dark outside. I took off my pants and shirt and drove home in my panties and bra.
The following Wednesday, I was reading the local news online. A man was found dead in his home. Jim never followed me out of the basement.