Selling goods (knives? Girl Scout cookies?) door-to-door, a young lady and myself come across our next stop on the circuit and attempt to get ourselves in front of a decision-maker. We’re down a few sales from the day’s quota and need this one bad. (The last stop turned out to be an abandoned McDonald’s occupied by a Jennifer Lopez look-a-like that insisted she had served us before and that we were the reason her particular franchise had gone out of business. And not because her staff left for lunch one day and never came back.) This particular home has a long walkway leading up to it and is very Gothic-looking, very seasonally haunted house, right down to the elaborate mansard roof.
Getting inside is no simple task. The porch is a broad, flat wrap-around that brings the South to mind. It’s deserted save for a couple of empty wicker chairs. There are no people present however, and the door to the house is wide open, an immense foyer visible just beyond the threshold. Desperate for this sale, we take our chances and enter only to find that despite its size, the foyers is little more than a funnel in toward a smaller waiting room. This waiting room (maybe ten feet by fifteen feet) is where we discover that we’ve been trapped. As soon as we step inside the room, the door locks behind us and and we notices the red lines dancing across the floor – – the chandelier like some kind of absurdly disguised barcode scanner. Unsure what to make of it (but disturbed by some macabre smells in the room) we avoid the red beams of light as best we can, two-stepping the length and width. Eventually, she manages to jimmy open a closet door (!?!?) and we duck inside where at least we have a moment to contemplate what to do next.