He waited. No response. He tried knocking again, this time a little harder, feeling unsure of himself once more. But it was the only option he had. The cold wouldn’t and couldn’t allow him to continue. His travels would have to wait until the raging weather calmed. He waited with bated breath; listening carefully to any sounds that maybe coming within. There were none. He turned in place and glanced sideways, looking for anything but saw nothing except the surrounding trees that stood creepily still in the cold. He stared at the door again, and then his eyes fell on the knob. He knocked again just to be sure, but it was the same silence that met him. Placing his free left hand on the doorknob, he turned a little and pushed. The door creaked open slowly and the sound, cutting through the dead-like silence, made his heart skip a beat. He hesitated for about ten seconds, half expecting a wild man wielding a hunting rifle to blast through the door and charge at him. No one appeared. He pushed the door again and carefully stepped across the threshold into what was obviously the living room. The first thing he noticed about the room was how oddly square it was. That in itself seemed to shrink its size by half. Directly in front of him was another door which he guessed led to the corridor. It was ajar, swinging loosely in a threatening kind of way. The living room itself had very little furniture. Just two wooden settees on each wall and one long couch that looked like it survived a tsunami on the back wall facing the fireplace on the opposite wall. The mantle caught his eye. It was covered with beautiful carvings of different animals and he could make out a riffle or some type of gun. The fire was weak, glowing its last as it struggled to stay alive. Two dim electricity bulbs that lit the room were on the two opposite walls, their holders some ambiguous piece of artwork again. He took all this in trying to assess what kind of place he’d barged in. A carpenter’s maybe? Or a hunter. He couldn’t be too sure. He shifted uneasily, not sure of how to proceed. This mind was in some kind of a numb stance, even thinking seemed literally blocked. Shit.
He called out.
“Hello,” his voice sounded croaky hoarse and strange, like it belonged to someone else
No one answered. He looked and moved towards the corridor door slowly, with caution for whatever there maybe. At the door, he turned right and found himself at the foot of a flight of stairs. Looking up, he called again.
“Hello, anybody home?”
He felt a sudden shift of air behind him and all his senses flared up like charged wires. He spun around quickly and found himself staring at the nozzle of really long hunting rifle…