The basement was treacherous cavern filled with stalagmites of trade magazines and overdue library books that Mrs. Helms hoarded. Joseph screamed, kicked, and twisted against the stacks. He tugged and the large rings that bound him to the cold, damp wall of the basement. Feeding Mrs. Helms’s black cat, Salem, a saucer of rat poison wasn’t funny anymore.
“How had he not been quick enough to escape the old woman who needed cane?”
As Joseph mused his neighbor’s sudden fleetness, he failed to notice the slightly sour odor creeping into the basement.