Compared to the red-brick walls and the newly furnished fixtures that stood upstairs, the basement was a cold disappointment. Elias often paid a visit to the distraught walls of rugged, on the verge of peeling-off plaster, when he yearned for a bit of alone time. His craving for solitude was perhaps somewhat more than a usual sixteen-year olds’. Hedidn’t mind it, or perhaps his sentience was marred by his longing for the usual. He didn’t know. Couldn’t care enough to let his mind be a part of such a dry conversation. He hastily straightened his unruly jet black hair, which since his previous visit to the barber, had invariably curled up in a fringe. He preferred them that way, he thought, as he proceeded to pull out a creaky ebony chair that had previously rested against a mouldy, somewhat wilting wooden bookshelf. The chair made a low groaning noise as the weight of Elias’s knobbly knees rubbed against its broken hinges. A piece of wood, maimed in the sophisticated craft of carpentry, sat there in the name of a chair. It was as though its broken hardwood would never have borne the brunt of a sixteen-year old, that too with a carefully chosen hefty leather bound book.
That would have seemed to be the case until Elias let his back against the chair, leaning his weight onto it as he crossed his knees and crouched forward approvingly into the addendum. ‘Not to be trifled with by men of nervous disposition’, read the admirable calligraphy in black ink. The chair had taken his weight surprisingly well and Elias, squinting at the subsequent pages, had taken the warning to be surprisingly frivolous, much like his reception of the serpant lining the cover.