The cabin was dark, the only sunlight to be seen were the shards sneaking through the gaps between the boards where the storms of the past forty years had warped the wood, or the tiny gaps in the shutters over the only window on the east side of the cabin. At first, all was as still and silent within the old walls as without, then a slight vibration was heard, or would have been if there had been anyone within the cabin. But there was no one in the shaded space protected from the wind here, and not for miles around the cabin either.
Then, a small section of the wooden floor lifted away from the rest, revealing a trap door that led into darkness as a small hand emerged followed by a slender arm that was attached to a narrow shoulder and a gracile body. As the person carefully climbed up from the space below the floor in such a way that no part of their body brushed against the floor of the cabin and left scuff marks in the dust, the last thing they brought up with them was a shuttered lantern that radiated heat.
Opening it a little bit, they scanned the cabin with the narrow beam that emerged. Satisfied that they were alone, the figure closed the lantern and carelessly slung itself into the wooden chair with something very like a sigh of relief, though they made certain that the chair itself didn’t move and disturb the dust on the floor.
Unwinding the cloth that had muffled their face, the figure in the chair slowly revealed herself to be a young woman. Carefully, she folded the cloth that had covered her face, making certain that none of it touched the floor and disturbed the patterns in the dust that had grown visibly thicker since she had last been up here. But she knew too that she wouldn't be here long today either, if Richard had his way about it.
Listening to the woods outside the cabin for an instant, she realized she could hear the lake, and she wondered how high the water was this year; she hadn’t been outside in months; not since just before the last serious storm had descended on the area, and even then, it had only been to gather firewood for the stove below stairs.
Tanya knew she was going to have to go out sometime soon; food was beginning to run short below stairs, but it wasn’t so bad that today was the day for that. Today, she was only going to be upstairs long enough to collect some of the medicines she had left up here when she and Richard had gone below stairs to wait out the storm in relative peace and utter silence.
After all, some days, she didn’t get upstairs at all, and that could be considered a very good thing. After all was said and done, she knew that it was one of the things keeping her and Richard safe from the monster that had killed Lisle all those years ago in Mergoin. But that didn’t stop her from wondering what the weather was like out there today, and what was available in the local market to eat. After all, Tanya knew they were going to need fresh eggs, beans, and bread soon, even though their underground garden did well this season, and Richard had been careful with his hunting in the area.
But she knew that they wouldn't be safe there forever, and they would soon have to retreat further underground, or leave the area entirely