☰ Foundation Problems [Part 1]



The Cormick’s were a nice family. They lived in a large farmhouse out in the country and owned a substantial amount of land. (I went to high school with their oldest daughter Lila, so that’s how I know them.)

John Cormick was Lila’s father and her mother’s name was Ellen. The family mostly kept to themselves and did their own maintenance and work around the house. They had a helper who worked for them, although I can't remember his name. There was hardly anything that John Cormick couldn't fix himself with a bit of time, some elbow grease and the right tools.

So when Ellen called us and said they were having foundation problems with their eighty year old home, I was surprised. I just assumed John Cormick had to come face-to-face with a job he couldn't handle himself.




Ellen spoke to Maria over the phone and wanted us to come out right away and take a look.

Little did any of us know how shocking that ‘look’ would become.

Maria said Ellen sounded stressed out and worried, but we chalked that up to the gossip going around town that the Cormicks were a few months behind on payments and that suits were trying to pressure them into selling their farm. That would stress anyone out.

I didn't give much thought to Ellen's frame of mind until we arrived at the Cormick farm. The issue with the foundation was easy to see at first glance. Sam and I looked at each other for a long time and, finally, we silently agreed to go ahead, get out of the car and speak to the owners, disturbing situation or no.

 The bottom of the Cormick's farmhouse was being pushed up out of the ground and into the air... by something that looked a lot like a huge slab of cement. They already had a ladder leaning against their front steps, which sat about 5 ft up off the ground, along with the rest of their house.

Now, I’ve been in the Cormick's home before, and I know that they have a basement.

The house was sitting atop the basement which was now nearly at ground level. Something else had taken the place of where the basement originally was, pushing the entire farm house up and out of the soil.

The rest of the area around the house was fine, so we could rule out that the ground was shifting or moving around in such a way that would explain why an entire farm house and its basement would be pushed up out of the ground like a damn daisy.

Mr. Cormick came out of the front door and waved us towards the ladder.
“I appreciate you guys coming out, I didn't know who else to call. The situation is so strange.”

Sam shook Mr. Cormick's hand and so did I. Lila’s father looked a lot older than I remembered him being, but then again, it had been a while since I'd graduated from high school. He probably knew I was some distant friend of his daughter’s, but he was so distracted, he didn't mention that we’d meet before.

“When did all this start happening?” Sam asked Mr. Cormick as the farmer lead us into his home.

 John Cormick's wife stood in the entryway rubbing her hands together out of nervousness. Her eyebrows were tightly knitted together and her face looked pinched. John gave his wife a reassuring pat on the shoulder and answered Sam's question. “All this has happened within the span of a week. When it first started, I thought maybe it was the ground shifting, but now I know different.”

Sam and I both donned looks of confusion.
“I'm afraid I don't understand.” said Sam.
“Well, if you two wanna come with me, I'll show you.”

Ellen crossed herself and followed her husband down the hallway. We followed her. Mr. Cormick lead us to his basement door, (which he unlocked before opening), then down the creaking steps and into the darkness. When we reached the cellar, Mr. Cormick pointed out a small trapdoor in the middle of the basement floor.

“In my experience, most basements do not have trap doors.”  I said.
“It looks like the kind of door you'd find on a storm cellar.” Sam added.
“That's right.” said Mr. Cormick. “The only problem is that,  in the twenty-five years I’ve lived in this house, this trapdoor was never here until two days ago.”
This was about the time I was sure this was going to turn into ‘one of those days’ if you know what I mean.

“Where does the trap door lead to?” I asked unable to hide my curiosity.
 Mr. Cormick pulled a large flashlight out of the back pocket of his overalls. “To another basement, identical to the one we're standing in right now. If you can believe that.”

“Have you been down there?” Sam asked the farmer.
“No sir, I have not, all I've done was shine this light down into the hole to see what I was dealing with. When I saw what was down there, I decided to call ya'll.” John looked at Ellen who was looking down the hole with wide eyes. “You guys have a reputation for dealing with things that don't make any damn sense.”

 Sam gave me a shitty look.

I suppose I was losing popularity at work for blabbing about some of our experiences on the job, especially with Sam after he'd decided to come back to work after retiring. Can anyone blame me? Half the shit I’d seen since starting work with “Have Tools, Will Travel” five years ago, has only led me to believe that the world is not what I once thought it was.

The world is nowhere close to what I thought it was. Things are constantly happening that we have no control over or explanation for. The least I can do is warn others about what's going on. The more people know, the more we may be able to protect ourselves against whatever the hell is happening. Because believe this if you don't believe anything else: something is definitely going on, and from what I've seen, it's just getting worse.

“We've seen some strange things, but we are nowhere near specialists if that's what you were expecting Mr. Cormick. Now, if you've got some work that you'd like us to do, let us know; but other than that, this doesn't seem like a job for a handyman.”

Sam said it as gently as he could, but I watched Mr. and Mrs. Cormick's faces fall as disappointment washed over them.

“Maybe we could... just pop down there and take a look Sam.” I mumbled.

Sam gave me another look. This one suggested that I was a bleeding heart.

Maybe I am, but who the hell else are you going to call when you find yourself in a situation like this? The police would laugh you off the phone.

Sam grunted as he thought it over. Innocent curiosity in respect to things like this had long left Sam. He no longer had any interest in investigating the strange and the unexplainable, but I on the other hand, did want an explanation for this; and I was willing to go down into that trap door to find it. (Also, Lila was always good to me and I wasn't about to leave her parents in a potentially dangerous situation just because Sam wasn't interested in helping them.)

Mr. Cormick opened the trapdoor that led down underneath the basement. The old hinges creaked as the door moved and when it hit the cement floor it did so with a loud crack and a plume of dust. He shone the flashlight down the hole and illuminated a room identical to the one that we stood in now, only everything was upside down.

“What the hell?” I whispered.
“That's exactly what I said.” Mr. Cormick​ mumbled.
“I don't think anyone should go down there. It's not natural. Going down there is only asking for trouble.”  Ellen commented from behind me as she fingered a silver cross hanging from her neck. The woman was utterly terrified, and for good reason.

Sam scowled as he peered down the hole. I knew he was against investigating, but the look on his face told me he would not be sending me down into the darkness alone.

Mr. Cormick retrieved yet another ladder from the corner of the basement and lowered it down into the trap door. He gave me the flashlight, and with one last look around, I headed down into the darkness, feet first, into the unknown...

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