Book Excerpt from "Concrete Evidence: A Fixer Upper Mystery"
He returned in less than two minutes, carrying a sledgehammer and a powerful- looking ax. He held them out and Sean, who had pulled his work gloves on in the meantime, reached for the ax. Mac, Wade, and I moved quickly down the stairs and out of Sean’s swinging range.
“Everyone safe?” Sean asked.
“Yeah,” Johnny said, stepping out of Sean’s way. “Take your best shot.”
Sean lifted the ax and brought it down, splintering through the center of the door. After three more strikes, the door was hanging off its hinges with wood shards everywhere. He used the haft or handle of the tool to break up and push the remaining splinters and shards of wood out of the way. Then he gripped what was left of the door and ripped it away from the jamb, hinges and all.
“Okay, guess you’re a pretty strong guy,” Mac acknowledged.
Sean grinned and stepped into the dank, dark room.
Johnny was right behind him.
Mac, Wade, and I scrambled up the stairs to join them, but before we could make it to the attic door, Sean said, “You guys should check this out. Looks like someone was living in here.”
“What the heck?” Mac was there in an instant, and Wade and I were right behind him.“Oh, man. That’s funky.” “Ick,” I said. We all stared at the dirty old mattress spread out on the floor by the window. The thing sagged in the middle and there were unspeakable stains scattered across the top. I didn’t want to think about all the bugs and bacteria crawling around inside it.
I stepped farther into the room and looked around. Despite the lack of lighting, I could see that the walls were nicely finished with lath and plaster, supporting my theory that this room had been used as a bedroom or dormitory sometime in the past. After I glanced around the dim space, my gaze returned to Mac. “I don’t see any sheets or clothing or anything else besides the mattress. Do you?”