Behind the door was a long staircase heading downwards, the gloomy passage lit with dim gaslights that hissed and sputtered in the sudden draft. Edmund carefully slipped past the door, and crept down the stairs, the tray clinking in his arms. The going was slow as the steps were tall and thick, forcing Edmund to take each stair carefully, less he descend much quicker than he wanted to.
Finally, he reached the bottom of the stairs and stepped into another hallway. These hallways were slightly smaller than the ones he had been wandering around earlier. They were also darker, full of shadows that quivered in the gaslight. Edmund walked as quietly as he could, straining his ears and searching the air for sounds of running water or clanking iron that might point him towards the kitchen.
He didn’t have to walk far before he found an open archway that led into a big black room, full of iron and copper. A massive pantry with several large tapped barrels sat at the far end of the room, next to dark cabinets of cookware and serving utensils. Pots and pans dangled from the edges of a large circular multi-tiered hanging rack, with the smallest tier covered with knives pointing inwards like a sailing ship’s wheel. A large oven dominated the center of the room, with tentacle-like piping that heated up several stove-plates arranged around it like a bizarre flower.
Edmund stepped carefully into the room, heading for the long-necked spout on the far wall, which hung over a large copper basin. The oven loomed over him, and he almost thought he saw one of the long tendrils move. He tried to ignore the glints of light on the sharp metal blades as he passed the chandelier of knives. Reaching the basin, Edmund set the tray down on the counter and reached as far as he could to twist the faucet handle.
At first nothing happened. Edmund tried turning the handle the other direction, but there still appeared to be nothing happening. He was about to just leave the tray on the counter and leave, when there was a gurgling sound deep in the walls followed by a loud snapping bang, like someone had dropped a rock into a washbasin. A loud bubbling rumbled louder like an approaching storm, and then a torrent of ice-cold water shot from the faucet like a spear, causing a ferocious echoing din as it slammed into the copper basin.
Edmund clapped his hands to his ears and ran, the echoing noise driving his panic back into his brain. He ran out of the room, down the hallway, and back to the stairs as fast as he could, hoping he could get to his room before anyone realized he had done anything.
He scrambled back up the stairs and shoved hard on the thin door, bursting back into the dining room and slamming the door behind him. With only a small pause, Edmund ran to the large double-doors, and flung them open, running out into the Hallway and towards his room.
He had gone no more than two steps out of the dining room when he ran face-first into something white.