Graham inserted the key. Behind him Julie nibbled her upper lip and looked at the peeling paint on the once dark-blue door. He seemed to her to be taking a long time and it was cold standing out here on the dark doorstep. There was very little light from the street lamp on the opposite side of the road. At last he said, “That’s got it,” and pushed the door open before reaching for the light-switch. The hall stayed dull as if the lamp was operating on low power. “After you,” he reached behind her and stood to one side as she entered, “the first door on the right,”. She took a step forward and turning the handle indicated, pushed the door open. He reached past her and flicked another switch, this time the light was brighter. “Welcome in,” he smiled, “what do you think of it?”
Julie looked around, her first impression was she had entered a Victorian boudoir with two large armchairs, a dresser with a large mirror and old-fashioned china ornaments. A tall dark wood bookcase filled one wall. The top two shelves were crammed with very old looking books in leather binding. She realised that it was probably these which gave the room it’s distinctive, rather unpleasant smell. If she was going to visit him again she would have to do something about that. A strange thought occurred to her that it smelt like something long dead.
Graham looked at her nervously, he could sense something wrong. He hoped that she would not be another of his guests who got frightened and asked to leave before his fun began.