And immediately, my patience is rewarded. Having gone on a trip, they come back to find something's different about the house; quite what is something we aren't told. Yet. What's interesting is that only Navidson's partner Karen seems to have a vaguely negative reaction to this; as readers we're expecting something horrific to happen, yet for those without the benefit of dramatic irony, it seems to be pretty innocuous. Sounds like the house will be one of those subtle horrors that stay with you, which is good. This revelation is followed by a huge passage in German. The memories of college German lessons are coming back.... For the most part, what I can translate by myself has something to do with fear and existential senses. Whatever that means. However, Johnny Truant has stepped in with a footnote to provide us with a better translation than I could ever do. And yet it still doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Or as Johnny puts it:
- "Which only goes to prove the existence of crack back in the early twentieth century."
- "scent of something bitter & foul, something inhuman, reeking with so much rot & years, telling me in the language of nausea that I'm not alone."
At last it is revealed what the difference is; a new door that opens up into a space the size of a walk-in cupboard, with grey-black walls. Okay, kinda weird but at the moment not too creepy. After Johnny's last footnote, I'd be surprised if it were. And so we get several logical questions brought up: 1) has it always been there but we just didn't notice? (They get photos that show it wasn't there before). 2) Could someone have come in while they were away and built it? (Unlikely). 3) Could someone have come in and uncovered it while they were away? In any case, they check the cameras, but find that no-one could've come in because none of the motion sensors were triggered. Very weird.
The parents are understandably disturbed, but can't do anything until the next morning. They end up looking at the architectural blueprints, which don't show the new closet, but do show a crawl-space which has been thus far unmentioned. Odd. Anyway, they decide to call the police, which I suppose is fair enough, despite the fact that this would have to be the weirdest crime ever. After they run out of options, Navidson decides to compare the house measurements with the house plan and find that they don't match. While the outside is 32' 9 3/4", the inside is 32' 10". It's only quarter of an inch, but it's weird enough to take note of.
This starts to really niggle at them, understandably. Will is up and down ladders constantly measuring, Karen is trying to ignore it all and the kids get scared of the adults' moods and hide. Interesting to see just how quickly it all falls apart around them and how badly they seem to be coping. We get a little diversion from Johnny, arguing that he could have edited out a section of Zampano's writing just now, but didn't in order to preserve what's left of him. I don't know if this is just me but there's a part of me that always feels a bit odd when reading or listening to something where the creator has already died, like it's a somehow unsavoury exercise like grave-robbing; it's a dumb feeling, but this footnote kind of reminded me of that. Anyway, in the main narrative, we have Navidson briefly mention that he's called his twin brother over, who appears to be an architect. There seems to be some tension between the two, which strikes me as a bit odd considering that they seem to have been fairly close when describing their horrific shared childhood; an argument maybe?
So we now deal with the arrival of Tom, who Karen says resents Will's success. What do you suppose the likelihood is that this will boil over some time later in the narrative? Tom strikes me as a guy that is a necessary figure at parties and social gatherings as a whole: he's the kind of guy who makes people laugh and connect with each other. Quite how much laughter they'll end up needing is a bit beyond me.
Tom and Will's first interaction is devoid of anything you could call affection. They seem to have very different personalities for twins, which is a bit odd, but Zampano seems to believe they have the same kind of hidden depths. Anyway, brotherly love or the lack of it is put aside when the discrepancy increases from 1/4" to 5/16". So more help needs to be found. Personally, at this point I'd be moving my family out of there, but of course there must be a logical solution for them to find.
While the twins are out finding help, Karen gets together with a friend, providing us with a lull in the narrative. That is up until the snippet:
- "before the bloodshed"
- "Of course you're all my children."
Brotherly love ensues. Not really much to comment about. It's character development, but seems a bit out of place.
While the adults seem to be angsting pretty badly over this inconsistency, the kids have just accepted it. It's rather amusing really, I can just imagine them sitting around watching the adults fussing and wondering what all the fuss is about. But the way they play in the new room is just a little unsettling at the same time somehow. The adults meanwhile are measuring with this new equipment. At first all seems well, the discrepancy removed, problem (mostly) gone. However, when they go to repeat the test, something goes horribly wrong and...the chapter ends. So I'm sat here thinking "What?! What's happening?!" My guess is that it'll either be that the discrepancy will have increased, a new room/door will have appeared or something will have happened to the kids.
Well, that was a longer than expected chapter. It certainly paid off for the frustration set up in the previous 3 chapters, but has also presented more questions in its wake. Frustrating is an understatement. But then for horror, frustration is just part of anticipation I suppose. In any case, I doubt it will be long before I get through another chapter. Until then guys,