Excerpt (but not from my most recent novel): True story
I used to live in a crappy, leaky loft over a sauna business.
There is a thump beneath me, and my lights go dark. The TV whines to silence and dims. The refrigerator chugs off.
It is silent. No, the fire downstairs is still popping and hissing, metabolizing damp pine into fine dry ash and resinous smoke.
The power to my loft comes from an extension cord running out the door and downstairs, presumably to an outlet in the cobwebby dark behind the chest freezer (just last night I heard the owner’s son, Will, telling someone there were two deer heads in the freezer. I assume it was some sort of joke, but I haven’t dared to look). Maybe some confluence of automated machinery kicked off a breaker: refrigerator, freezer, chimney fan. Hell, the same circuit might serve the next room, where I have heard the tell-tale beep-beep-BEEP of another resident’s microwave oven.
It is also easy for me to imagine someone yanking the plug, or simply switching the breaker off from the panel in the hall downstairs, mistaking it for the sauna circuit or the now-unused circuit for the hot tubs.
But there was that THUMP. There should be no one directly below me, that room has been empty for months, padlocked shut, and there are no windows.