Mystery House Playthrough Part 2: The Cadaver and Its Many Uses in Interior Design

Locked in!  I tried opening the front door with the key I had found under the floorboards of the dining room, but it didn't fit.  If only my police training had covered the basic physical skills required to scale a fence...

The only thing left to do was keep exploring the house.  Even if I didn't find a key to the front door, I might find some other way out so that I could leave and call for reinforcements.  Having already explored the ground floor, it was time to make my way upstairs.

I sauntered up the steps, still a bit hung over, and entered the first room on the right. It was a bedroom, clearly unoccupied for some time, with a dresser against the wall and an undressed bed in the corner.  I was barely a minute into searching the room when a dagger whizzed past my shoulder and embedded itself in the mattress!

I didn't mind the company so much, but did wonder where Mr. Dagger had wandered in from.  There was nobody around, so I decided not to look a gift horse in the mouth and extracted Mr. Dagger from the mattress on the off-chance that something sharp might come in handy later.

The room across the hall was less bountiful.

Aside from the corpse, the only other items in the room were a rocking chair, a crib, and a chest of drawers, none of which would help me escape the house.  I did, however, take a moment to appreciate the simultaneous visual representation of death and birth: the full circle of life, from the cradle to the floor.  While most of us won't leave this world with our chest slashed crosswise and the skin around our eyes stitched into X's, sooner or later we will all have to wear our last ballcap.

Further down the hall was what appeared to be a study.  There were cobwebs in the corner, suggesting it hadn't been used in some time, but I noticed something strange.  The picture on the far wall was torn slightly in the corner... perhaps it had been moved recently.

Unfortunately, the picture was bolted to the wall and my attempts to remove them were unsuccessful. I was about to give up and move on, when I noticed a disturbance in the fourth wall.  Someone, or something, was trying to send me a message about the bolts -- that they couldn't be verbed conventionally and an intermediate action was required to complete the task.  So, I tried nudging, turning, twisting, yanking, pulling, and then finally loosening them... with a butter knife.  This succeeded, strangely enough.  Sometimes it's the simple things in life that really make you groan.

Anyway, after taking the picture for future use (I have big pockets), I found a button on the wall where the picture had been.  The button could not be pushed, but it could be pressed, revealing a secret staircase.  At last, the house had begun to bare its secrets and I felt that I was getting closer to a peak in the narrative arc.  Before descending the staircase, I took a quick look in the bathroom.

Yep, another corpse.  Whether the cook normally wore his chef's hat in the bathroom or if he was moved here, I couldn't be sure.  But one thing was definitely clear -- the panties around his neck were not mine (I checked the label).

Returning to the secret stairwell, I was beginning to get nervous.  These people were all killed so quickly and in such a wide variety of ways that I must surely be dealing with a professional killer. Meanwhile I was a hung-over buffoon who couldn't scale a fence or safely use a candle.  Did I really stand a chance against the killer?  Perhaps not, but I still needed a way out.  I carried on down the steps.

By this time I was beginning to wonder if the bodies were a part of the decor.  This one had a nice pair of slacks on and a daisy in his hand, so perhaps he had been in the throes of courtship at the time of his death.  Hmm...

Oh, and there was a giant novelty key on the table.  It was obviously too big to fit the front door, but it said "skeleton key" on the base, so I guess there you have it.  I picked it up and prepared for my departure from the house.

Will our hero make a hasty departure from the sordid domicile or will a change of heart drive him to avenge this series of grisly murders?  How many more items will he be able to stuff in his pants before he can't fit through the front door?  Find out in the last installment of the Mystery House playthrough.