I always avoided the basement when I was little. Maybe it was because of the strange, musty smell or maybe it was because I was convinced that there was a giant, slobbering monster with poisonous fangs lurking underneath the stairs, but either way, the basement was the stuff of nightmares.
As an adult living in Chicago, I discovered new reasons to give the basement a wide berth. Instead of monsters, there were old to-do lists, boxes I should have unpacked months ago, forgotten hobbies and, most importantly, mold.
I attempted (as I did when I was little) to simply pretend as though the basement wasn’t there, allowing it to exist in a parallel universe that I had no part in. When I found the need to rifle up old love letters or grab something out of my college keepsakes I did so with one eye closed, hand stretched out in front of me in hopes that I would simply stumble upon whatever it was that I was looking for.
The basement and I existed in this contemptuous relationship for a few years, murmuring slanderous statements about one another with hushed voices to our friends. But, as tensions rose, it was inevitable that one day we would have to confront one another.
Last week I was cooking in my kitchen when I noticed a green, watery-looking spot in the corner of the room. I kept my eye on it for a few days, feeling uneasy every time I glanced at it and wishing that it would disappear as quickly as it had arrived.
Then, one morning after a particularly violent thunderstorm, a swarm of unwanted and unruly mold spores burst forth from the confines of the green wall and began slowly engulfing my prized possessions. Before I knew it, my miniature schnauzer looked as though he was wearing a tuxedo made of pond scum, and my finest linens were reduced to mere rags.
The basement had launched its attack, and it wasn’t playing games.
I lurched for my cell phone in a panic, nearly dropping it in the slowly converging pool of writhing, moldy goop that was desperately reaching for my toes.
A quick Google search for “mold removal,” yielded little results, but one company, Mold Inspection Illinois, seemed to stand out, a beacon of glimmering hope in what seemed to be an endless fog of split pea soup.
I clutched the countertop for dear life as waves of mycotoxins splashed against my waist, fervently dialing 855-464-8810 and sending up a little prayer that my homeowners insurance would cover mold removal.
As the long, spindly tentacles of the moldy reincarnation of the kraken wrapped themselves around my neck, a kind voice answered “Mold Inspection Illinois,” and with my last breath I whispered “Help…me…”[WILL THE HOMEOWNER ESCAPE THE WRATH OF THE MOLDY BEAST? WILL THE MINIATURE SCHNAUZER EVER GET TO PLAY FETCH AGAIN? CHECK BACK NEXT WEEK TO FIND OUT!]