The porch was formed from fragments of wood. Weathered, bleached, they might have been driftwood; Michael knew little of such things. All were uniquely carved, angels and gargoyles and castles and palm trees and polar bears, each fixed by an enormous iron screw.
He pulled the cord repeatedly, but Michael could hear no bell. He put his ear to the letterbox. There was shuffling, a dusty coughing; the door swung open.
A minute later, the wooden creatures eased themselves from their bolts and with deliberation dragged themselves around the frame, scraping, creaking, visiting. Michael, who was deep inside, saw nothing.