The Basement (Part Three), by Kevin Lazarus

Kevin Lazarus on the streets of Carthage Falls

Kevin Lazarus in Carthage Falls

(From: The Dark Side of Carthage Falls, the Anthology – by Kevin Lazarus)

CONTINUED from Monday…Click here for Part Two and here for Part One.

Now I was worried. Especially if the basement door was open! My heart sank as I stared down into the dark stairwell, realizing that something could be there right now, looking up at me. I swallowed hard on that one. Worse, I couldn’t seem to move. I wanted to run back to my room, back to my bed where I could hide under my covers, but I couldn’t leave. After a moment, I decided that if there was something down there, it probably would’ve done something by now. I forced myself to move a little closer. Almost immediately, there was a sudden crash from below. Almost as if it could sense me and was responding to my movements. Every muscle in me jumped and then stiffened. With several measured breaths, I forced myself to move to the top step.

As I looked down to the bottom of the stairwell, what I saw took my breath away. It appeared that the basement door was open! An unnerving sense of panic moved through me, touching every nerve. Now more than ever, I wanted to run back to my bedroom. The protective shield of my blanket was calling to me. But it was then something occurred to me. I remembered that the basement door had a dark finish and in the darkness it might look as if it was open. As if in response to that thought, like the crescendo of some twisted orchestra, the noises grew louder.

For a brief moment I considered going down a few steps–just far enough to see if the door was actually open. And then, what sounded like metal being pushed across cement reminded me just how insane that thought was.

Out of the corner of my eye I noticed the light switch. Why didn’t I think of that sooner? I thought. Just turn on the lights! I had hesitated doing that back in the hallway, because I didn’t want to wake up my parents–just in case I was imagining this whole thing. But here in the kitchen I knew they wouldn’t see it. The words shot through my mind instantly. Why am I standing here in the dark? At that thought, something massive slammed against the basement door. And without any further hesitation I flipped the light switch. The moment the lights came on, the disturbing sounds instantly stopped.

I could now see that the basement door was closed, for which I was grateful. Almost instantly, I felt as if I was back in the real world, and whatever had been making the strange noises was gone. But whether or not that was true was questionable. I took hold of the railing and leaned forward slightly, listening. I had to be sure.

And then at that moment, the worse thing I could imagine happened. My hand slipped from the railing and I began tumbling down the stairs. The edge of each step hit against my arm and my side–hitting my legs and then my head. The pain was excruciating! Each one of them seemed to find some part of me as I rolled over them, finally landing against the bottom of the basement door. My body hitting the door was clear and unmistakable–and loud!

Frantic, I jumped to my feet and literally sprinted up the stairs, half expecting the basement door to open while some horrible thing reached for me. I didn’t even stop to see if I was bleeding, wanting to put as much space between me and that door.

Gasping for breath, I stopped at the top of the stairs and looked back down, thankful to see that the door was still closed. I listened a moment longer for anything that might sound like what I had been hearing, but nothing. For some reason the light had done the trick.

Reasonably sure that I could return to bed, I reached up and took hold of the light switch–and then stopped myself. With another quick glance down at the basement door, I decided that I was going to leave it on. I didn’t care if my stepfather was going to complain and more than likely accuse me of leaving it on. I had found a new strategy for warding off whatever it was that was turning my life into a living hell. From now on–the lights were going to be on more often–period. A little more confident I returned to my room.

On the way back I stopped by their bedroom once more and looked in on them. They were still sound asleep. I just shook my head and returned to bed.

***

The next day, my stepfather said nothing about the stairwell light being on. He left for work as he always did, right after breakfast. He gave my mother a kiss and then shot me a look as he headed down the hall to the back door. “Have a good one–sport,” he said.

My mother placed a bowl on the table for me along with a box of cereal. “You need to hurry and eat something. I have to leave for work. So we need to get going, okay?”

I half nodded as I glanced at the stairwell to the basement. Without giving her a chance to say anything about what I was doing, I darted over to the basement stairs. “I’ll be right back mom, I have to do something!”

“Wait–Kevin!” she said. But I had already gone down the stairs and into the basement door. I could hear her calling for me as I looked around. I was absolutely sure I would see evidence of the mysterious things that had taken place last night. But to my surprise, everything was still where it was suppose to be. Nothing was out of place! The basement was perfectly in order, including the old man’s workbench. I didn’t know what to think. As much as I wanted to doubt myself, I knew that I hadn’t been dreaming–it had actually happened. My mother was now at the top of the stairs insisting that I “come back up–this minute!”

I reached down and pulled up my shirt. Under it was all the evidence I needed, as I slowly I ran my fingers over several very real, very dark bruises. It was clear then to me, what happened last night was no dream–but it was a nightmare!

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Copyright 2012 Kevin Lazarus/DreamStream Productions Inc.

For earlier chapters from The Dark Side of Carthage Falls, the Anthology, check out “Categories: Creepy Books”

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By Kevin Lazarus

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