The Basement (Part Two), 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 Friday…Click here for Part One

I knew I wasn’t going to be able to go back to sleep until I had answers. I went to the door and opened it as quietly as possible. Holding my breath, I looked out at a dark hallway. I’d expected to see some kind of light shinning from my mother’s room or some other part of the house, partially lighting up the hall.

I figured that this was a bad sign. But then, maybe he’d decided not to wake her by turning on a light. It was possible, I thought, he could’ve just gone down to the basement. Walking as quietly as possible, I started down the hall. Somewhere mid hallway, the noises from the basement seemed to become louder. I froze, thinking it was my stepfather coming back to bed. But, the curious sounds continued and he never showed up. With that I convinced myself to keep going. And as I got closer to their bedroom door I discovered that it was sitting wide open.

Something else occurred to me, the sounds were growing louder–with each step–as I walked into their bedroom. The bed was disheveled looking, blankets heaped up into mounds. It was hard to see anything in the dark. But as I got closer I could tell that my mother was sound asleep, completely oblivious to the noises. I stood on my toes and looked over the top of her, expecting to see the other side of their bed empty. With a slight gasp, I held my hand over my mouth. I was stunned to see him there–sound asleep.

I stumbled back out their bedroom door and into the hallway. With a growing sense of fear, I now knew that it wasn’t my stepfather who was making the noises–so who, or what, was in the basement?

Quietly I walked back to my bedroom and stared into it. Suddenly a loud crash sent me running to my bed, where I flung the covers over me, hoping they would protect me. I listened carefully, wishing the sounds would stop. But that last one had been so loud, I was sure it would it wake someone. Any second now, I thought, my stepfather would be up looking around, wanting to know what was going on. At least I hoped so. Of course, in truth, it wasn’t that I considered him my protector as much as figured that whatever was in the basement would eat him first. And possibly being satisfied with dining on him would leave me and my mother alone. I gripped my blankets a little tighter, huddling under them, expecting to hear my stepfather any second now moving around. But with each passing moment all I heard were the noises from the basement.

Hesitant, I finally pulled the covers down and looked around. My heart sank at the sight of my bedroom door sitting wide open. Somehow in my panic to get back into my bed I had failed to shut it! The darkness staring at me from the hallway made me feel deeply vulnerable. At that moment, I knew I had to shut the door. The odd noises continued beneath me, coming from different places in the basement. My heart was pounding uncontrollably as I considered just how wrong things were beginning to appear. I stared at my bedroom door wishing, wanting it to be closed. There was only one thing to do–ignore the noises, get out of bed and shut my bedroom door! With that I swallowed hard.

I struggled with whether or not I could do it. How could I? I considered, now stressing over that dark scary space under my bed; how often had I imagined something reaching out from under it, grabbing at my ankles. But my door sitting open was definitely more distressing–I had to close it! With several deep breaths, I forced myself to sit up. And then, gulping down another breath, I threw off the protective shield of my blankets and leaped out of my bed running towards the door.

With the doorknob firmly in my hand, I started pushing it. But before I could get the door closed, another loud crash echoed up from the basement. I stopped where I stood and stared down the hallway back at my parent’s bedroom door; half hoping that they’d heard it this time. Any moment now, I suspected their lights would come on. I waited for several minutes, torn with my dilemma–wanting someone to protect me–and not wanting to deal with them–him. But like before, they never did wake up. Their lights never did go on.

Another sound seeped up from below the floorboards, but this time quietly. It was like a large marble, first bouncing, and then rolling across the cement floor.

To my surprise, rather than slamming my bedroom door and then rushing back to the safety of my bed, I found myself imagining our kitchen, picturing the stairs leading down to the basement. And for some unknown reason, I started walking in that direction.

At the corner of the hallway, once more I stopped and stared at the door to my parent’s room, now wishing that they would wake up. I wrestled with the idea of running into their room and waking them. But I knew that if I did, the noises would probably stop and they wouldn’t believe me. Then my stepfather would probably get mad at me. I didn’t need that.

I continued to the kitchen where I stopped and stood in the dark listening. The streetlight trickling in through the kitchen window covered everything with a dim light. And not unlike my bedroom, there was something unearthly about how everything appeared.

I turned and looked at the stairs leading down to the basement, where I could hear the sounds even better. A horrible scraping sound echoed up from the stairwell. My knees buckled slightly, but that didn’t change the fact that I felt compelled to see where the sounds were coming from. The stairwell sat open and was surrounded by a rot iron railing. At the bottom of the stairs was a door leading into the basement. My stepfather always insisted on keeping it shut. Now, I wondered if this was why–was there something he knew–some secret that he’d been keeping from us.

Surrounded by the darkness and still plagued by the haunting noises, I felt strongly compelled to see if the door was open. But as I got closer I knew that it would be difficult to see anything. What little light there was didn’t appear to reach the stairwell. I hesitated. As I did the sounds suddenly got a lot quieter.  Like whatever was making the noises knew that I was there–knew that I was in the kitchen–listening


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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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