My house is old. It’s by far the oldest house on our block. We tried to liven it up, to make it comfy, and and we did a pretty good job. We put colorful rugs on the freezing concrete, lamps in every corner. Every room was nice and modern-except the basement.
When I was a little kid, I would sprint up the stairs coming up from the basement. I don’t know what I was afraid of. Maybe a ghost, or a monster in the dark behind me, waiting for me to turn around so it can catch me and… I don’t know what it would do.
But now, as a seventeen year old boy, I’m walking up the stairs from my basement, and my childish fears, long repressed, are coming back. I tell myself to shut up, but that dark part in the back of my head tells me to run, to get out NOW. More than anything I want to rocket up those stairs as I did as a child, but I force my feet to take even, normal steps. I feel the overwhelming urge to look behind me, but I also want to win the battle of paranoia that’s going on in my brain.
So I slowly walk up the seemingly endless staircase, my palms sweating and my heart racing the entire way. But about ten steps from the top, I feel an ice cold hand close around my ankle.