Woke up this morning to a very foggy, dark new england morning. With a piping hot cup of joe in my hand it gave me pause to think about spooky stuff. Maybe it’s the fact I can see the enormous pile of wood in my driveway and it’s haunting me….
I grew up in a house that was so evil it made that Amityville house look like a McDonalds playroom. Then again with the world today maybe those Playrooms ain’t so safe either.
The worst thing about the house was the basement.
The door to the basement was in the kitchen, an old ill fitting door that simply latched shut.
No lock, no metal bars, nothing, simply a cheesy metal latch.
The basement walls were not poured concrete, they were stone walls. The kind of stone walls that were home to evil glowing eyes. Eyes that I remember seeing a number of times.
The basement floor was part dirt and part concrete.
In the concrete section there was a small concrete lid type thing with a metal loop embedded in the top. The lid covered some sort of hole. A hole that had an opening that was no more than 10 inches x 12 inches – plenty of room for evil nasty’s to come out of….. A hole so deep and black that you couldn’t see the bottom. A hole that I knew was home to the Nasty’s.
The worst part of the basement was that there was no light switch at the top of the stairs. Nope the light was at the bottom of the stairs. Old, rickity wooden stairs that ran down along one of the stone walls of the basement, the other side of the stairs was open to the basement. Open for the Nasty’s to grab you.
Going down was a non issue. You opened the door, had enough light from the kitchen to see the bottom of the stairs and the string for the light. Run down, pull the string and the basement lit up. I knew that all evil monsters were afraid of light. Light was my power. As long as the light was on, I was safe.
Coming back up stairs is where the problem began. Shit it makes my heart pound in my chest just thinking about it.
Picture me, a young, skinny – yes skinny – lad of 10.
Standing in the basement next to the string for the light getting ready to extinguish the only thing that was preventing the Nasty’s in the basement from grabbing my skinny ass and dragging me into the hole of evil darkness.
Really, this is what I thought.
No, this is what I knew.
I knew that as soon as I pulled that string and turned off the light I had to make like Carl Lewis and sprint up the basement stairs, eluding the evil monsters that were trying to grab my legs from the open side of the stairway. I knew I had to climb like Sir Edmund Hillary. I knew I had to get up those stairs and then in one motion slam the basement door shut. Like Goose Gossage shutting down the Red Sox.
The sprint had to be done blind because I knew that if I waited for my eyes to adjust to the blackness of the evil basement I would have already been grabbed by the Nasty’s.
So I turn off the light and begin to sprint up the stairs, a hysterical kind of sprint in which I knew the Nasty’s were right next to me. Up the stairs I bound, quicker I thought, quicker.
Reaching the top step I burst through the basement door into the kitchen and slammed the door behind me. When I swear I heard it.
Leaning against the door, heart pounding in my chest, barely able to catch my breath, I heard it.
I heard it over the sound of the rushing of blood and beating heart in my ears.
I heard it in my soul.
I heard it in my sould and knew I would never forget the sound.
I heard what sounded like something hitting the door.
Something hitting the door hard, like it was stopped suddenly.
Like something that was chasing me up the stairs.
Chasing me up the stairs meant only one thing, I again had barely eluded the Nasty’s.
Next Chapter…..giant upright walking ants, the Nasty’s attic, water water everywhere, the strongest and most protective device ever known to mankind.