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Footfalls

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You stand at the top of the stairs looking down into the black abyss below you. The only source of light is the neon-blue “1:06” on the digital clock installed in your microwave and you can only see that out of the very corner of your eye. As you gaze below, down the steps that appear to go on forever into the impenetrable darkness, half of every fiber in your being insists you don't go down the stairs. The other half encourages you to, knowing you absolutely need your laptop. Half of you says, “You have no idea what's down there, Ellis,” and the other half contradicts. “You know nothing is down there. It's your own house for Christ's sake. There aren't any windows.”

The logical side of you wins. You take the first, creaking step down onto the first stair. Only twelve more steps to go. Even on the first step all sense of sight and coordination is lost. The cold glow of sky blue doesn't reach even this far down. You grasp the wood railing with white knuckles. You take another step down. Eleven more.

As you slowly ease down each step the inky blackness seems to get blacker. You're only at the bottom of the staircase and you feel like the darkness is enveloping you, choking you. Without the guidance of the railing you are at the mercy of the bleak, dark basement. You hold your arms out to make sure you don't walk into a wall. As you turn a corner you whack your knee against the workbench. You wince in pain, letting out a slight whimper as you feel the warm blood trickle down your leg.

You observe that your eyes aren't even getting used to the darkness yet. As soon as this thought crosses your mind, you freeze in your spot as you hear a faint rustling. The hair stands up on the back of your neck and you start to sweat, heart pounding. “There's someone down here,” is the thought that incessantly buzzes through your mind. Over and over you tell yourself that you're not alone. You start to breath more and more heavily. As you gain more and more of your composure the paranoid, I'm-not-alone-here train of though gives way to a less incredulous, it-was-only-a-bug/rodent thought.

You begin to move again, making your way to the table on which your laptop rests.

You reach the small table and quickly snatch the computer up into your arms. You spin around, your bare feet sliding on the cement floor. Making your way back to the stairs is noticably easier, despite the fact that your eyes still haven't adjusted to the surrounding darkness. You stand there for a mere matter of moments but the longer you stand still the more paranoid you get and the more vulnerable you feel. With an urgent speed in your steps you finish making your way to the staircase. As you're about to turn the corner and mount the first step up to your ascent, you hear the cellar door slam. You run up the first couple of steps and freeze in your spot, terrified and alone in the dark. You can't move even if you wanted to.

From above you hear the quick footfalls as something descends the staircase towards you.

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