The boy would hide in the basement, every time he heard his father open a door. It didn't much matter what door, he just knew there'd be trouble regardless. If his father was just coming into the house, he was bound to be grumpy from work and that sure as hell wasn't good news for the boy. And even if he was just going through the house, something always managed to anger his father. It was in his nature, as he was a most angry man.
Just like it was in the boy's nature. After all, he was a most angering boy, or so his father told him whenever the boy whimpered. The boy had learned to keep quiet, whenever his father did catch him, but he also learned that an even better method was to hide in the basement. He knew his father was too afraid of the steep steps to come down, looking for him. If he was sober enough to figure out where his son was, that is.
So, the boy pushed open the door to the basement almost simultaneously with his father, who was opening the front door. He peered down the winding, dark staircase. The switch at the top of the steps had busted out a long time ago. There was another, at the bottom, the boy knew exactly where it was, but that meant he would have to make his way down through the darkness.
He couldn't dare leave the door open, 'cause that would be too much of a giveaway. So, he sprinted down the stairs as the door swung close, jumping to catch the last few shreds of light and then standing very still on the fifth to last step. Or was it the sixth?
The boy couldn't remember, in the darkness, where it felt like he'd been there for ages, in the basement, all alone. His friend Timmy-from-school (that's how he said it when his father would ask 'Who're you meeting?' 'Timmy-from-school' all in one breathless word) was always shocked when the boy told him about the basement. Said there were rats down in the basement. But Timmy-from-school didn't know what basements were like. Truth was, he'd never had reason to hide in one. He'd never had a chance to understand that maybe rats weren't quite so bad. Not when the heavy lashes of leather were the only alternative.
The boy stepped down, tentatively, into the utter darkness. Only it wasn't utter darkness. There was a glimmer of light over his left foot, like someone was helping him see the way. He took another step, and then it dawned on him that the light – which was following his feet – should not be there.
It couldn't be there, he thought, as he looked up and saw a pair of eyes looking right back at him.
And the eyes were smoking.
To be continued
Today's prompt was 'you walk through a door - what do you see?' - a delightful prompt, in my opinion. All thanks to @mariannewest (do check her out and support the freewriting community as you can) for hosting this amazing challenge!
Thank you for reading,
Photo is mine.