Don’t Go Into the Basement :
You know, Mom, I remember now how it all started.
It was right after moving to the new house. How old was I? Four, maybe five? I was so young. So innocent. So unsuspecting.
The new house was beautiful, Mom. Do you remember how I used to run from room to room? You always laugh so hard when you recount those times. We were so happy. All of us.
The house was so big, much bigger than the old house. This one had two floors. The main floor had the living room and three bedrooms: Judy’s, Dad’s and your’s, and my bedroom, at the end of the hall.
Do you remember what I used to tell you about the basement though? I always told you to not go into the basement. You would brush it off. Wave away my fears. You probably don’t remember me telling you at all.
But I remember. I can never forget.
It all started with going downstairs on my own a few times. When I would go down there to get something, I would see things moving. Small, black things. In the corners, on top of the TV cabinet, in the hallway, in the laundry room, anywhere. They would move in and out of the corner of my eye. This would cause me to dash into the half-dimmed room and scurry upstairs. I remember one time Judy commented, “Oh, Kelsi’s scared again.”
I was scared of these beings, Mom. I was so scared. When you sent me down into the darkness alone, I feared for my life. I never knew what would happen when I was down there. I got to the point that I never went anywhere without turning a light on. A light switch would always be switched before going in any room, and then a frightening dash back upstairs. But I also didn’t want anyone to know I was afraid. I hid my fear the best I could, Mom. That was until seeing wasn’t the worst part.
It was not long after I began seeing them, that I started hearing them. Saying things in hushed whispers. Mocking me. Snickering. Moving objects in the basement. The small noises meant nothing to you and the rest of the family. You could turn your back to the sounds. You closed your eyes to the unknown living in your house.
I remember this one time; you found a handkerchief waiting for you on your bed. You laughed it off. You all laughed it off. The handkerchief didn’t belong to any of us, and it was just waiting there for you, almost like a warning. But you all thanked the beings for their kind gift, making a mockery and a joke out of it. Mom, why didn’t any of you listen to me when I told you to stop?
By the time I was eight, the voices were a constant occurrence in the house. I could hear every word they said. These creatures, which I called the Whisperers, talked about everything. They talked about new things to do to be nuisances, how much we amused them, how best to hurt the family living in their house. I had learned from you to put these things behind me and ignore them.
But that became harder and harder. I remember one night, laying in my bed, I heard the door creep open. I hadn’t been able to sleep well, so small noises jerked me up in the middle of the night quite often. But the Whisperers never moved objects so carelessly. They knew I was awake, and they knew the best way to frighten me. Loud movements were heard from the kitchen, and to save myself, I flung the blankets over my head. I wanted to cry for you like a toddler, Mom, but I didn’t want to put you in harm.
I heard a yelp from the kitchen. It was soft enough that no one else would be awoken from it. I know if you ever read this, Mom, you’ll yell at me for being so stupid, but I had to see what was in the kitchen. I had to know what evil was preying on my family.
The hallway felt eerily cold in the hot summer’s night. The light, being already on, hardly made my descent to the kitchen less terrifying. My feet shattered the silence as I struggled to creep as quietly as I could. I was so afraid, and the sweat from my body glued my clothes to my skin.
Mom, I don’t want to scare you with describing what was in the kitchen, but I’ll tell you best of what was there. A small creature, about 2 foot high, stood before me. It was pitch black and beady yellow eyes. This is the only way to describe the appearance of the creature, Mom. It smelt of a mixture of vegetable oil and that paving stuff that they put in the cracks of roads. It gave off this sound, like a crackling fire and constant murmuring whispers. The creature made me afraid, Mom. It was fear incarnate. This creature drove a stake right into my soul, making me cold and writhe in true darkness.
While I watched this…thing, it stared me down and opened its mouth, which was invisible at first glance. Its mouth was simply a whole full of razor-sharp teeth, and it snickered as I gasped at the pure horror of the scene. As quickly as it opened, the creature’s mouth closed, and it turned its gaze over to its right. I hadn’t noticed her, Mom. I hadn’t noticed Dino.
Dino, our poor hound, lie directly in the center of the kitchen underneath the countertop. A large butcher knife was nestled gently between two of her ribs. Dino whined one last time as she took in her last breath and died a painful death.
I didn’t know what to do then, Mom. I had no control of my body at that time. I cried. No, I screamed while tears fell from my eyes. I didn’t know what else to do, Mom. I couldn’t help it.
That’s when I heard them, down the hall again. Judy’s door and your door was open. Oh, God, Mom. I was so frightened. Without thinking about it, I ran into Judy’s room.
Judy was dead, Mom. I found her mutilated, but I know you wouldn’t want details about how your daughter was killed. Let’s just agree that she had not stood a chance.
I had no time to grieve. I had to check on Dad. Strangely, the light to your room was on, so I didn’t need to go too far inside to see Dad laying lying on the ground, in a distraught, disturbing way. Two butter knives were lodged into his neck, Mom. I don’t know how that was done.
You were not in the room. You weren’t there. Why weren’t you in your room? Did you hear it coming, the footsteps? Did you honestly think that running to the basement would be the best answer?
I knew immediately, Mom. I knew you were down there, trying to escape the evil that was upstairs. I ran down the stairs, hoping to beat the Whisperers to you.
I found you in the family room, Mom. The light was off. I found you in front of the TV. You had gashes in your head and your legs. You were losing so much blood. When you saw me, you screamed. You screamed so loudly. I didn’t understand.
But then I saw them. The Whisperers had beat me to you. And they were chanting.
Kill her. Kill her. We must kill her. We must kill her. Kill her. Kill her.
They were chanting at me, Mom. They were telling me to kill you. They were telling me that you had to die.
That’s when I looked at my hands.
They were covered in blood, Mom. Blood was staining my new nightgown. Blood was running down my arms. I was holding a knife. A knife from the kitchen.
When I looked back up, the Whisperers were gone, and it was just you and me.
I turned on the light and smiled. You screamed again. I advanced you, raising the knife in my hand.
I told you to never go into the basement, Mom. Why didn’t you listen to me?