Tuesday, September 3, 2013
The Monsters in the Basement
As I walked around the first floor of our childhood home, I noticed the sound of the silence—the eerie sound that consumed the all-of-a-sudden empty house. I looked around and saw that the few lamps in the living room were lit. I grabbed my little sister’s hand and we slowly walked around on the old wood floors, causing it to creak with each step. “Andrea? Traci?” we called out. No response—our babysitters had disappeared. Together, Casey and I walked to the front door. I turned the lock to go outside in hopes of finding our babysitters. We opened the door and looked out into a world of darkness. It was a black night and the moon was hidden behind the “oak and maple trees,” just like those Steve described in The Lonesome Place by August Derleth (193). Instead of venturing out we quickly closed and relocked the door. We knew there was only one place left to look for our babysitters—in The Lonesome Place.
With a sigh and a tightened grip on each other’s hands, Casey and I opened the door to our basement. Looking down, I felt like Steve as he passed by The Lonesome Place at night. Its mysterious shadows and sounds echoed up the stairs. We timidly walked into the darkness where the horrors of the unknown resided. Monsters lived under our stairs—evil witches and cruel ghosts. The further we walked, the weaker I became, and the more I felt “Its hands were reaching for me” (Derleth 193). When we reached the bottom of the stairs I turned and looked up into the light that illuminated the top, wishing to be back in the safety of the first floor. “Andrea? Traci?” we asked again. This time out of the darkness came two screams and two bodies tackled and tickled us to the ground. “Got ya!” two voices bellowed. Paralyzed with fear I began to scream; I heard my little sister next to me crying. I fought and kicked hard at the monsters until I realized the two voices belonged to Andrea and Traci. Even though it was not a witch or a ghost who attacked us, Casey and I knew monsters still lived in our pitch-black basement. Never again did we venture down into The Lonesome Place alone without light, and never again did monsters in the basement scare us.
Derleth, August. “The Lonesome Place.” American Gothic Tales. Ed. Joyce Carol Oates. New York: The Penguin Group.