The Thing

There it was lying on the floor at the bottom of the stairs. It had the yellowest eyes I'd ever seen. I couldn't see the shape of the creature because it was so dark in the basement.

Being the curious person that I am, I started to climb down the stairs. I was frightened. My sister had gone down to the basement about fifteen minutes before and she hadn't come back up yet.

It was dark, darker than midnight. The light hadn't worked for over a year. My father had never had time to change the lightbulb. If we really had to go downstairs we were to take the only flashlight in the whole house so we could see where we were going.

Creak! I jumped at least six feet when I heard the sound. I knew that the basement stairs creaked but since I didn't have a light, I didn't know what steps had a creak in them and which ones didn't.

"Nancy! Nancy!" I yelled into the darkness.

There was no answer. I looked down. The yellow eyes kept staring at me. Even though I was scared that the thing at the bottom of the stairs was going to attack me, I kept going. I was about halfway down the stairs when I thought that I heard muffled cries. I thought, Nicole, it's just your imagination. Relax. It's probably just the T.V. Then I thought about it for a moment and I realized that the T.V. wasn't on. The yellow eyes kept staring at me.

I reached the last step and I was very close to the yellow eyes. At this point, I stepped off of the stairway and my barefoot stepped on something warm, fluffy, and long. Something screeched and hissed at me and I screamed. I turned around, toward the stairway, as my three year old cat, Sheldon, ran up the stairs.

I felt really stupid for screaming but I knew that, had anyone heard me, they would understand why I screamed.

"Nancy! Nancy! Where are you, Nancy?" I yelled.

All of a sudden I heard this weak, muffled cry say, all in one breath, "Nicole, help me. Oh no! Ahhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!" The weak, muffled cry, ended in a long, loud scream.

"Nancy!" I yelled. There was no answer.

And with that, I plunged into the thick darkness. The darkness was so thick that I felt as though I was walking through burned pea soup.

I looked behind me. I couldn't even see the light at the top of the stairs. It was as though the darkness had swallowed it up.

I kept walking until I smelled the most horrible smell. It was a cross between a skunk and a stink bomb. I heard rapid breathing. I was soaking wet from all the sweat that was pouring down my face.

The breathing was on my neck now.

I turned toward the breathing and something grabbed my neck, whatever it was, was slimy and had only three fingers. At the end of these I could feel that it had long, sharp claws.

I started breathing rapidly. Control yourself, Nicole, I thought. Don't scream, Nicole.

But I couldn't control myself. I started to scream. And everything went black.

When I awoke I heard running feet and the breath of the monster slinking back into the shadows.

Lying next to me, my sister was unconscious. There were lights all around me. At least I thought that it was more than one light. But when I looked up, I realized that it was only one light.

I blinked. "Who are you?" I was still dazed.

"My name is Andrew. I moved in next door a few days ago. I thought I heard screams coming from here. That monster, do you know where it came from?"

"No, I don't." I looked next to me. "Nancy? Are you alright, Nancy?"

She stirred. "Nicole?" she whispered.

"I'm here, Nancy," I whispered back.

Then all of a sudden I heard a snarl and the light went out. "Andrew!" I yelled.

"I'm here, Nicole," he said. He grabbed my hand and held it. I took Nancy's hand.

She got up, weakly, and the three of us started walking backwards away from the smell.

The monster kept coming closer. I could hear its breath coming closer and closer.

Andrew held one of my hands while he messed with the flashlight. Finally the light came on and we saw it. It started to back away while we moved towards it.

Then we heard a hiss, then some more hisses. The three of us looked around. There were cats all over the place. And with the light guiding them, they attacked the monster. The monster cried out in pain and fear. The cats scratched and bit it. Then, it caught on fire and the cats jumped off of the monster. We watch as the monster burned and soon vanished. The thick darkness faded and it was just dark.

"Mrow," the cats complained in unison.

The three of us ran for the stairs and up into the kitchen. The cats followed us. Nancy opened the back door and all the cats ran out except for Sheldon. How they got there we never found out.

"The horror is over," I said.

"For now, anyway," Andrew said. "For now."

When my dad got home that night, we convinced him to change the lightbulb. And he finally did. We told him to be extremely careful.

Andrew is still living next door to us. He even got himself a cat of his very own. We never told anyone our story of the monster in the dark because we figured no one would believe us.

Every time we go downstairs we make sure that the light is working and if it's not, we go outside and open the doors to the basement out there. And we always, no matter what, take a flashlight with us. Even Andrew has gotten into that habit now that we know the dangers of entering a basement that is so dark you can't see a centimeter in front of you.

You know the drill.... Subject: Thing


©Melissa R. Finch, All rights Reserved.