There was this great story Deb was telling over on San Diego Momma the other day. An old house, a little mouse, a creepy basement, and a guy brandishing an axe. Doesn’t get much better than that, does it? Well, it could if we were to fictionalize a bit and that’s exactly what this week’s prompt is all about.
I’ll give you a moment to read the story and then come back for my take.
Done already? Okay. Good.
…the axe caught a glint of light as it was swung and it looked even more sinister in a way. The deep, dull thud as metal struck old wood resonated in my gut. It sounded sickly and altogether wrong. Surprisingly, the door remained intact and the axe seemed to bounce back a bit. Willy looked at us and we at him. I shrugged, ready to give up and have another beer. But the others insisted he keep trying; their curiosity about what was in the basement stronger than common sense.
Willy raised the axe again and took a swing. This time, a bit of the wood splintered in the center of the door.
“Oh come on, guys. Let’s stop. Do we really need to know what’s down there? Starr will freak if we chop the door to bits. C’mon. Let’s just have another beer,” I pleaded. I had a bad feeling about the whole thing. We could explain a little chunk of the door missing, but there’s no way we could possibly explain an entire door smashed to smithereens.
Willy looked at me and then back at the other girls. They urged him to continue. He looked back and me and I just turned away. I didn’t want to be a part of this and knew that even if I walked out that I’d still be just as responsible for the damage as everyone else.
So I stood there and watched as the axe found it’s mark a few more times, each resulting in a teeny scrap of wood falling to the ground.
And then something seemed to come over Willy. He went from our best guy friend to Jack from The Shining, complete with maniacal grin. The axe caught the light just right and it looked so sinister as it landed squarely in the middle of the chipped away section. Suddenly, the center of the door began to split open. We all jumped back as the sound of wood splintering filled the air around us. It was deafening.
A strange puff of air wafted toward us. Musty and kind of mean. Then there came a cloud of dust. It was dust, wasn’t it? It smelled far worse than dust, though. And the light. Light? Yes, a sickly yellow light wrapped itself around the dust and seemed to reach its bony fingers toward each of us. As it reached Willy, he fell to the floor, clutching at his throat. One by one, I saw each of my friends fall to the floor. I tried to dodge the snaky tendril headed my way, ducking, weaving, and bobbing like a prize fighter, all to no avail. My breath caught. I felt lightheaded. And then there was nothing but blackness before my eyes…and the sound of Starr laughing from a distance.