I thought that this week I would share a little piece of writing I completed recently for the literature course I am taking. There was really only one direction I was given.... A visceral setting description for young adult readers.
At first I was planning on writing something light and fluffy.... like entering a kindergarten classroom for the first time through the eyes of a four year old. Or maybe that amazing feeling of walking into grandma's kitchen and being hit with the smell of roast, pine sol and pie. But, unfortunately, I couldn't get that down on paper.
What I could relive so vividly in my mind that it evokes the physical response of the hair standing on the back of my neck, is every time I have had to go to a dark basement on my own.
Judge me if you will.... but I still rush up the basement steps in my home, panic ridden, every time I begrudgingly end up down there. It's like I can feel the darkness biting at the back of my neck. And that in the shadows, there is something alive.
What can I say? I am a grown woman who is afraid of the dark.... and it's about time I made that work for me.
Have a wonderful Sunday and try to get out there and breath in that fabulously fresh cold air. It's good for the soul.
The Cellar A white painted door hangs stiffly in the back corner of the kitchen. It is yellowed by years of sitting in the harsh sun streaming through the narrow farmhouse window. Dust swirls in the air of the open window that is already heavy with anticipation. No one goes down to the cellar unless absolutely necessary.
The cold metal doorknob groans and a gush of damp air rushes past the door as rusty hinges scrape together opening the entrance to the cellar. The floor at the top of the cellarway creaks, alerting the monsters below that they are no longer alone.
Light from the kitchen casts heavy shadows down the stairway to the landing below and the splintered oak steps heave underfoot, sending an echo throughout the basement. Tiny scratch marks splinter the railing, leaving little piles of shavings behind in the seams of the steps. Forgotten antiques and brass pots hang from rusty nails along the staircase wall. Obscured by limp cobwebs, they tink together in the stale air.
The bitter cold of the rough cement landing is softened by a mismatched rug handmade from old tea towels. Shadowy figures move deviously through the blackness of the cellar as deafening silence overwhelms the senses. The wickedness grabs at you and threatens to pull you into the shadows as you reach out searching. The lone lightbulb is just out of reach, marked in the darkness by a single fraying string hanging down from the ceiling. It’s slipping just out of grasp.
Pale yellow light from the filthy bulb casts long devilish shadows over the cement room, dancing along the walls as the bulb sways from side to side. Cracks in the floor track up into the walls, where spiders nest in their webs retreating from the light. Moldy cardboard boxes ravaged by mice scatter the floor and bags of discarded memories fill the shelves of the heavy walls.
The roar of the wood furnace casts smoldering orange and red light across the cellar, immersing it in an ominous glow. The shadowy figures remain still, hiding in the contours of the dimly lit room.
Dread fills the small space and the walls begin to close in. The light shatters and flickers out, scattering bits of glass over the hard cement floor. Fear bites at the back of your neck as you stumble through the cellar, and frantically begin climbing the steps. The heavy wood door screams as it closes behind you. The latch of the old door lock clacks as it closes, leaving your heart racing.
In the kitchen, dust bathed in the evening light swirls in the air from the open wind as darkness settles over the cellar once again.