The Basement

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Since I was little, I’ve always lived with my grandmother.

My mother divorced while I was very little but remarried shortly after. Due to their financial situation, my grandmother turned her garage into a place for my mom and husband to stay in until they could get on their feet and get a house. There wasn’t enough room for me there so I kept staying at grandma’s house. My mom and step-dad got their finances in order and bought a new house. I was already attached to the neighborhood and had a few friends so I was asked whether I wanted to move with them or not. I chose not to and finished the rest of my schooling living at grandma’s house.I moved out for awhile with some acquaintances but that fell through after about a year. I needed to move again and thought this would be the perfect time to finally live with my mom for a little while and get to know both my mom and step-dad better.

Back then I was just dating my wife and planned on getting married as soon as we were able to save up the cash for our wedding, so it wasn’t going to be a very long time. We figured it would be quickest if we stayed living with our parents so we could fund the wedding ourselves without incurring any debt in addition to our school loans. My sister had gone away to college so I was able to crash in her old room, in the basement. The basement had a really nice setup. You would walk down the open stairway from upstairs and to your left was a door that lead into the basement. To the right was another door that lead to the laundry room with a bathroom, an extra refrigerator and the door to my room. To the left was the entertainment room and wet bar my step-dad had built. It was a really nice setup with surround sound that I’ve watched plenty of action movies on when I’d come over to visit.I got my stuff setup on a Friday night, pretty impressed I was able to get it all moved in a single day. I was pretty beat and quickly fell asleep.

The next day, roughly middle to late afternoon, I was coming down stairs to go to my room and play some video games when I stopped at the entrance to the basement. I looked left toward the wet bar, where there was an empty space with an old rocking chair. The room was dimly lit by the sunlight pouring in through the basement doorway. The rocking chair didn’t move or anything like that, but I just had this eerie feeling that something was over there. I didn’t feel as though whatever was there was staring at me; I could just feel a presence in the room. I really didn’t like it. I moved through the laundry room and into my room and closed the door. I decided I’m being stupid, played some video games and forgot all about it.

It must have been roughly 1 am when I decided to go to bed. My parents typically stayed up until 3 and 4 am so I could still hear them clicking away on their laptops upstairs, playing casual games together into all hours of the night as I headed to the bathroom outside my room to brush my teeth. My mother noted that it can be pretty hard to wake up in the morning with the door to the laundry room and my room shut since the sunlight won’t pour in. Knowing this, I’d left my the laundry room door open. As I walked past the laundry room door that leads out to the entertainment room, I could feel the presence again. It was definitely more pronounced this time. I could feel the hairs standing up on the back of my neck. I quickly moved into the bathroom and shut the door. I finished up my nightly duty and bolted back to my room, only a few feet away. I shut my bedroom door and contemplated leaving it closed. I really hated not waking up on time in the morning, and I know I won’t if the room stays permanently dark because the door is blocking any sunlight from coming in. I cracked the door open, not too wide but wide enough that the sunlight will shine through in the morning, turned my box fan on low and crawled into bed.

I’ve always been kind of paranoid, so I made sure when I set my room up that I my bed faced the door, feet pointing toward the same wall so I can look out of the room.I closed my eyes and tried to fall asleep, making sure I was tucked in toward the wall, as far from the door and edge of the bed as possible. After a couple of minutes, I could feel it again. I’m being watched. I cracked my right eye open, ever so slightly so I don’t look awake should it be true that I am being watched. My door was open much farther now, almost all the way. Likely this was due to the fan blowing, I thought to myself, but I was still uneasy. I opened my eyes slowly, watching the darkness slowly shift and flow while my eyes tried to adjust to the inky blackness. I simply could not see through the darkness.I could feel the presence now; the feeling of not just being watched, but someone or something being there was now stronger than ever, just beyond my doorway. I closed my eyes again and tried to remain calm. I’m being stupid, I thought to myself. I’ve never been scared of the night before, why would I be now? As I tried to mentally psyche myself out so I could get some damn sleep, I felt the presence shift. I kept my eyes shut, for I wished not to know what lie beneath the veil of night. The formless void crept into my room slowly, moving it self across the room cater-corner to my bed. The presence remained there for a long time; all the while I dared not move, afraid I would garner more attention from the presence. After what seemed like an eternity, the presence began to shift and move to other parts of my room, yet never coming any closer to my bed. I pushed myself to ignore whatever I was feeling and busied my thoughts with video games and what I would be doing the next day. After a short while I was able to drift into a dreamless slumber.

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