Dillon needs to reach the bottom of the stairs, he has no choice, but the stairs contain shadows.
His mamma is resting on her bed, naked, pale and unresponsive. Dillon sees the bottles of alcohol strewn everywhere, he knows from experience, this is not good.
He sees the dirty spoons, grotty and grimy, and the marks on her arm, red on black. He doesn’t like the tight band, her arm is two different shades; grey and white.
The shadowman lives under the stairs. He sends his creeping slaves up the staircase to drag people down. He’s already sent them to get his mamma, now he wants to get Dillon. They want to drag him down, down to the bottom, along the corridor and through the small gap in the under-the-stairs-door. This is where he lives, this is where he eats; he has been after Dillon for some time, his slaves come to his room at night, and they watch him, they’ve always watched him.
Dillon needs to get to the phone. Downstairs.
The dark fungus spores reach up and encrust the narrow stairway. Dillon can smell them, he can feel them breathing; they grow and slither, so slowly.
Dillon places a foot on the first tread, carefully, light pressure applied, on the balls of his feet, trying to keep his body as far away from under the stairs as possible. The shadowman might break through the wood and carpet.
He’s coming up through the floor boards.
He’s hungry. So hungry.
A shadow moves.
Dillon runs down the rest of the stairs, sprinting, worried about tripping, he runs towards the phone. He gasps as he runs by the under-the-stairs-door, which is slightly ajar – it spills out darkness like an illness.
He visualises dialling the number quickly, just three numbers.
He runs, arms outstretched, grabs the phone and presses the on-button.
No sound. No signal.
He looks towards the door, under the stairs.
It is fully open and shadows are everywhere.
Usual Hourglass rules applied to this – 36 hours – 360 word limit – use the photo prompt.
I found this prompt hard. All that went through my head was ‘Stairway to heaven’. It’s hard trying to think of ideas that almost 30 other writers looking for original ideas won’t come up with. I thought about what might be under the stairs and as a child our terror of shadows. I’ve been meaning to work on a ‘horror’ piece for a while and this was to hone my skills for the Poised Pen comp.
I enjoyed writing it and I enjoyed the end result.
No mentions – but I’m reasonably satisfied.