Finally able to sleep, Brian is woken during the night and goes to investigate – all the while thinking about crazed killers and serial killers, sure that his Sponge Bob pajama pants will put the fear of God into them.
The darkened hallway seemed endless. It was only a few feet to the top of the stairs, but it took forever to cover the distance. Trying to control his breathing, Brian held the staff in front of him like a sword. Six feet of tapered, hardwood filled him with confidence and he moved silently down the stairs, avoiding the squeaky seventh step.
Moonlight filtered through the drapes in the living room, casting ghostly shadows in the big, open room. He did a quick inspection before continuing to the back of the house. The sound he’d heard was almost directly under his room and he was right over the kitchen and the stairway to the basement.
Brian shuddered. He hated the basement and had since he was a child. All the horrifying fears came back to him in an overwhelming flood. He stopped moving, his feet refusing to go another step. Deep breaths helped a little, but it took several minutes before his heart quit racing enough for him to continue.
The kitchen door creaked as he pushed it open. The sound seemed loud in the silent house. Brian stopped, waiting. When no chainsaw wielding psychopath appeared, he decided it was safe to keep going.
There were sheers over the six kitchen windows, so it was much brighter than the living room. Moonlight illuminated every nook and cranny of the large, airy room. He could move quickly, doing a careful recon. As he made his circuit, he noticed the basement door was open. That door was always locked at night. His mother checked all the doors and windows before going to bed. There was no way that came open on its own.
Suddenly terrified, Brian had the urge to run. He knew the logical thing was to call the police, but he was afraid of looking like a fool when they came and didn’t find Freddy Kruger in his basement.
Indecision made him stop once more. He could easily get to a phone on the kitchen counter and make the call. His fingers tingled and he imagined himself typing in 9-1-1. Another sound, this time in the basement, convinced him. He slammed the door shut, throwing the bolt, and reached for the phone. His hand dialed automatically. It rang twice before a comforting, female voice answered.
“Nine One One. What’s the nature of your emergency?”
“I think someone’s broken into my house,” he whispered huskily.
“Can you speak up?”
Brian backed out of the kitchen, eyes on the basement door. “I think someone is in our house,” he said a little louder.
“What’s your name and address? I’ll dispatch someone.”
Brian told her. She told him to stay on the line and he heard her make the call to a police officer.
“Are you in a safe place?”
“I want you to get to safety, Brian. Is anyone else there?”
“My mom. She’s blind.”
“Go to your mother’s room and lock yourself in. Stay there, you hear me?” The command in her voice made him obey. “I’ll tell you when my officer arrives. Is there a back way into your basement?”
“There’s a door on the north side of the house. It’s at the bottom of some steps. It’s never used. We keep it locked.”
“Okay. My officer is there. Are you in a safe spot?”
There was a crash and thud. Yelling, followed by loud cursing, reached his ears.
“Brian!” His mother called from her room.
Brian made it up the last couple of steps and sprinted down the hall.
“It’s okay, Mom. I’m here.”
“What’s that racket?”
More yelling and cursing could be heard at a distance.
“I think someone tried to break in. The police are here. Don’t worry.”
The phone rang, startling them both.
“Brian?” It was the dispatcher.
© 2016 Dellani Oakes