D is for Darkness
The cupboard under the stairs had always been a dumping ground for stuff that might be of use, and so over the years it has become quite full. When he shone the torch past the clutter a shiver rippled throughout him, the beam seemed to go way beyond the wall at the back. The rational side of him told him to shut the door on the junk and get back to what he was doing, but the niggling voice at the very back of his skull said he really had no choice, he had to go.
And so he began to pull out all the rubbish and dumped it in the hall, with the promise to himself that he would sort through it later, but first he needed to explore the darkness. His mind was taken back to when his older brother would routinely throw his shoes to the back of the cupboard under the stairs and then dare him to venture into the bleakness, telling him it was where the bad things lived.
Taking a deep breath he began to venture further inwards, stumbling over long forgotten rubbish as he went. It was only when he looked back that he realised he had gone deeper then he had wanted too and yet there was further darkness ahead. The walls closed in as he crawled further onwards on his hands and knees. Turning every now and then, the door through which he had came was now a long, long way off: a pinhole of light. The boy he had been a long time ago would have hurried back, but he was a man now, a man who should no longer be afraid to face the darkness, and so he carried on.
The ceiling gradually lowered meaning that now he was now slithering along on his belly.
With great difficulty, he turned his head, but the light through which he came was now a long distant memory, darkness stretched behind him as it did in front with no end in sight and so he carried on crawling.
As he crawled, the light from the torch began to diminish. He knocked it against the side of the wall that now felt harder, solid like the inside of a cave. The light extinguished, forcing him to reach out in blindness as he carried on feeling his way. Gradually the space began to open up, higher and higher until he found he could stand. Searching his pocket he found some matchers, lit one illuminating the walls around him. Marks covered the walls, at first making no sense, as he was staring, the match burnt his fingers, making him let out a yelp, which echoed back, but in a long forgotten voice. Spooked, he tried to reach for his way back but each time he found a wall blocking his escape. Panic filled his head as he grabbed the matches, striking one, but it failed to light, as did the next and the next. Taking a deep breath, he took hold of a match, the last of three in the box. Slowly, carefully he pulled it across the side of the strike pad, the spark fizzed and lit, the bright light showing row upon row of tally score marks chalked into the black walls.
“What the fff…” Before he could finish his sentence, the match once again burnt his fingers, causing him to once again yelp, which was once again echoed, but in a strained, once familiar voice.
Tentatively he pulled out the second match, struck it a light and stared at the marks. Raising the match he saw the wall went up for eternity. He tried to spy for his way back home, only for the match to extinguish before he could make up his mind which way to turn. With just one more match left, he desperately tried again to find a way out. He waited and waited, hoping to wake from this very bad dream, until he gave in and lit the match. Looking down he spied a piece of chalk, “Oh” said a voice he now recognised all to well, as he struck the next tally mark on the wall.