We have all had these experiences right?
I had always found the basement as a terrifying place, always hostile towards me, but mom wouldn't let me play and draw in any of the rooms above and so I had to make do with the basement. That day too, it was a storm outside but down in the basement, you could barely hear anything, that and the light and warmth from the two ceiling bulbs above made it a very comfortable place for me to play through the evening.
And so I had started, that day was going to be the metal-man's journey to planet zed, but his expedition was led to a halt when I heard a creaking behind me, like someone had walked on that wooden floor. I had turned my head to barely catch a shadow merging with the shadows of the drums kept in the back. Those shadows, all of them were dancing as if something was moving in them, concealed by them. I had turned my head back, I didn't have the courage to go take a look. I bowed my head and decided to focus on metal-man, he needed to reach his destination.
A few minutes in, and I had felt a draft on the side of my neck that sent a tingling sensation all throughout my body. "But there are no windows here, where did that come from?", came to mind and I was frozen with jitters. I sensed somebody or something standing right behind me, breathing cold breaths on me.
All that time I'd kept my head a little bowed, there was a reason as to why. From where my station was set up, an old broken television was kept right in front and if I tried to, I could see the complete back of the room without even turning my head. In the situation I was in, even if I didn't want it, I was bound to give the screen a look, and hence I had kept my head down.
But I also had this morbid curiosity of knowing if there was someone behind me. Ultimately, I had raised my head to look up into the screen and it was the same, the same backside of the basement that I had looked at minutes ago. I heaved a sigh of relief and went back to metal-man.
Almost instantly after that, I had felt another draft. I could not believe the television by then, I had to see it myself, despite how my heart was ready to jump out of my mouth. I'd decided to turn, take a quick glance and run back upstairs even if there was no one. So, I took a deep breath, closed my eyes turned around and then opened them again; and I was met with pitch black darkness. I remember to have screamed the second loudest in my entire life.
I had panicked, dropping metal man somewhere on the floor, I got up, in the process, pushing the table which had served as my station, a bit back with my hands. Wasting no time, I turned back towards where the exit was supposed to be and sprinted with all my might.
I may have only landed a step or two when I was brought down on the wooden floor with a thud, something had grabbed my left foot, and reacting to that, I had screamed the loudest in my life ever. After that, all I could remember was dad coming in to get me out and then me telling him through the tears about the horrors of the basement and then dad checking and reassuring me that it was safe. I had made a rule to carry a flashlight with me while going to the basement every time after that incident.
I don't remember that sort of thing happening ever again, well I didn't go to the basement often after that, so that's that. Eventually I grew up, school, college and then a job when I moved out. Over the years, I had completely forgotten about this incident, it had become one of the typical childhood memories, stashed with other dusty stuff and stored in a corner of your mind.
But then, after all these years, I find myself standing in a dark basement, during a storm and power outage again, and i am reminded of this memory again forced to take it out again. I run a quick scan of the space with my flashlight and then with a smile I come out of the basement, to find my son clenching the end of his mother's shawl, looking my way. I walk to him, run my hand over his head, bend towards him and say, "There was nothing there to see."