Thursday, October 27, 2011

Mamakat's: Scare

Mamakat's Prompt:Something that scared the hell out of you when you were a child.

When we lived in Germany, we lived on the "base" in a long, three-story apartment building that was probably built in the late 1940s, after WWII. Like most buildings in Germany, this one had a basement. The basement was one long, narrow hallway that granted access to storerooms as well as the laundry room and the main boiler room for the building. The laundry room was where everyone in the building did their laundry; the light was always on in that room. To get to that room, however, you had to go down the basement hallway.

The light switch for that endless basement hallway was on a timer. Once the timer ran out, the lights went out again, leaving you in utter blackness. A darkness that seemed to breathe and sigh with anticipation as it surrounded you. That darkness seemed to slither around your feet. As you stood there in the dark, too stiff with fear to run, you could almost feel the caress of a hand on your shoulder, or a touch smoothing your hair from your forehead.

All the kids in the building were terrified of the basement, but our parents would send us down there anyway, to check on the clothes in the laundry room. We had no choice but to go; our plea that we were scared always fell on deaf ears. We each developed our own survival skills.

I would turn the timer as far to the right as possible, to extend the time the lights were on. I would then race to the laundry room, my feet breaking the sound barrier in my haste to hit the doorway. Most of the time, I made it.

Sometimes the door to the laundry room would be closed, leaving only a small sliver of light beckoning. Sometimes, the door would not open easily, leaving me struggling with the knob, my breath coming in little screams.

And sometimes, the timer went off early.


  1. Very scary and very well written too, I could picture it.

  2. Scary, indeed!! I still hate being suddenly plunged into darkness!

  3. Awesome, awesome job. I love the description of the dark. It's perfect. And you know, I still don't like dark basements. Don't tell my kids.

  4. I will admit, I'm not one you likes to be scared, and the thought of having to decend to that type of basement would freak me out!!
    Great job!

  5. This would totally freak me out!

  6. Haha! Actually, I'm laughing in sympathy - the power of the imagination, helped along with a few 'props' creates a potent beast!! Wonderful!!

  7. Thank you everyone for the lovely comments! It was great to be reminded of what scared me in my childhood, as opposed to what scares me now.


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