A Noise in the Basement
The sounds of an EpicMealTime video emit from the speakers connected to my computer. They are making some sort of jumbo-sized burger, using several layers of chips and sauces. Mouth watering, my stomach starts to growl at me. I’m really craving something salty. I let out a lazy sigh and rub my dry, tired eyes with both of my hands. Then, I finally get up from my squeaky desktop chair and make my way down the hall to the kitchen. Thoughts rush through my mind as I contemplate what savoury snack I’m going to sink my teeth into. “Some chips would be so good right now” I say to myself in a low voice.
Arriving to the kitchen, I catch a glimpse of a green glow from the corner of my eye. It’s the digital display on my oven, showing the current time. 2:50 AM. “Jeez, I’ve been watching YouTube for way longer than I should’ve” I mutter under my breath. Balling my fingers into a tight fist, I slowly stretch my arms up and begin to yawn deeply. Just as I reach the peak of my yawn, I let out a gasp.
A loud shatter and thud. It came from the basement.
“What the actual fuck was that?” I say aloud in a concerned tone. I pause and bring myself to a statue-like stillness. Darting my eyes around, I look for a sound to listen in on.
Uneasy, I let my overwhelming desire to quench my hunger wash over me. Walking over to my small kitchen pantry, I scan for anything that could satisfy my strong cravings. Nothing here but cereal, tea and cooking supplies.
I begin to realize that there probably wouldn’t be anything I crave up here. “I usually stockpile the junk food in the bas-” I think to myself, pausing. A chill runs up my spine and I am reminded of the noise I heard just moments ago.
A loud shatter and thud. The junk food is in the basement.
Do I really need to eat something at THIS time? I’m immediately responded to this thought with an aggressive rumble from my intestines. I place my right hand on my stomach, roll my eyes back and whisper “fine,” under my breath. Besides, it’s necessary that I know there isn’t an intruder in my house.
Looking over to the kitchen table, I see my phone waiting where I forgot it the day before at dinner. I unlock it, opening a classical music playlist. The phone eliminates the quietness in the room and replaces it with the soothing sounds of a piano melody. Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. A very slight sense of ease fills my body. I put my phone into my right pocket and grab the sharpest knife I could find to accompany me on my journey. If something is really in my house, I’m not confronting it without something to defend myself.
Looking over to the end of my kitchen, I see the door that leads me directly into my basement. Approaching it, the little ease that I had starts to fade away. A burning tightness emerges in my chest. I am filled with a sense of dread that makes the muscles in my neck tense and the hairs on my arms shoot up. I take a deep breath in and exhale nervously, shaking my head around. My hand clasps the cold silver doorknob, shaking.“There isn’t going to be anything in the basement,” I tell myself wishfully, closing my eyes. Then in an instant, I forcefully jerk the door open, in hopes of catching whatever is there by surprise.
Light from the kitchen seeps into the now opened pathway to the basement. The steep wooden stairs are only lit half-way before being eaten up by the overwhelming darkness. My hand instinctively reaches to the right where the light switch is. In a swift motion, I use the side of my hand to turn the switch on. What the hell? They aren’t turning on. A cracking noise emerges from what sounds like the back of my basement. I gasp loudly and in a pseudo-confident scream, I say, “Hey! I could hear you down there. I have a knife, so you better be careful!”
Deeply concerned with my lack of vision, I try once more to turn on the lights. I flick the switch down and up, then down and up again, repeating the action several times. On the 5th try, the light makes a ticking noise and eventually hums itself on. “Fucken-A,” I say aloud. At the bottom of the stairs on the left wall lies the plastic four shelf pantry that I bought to stockpile my junk food. It doesn’t block the entrance to the basement but it’s close enough to be seen from upstairs. The second shelf from the top is where I stacked an assortment of chip bags. At the edge of the shelf, a delicious bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos stares at me from below. I can’t help my mouth from filling up with saliva. I just need to make sure that no one else is down there.
Tightening the grip I have on the knife in my hand, I breathe in and exhale anxiously. Then finally, I scream “HEY!” and run down the steps in hopes of scaring the intruder. When I arrive at the bottom I am shocked with what comes into my vision.
My window. It is almost completely shattered.
Glass covers the floor and the culprit lays there in plain sight. A rock. One that visibly resembles the decorative ones I keep in front of the basement window. Some asshole probably thought it would be funny to break my window with one of them. Since my basement is one open space, it’s easy to tell if anyone’s here. All I can see are some boxes and a huge pile of old sweaty clothes that I have yet to give away. They’ve been in a corner close to the window for who knows how long.
“They really got me going,” I say, sighing. Moonlight Sonata continues to hum from the phone in my right pocket and I let a relieved grin creep onto my face. I put down my knife and grab from the shelf the chip bag that seductively stared at me earlier, ripping it open. It’s orgasmic aroma splashes into my nostrils and fills me with a rush of dopamine. I sit back on the bottom step and dig my hands into the bag. After having about three handfuls worth of the chips, my mouth begins to sting from the spicyness. I finally feel satisfied.
Folding the loose flap of the bag over, I place it back on the shelf and start heading upstairs. But then, a familiar noise comes from the back of the basement. Cracking. And then some very muffled chewing noises. “Who’s there?” I say, my voice starting to become shaky.
At the very opposite end of the entrance I stare at the pile of clothes. They are moving around subtly at the base. So much so that I could just miss it.“You shouldn’t have come here! I have a knife,” I say nervously.
I grab the knife from where I last put it down and raise it, readying myself to strike. Cautiously walking over to the clothes, I make sure I don’t step on any glass shards. Once arriving to the pile, I swipe away half of the clothes to the side with my left hand. My eyes widen in horror.
It’s the back of a head. But it’s certainly not human. Its skin is entirely bald and saggy, pale white in colour. The figure seems to be crouched down in the middle of the pile and is looking down at something. The cracking and chewing noises coming from it are even louder now. Terrified, I stab the edge of my blade into the bottom of the thing`s head and it lets out a high-pitched squeal. Immediately the creatures rises up, throwing the clothes on it away in different directions, revealing it’s back features. It stares at the wall.
The creature stands about four feet tall. Its naked skin wrinkles all over and small dark holes litter its body. It has the figure of a young adult but with bone-skinny limbs, its arms hanging below its knees. The creature’s fingers are long and clawed. Black blood oozes down its back from the gash I had created and it stands idly, still chewing.
I fall on my back close to it, paralyzed with fear and vomit up what I had just eaten all over myself. The creature seems to jolt in place, as if realizing something. A symphony of breathing noises emerge from the holes in its body.In an instant, it twirls around in my direction.
It smells me.
I scream, taking in what is in front of me. The creature has the mangled carcass of a rat pierced between its sharp canine teeth, dangling at the side of its mouth. Its jaw stretches out unnaturally and a mix of blood and drool covers its mouth. It has no eyes or ears. They are covered blankly by skin. The only features in its face are large holes where its nose should be.
The smell of bile assaults my nose and I cringe. Tears start to build up in my eyes. I need to get away.
In a desperate attempt to flee, I throw the knife at the creature's chest, which only bounces off to the side. I run for the stairs. It lets out a deep guttural growl, running towards me with inhuman speed and jumps, digging its claws into the sides of my back. I scream.
The creature screeches loudly then sinks its fangs deep into the right side of my neck.
It pulls away aggressively, severing my jugular vein.
A hot pain shoots through me.
I let out a blood curdling cry as red gushes out of the hole in my neck. I can only gurgle as I breathe.
Falling down from shock, the supernatural being takes another bite, this time in the side of my back.
I cough up my own blood and feel it pooling around me.
The slow fade of my senses numb the immense terror that I feel.
Moonlight Sonata continues to play as the horrifying sound of my own flesh being eaten reverberates in my head.