Chapter 1:

13 Steps

13 Steps

Dark, black, nothingness. There are so many ways to describe that hole, but nothing would get me down there. Into that abyss, that dungeon that would forever swear to shut out the darkness within.

I knew how many there were, there were 20 and yet I counted them: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13....

I couldn't see the 14th step, it had already been swallowed by that black, and nothing would get me down there, nothing could make me climb down to turn on the light.

I closed the cellar door and ran out of the kitchen. Mother would be home soon and then she would make the yummy pancakes again. I didn't know what it was, but she always got a "secret ingredient" from the cellar.

When she came home and opened the cellar door again, I got a quick look downstairs before she sent me off to get that ingredient after she had turned on the light. I counted again: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5...17, 18, 19, 20.

I was right, there were 20, they were all there.

The rest of the evening passed peacefully, my mother fetched a rubbish bag from the cellar and put it by the door, then she told me to go to sleep and I followed her order.

I shouldn't have eaten so much. I looked at the clock, it was already after 2:00. I had to go to the bathroom. But when I opened my bedroom door I saw a light, a light coming from the kitchen. Was mother still awake?

I walked into the kitchen and saw where the light was coming from, it was coming from the basement, had she left it on?

I went over to the door and I didn't know why but out of habit I counted them: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13....

I shook my head, was I that tired? I counted again: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13....

Again I looked around me, then again down into the cellar. The lamp was on, it filled the room in a dim blood-red light.

And down to that lamp, which I now wanted oh so much to turn off, ran 13 steps, no more, no less.

And so, like a moth, I followed the call of the light, closing the door behind me.

13 Steps