what lives in the basement

June 5, 2008
By Kieran Corrigan, Havertown, PA

Sophie Johnson and her father Steve live together with their pet golden retriever Lucky. Sophie’s mother and father have been divorced since Sophie was in 2nd grade. Her mother lives in the same town as Sophie but she only sees her every other weekend. Sophie’s father owns his own contracting business and her mother is a nurse at a local hospital. Sophie enjoys her time with both of her parents but her dad gives her more freedom so she usually has more fun there.
It was the first of October when Sophie was walking home with her friends Cindy and Hannah. She had known both ever since they were in first grade and they are still best friends as juniors in high school. Hannah and Cindy both had been planning a surprise party for Sophie because her Birthday was Halloween and they wanted to make it a special celebration for her this year. So as they walked and made plans for the weekend Sophie stopped and remembered that her and her father already had plans for Saturday afternoon to paint the living room. So when Sophie got home she started to look at the calendar that occupied the dark brown wooden door leading to her basement. She looked at it and turned from September to October and saw that the calendar said October 4th 2009 was a Saturday and that her father had already made a mark on it that said “Painting with Sophie”.
As Sophie walked away she brushed against the calendar and knocked it over .The nail that had held it up against the door fell and rolled under the door. She heard it knock hard against every uncovered hard wooden step. As she walked down the steps she realized that no one ever really went down to her basement, not even Lucky. Sophie reached the bottom of the steps where the nail laid. From the corner of her eye Sophie thought that she saw something move quickly in the corner of the room. Sophie was compelled to go see what it was that had moved but for some reason she was too afraid to go to the spot. She ran to the top of the stairs as fast as she could. When her dad got home she asked him if he knew of any animal that could have snuck into the house through any cracks. Her father told her that she must be imagining things because he had personally made sure when he moved in that all the cracks were sealed. That night Sophie couldn’t get any sleep. All night she was up tossing and turning thinking about what she saw in the basement.

The rest of her week was normal. She hadn’t gone down to the basement again and she had convinced herself that what she thought she saw was just shadows playing tricks on her eyes. Saturday came around and Sophie and her dad started painting the living room. They were all smiles once they finished. Then her father made two cups of hot chocolate, one for him and one for her. From that moment on her life just got stranger and stranger. When she finished her cup of hot chocolate she took it back to the sink to wash it. That was when she heard a noise come from the basement. The only way she could describe it was as a light scratching at a piece of pipe. Sophie was too scared to go check it out or mention it so she just called Hannah and Cindy.

Sophie met up with Hannah and cindy after she ate dinner. They went to a movie and then back to Hannah’s house for a while. When Sophie got home that night it was almost midnight. Sophie had been out all night so she was tired and went straight to bed. Right after she got into bed she started hearing noises outside her room. Sophie knew that her dad was in bed so it couldn’t have been him. At first she just tried to tell herself that it was just her dog Lucky making the noise. For about an hour she was too scared to go to sleep because she still had doubts about it being Lucky. Sophie decided to walk downstairs to check out the noise. Once she reached the landing she immediatley stopped in her tracks. She knew the sound now, it was the silent pitter patter on the bongo drums that her father had received as a house warming present from her aunt. Sophie couldn’t do anything but stand there in fear for a few moments. When she regained her sense Sophie ran up the steps trying not to make a noise. Even though she had gotten back to bed unharmed Sophie still couldn’t fall asleep.

The next week went by and every night Sophie heard the noises and every night she could barley sleep. On Friday Sophie invited Hannah and Cindy to spend the night. All week Hannah and Cindy had made fun of Sophie for her stories and how rediculous they were, so they decided to spend the night at Sophie’s house to prove to Sophie that it wasn’t true. So that night at 12:30 the girls heard a slight pitter patter of bongos outside of Sophies room. The girls gathered a flash light and a baseball bat to see what was going on downstairs. When the girls got to the landing they could tell that it was the bongos playing. As they made their way down Hannah dropped the flashlight on the step in front of her. All of the sudden the bongos stopped playing. The air was still, nobody moved a muscle. As Hannah went to pick up the flash light there was a short burst of quick light footsteps in the direction of the basement. All of the girls looked at each other. All of the girls were too frightened to go downstairs and follow the footsteps so they went back to Sophie’s room. As the girls sat down to the T.V they talked about what they had heard. The girls were talking and they all decided that it would be a good idea to go find whatever it was so they could see if it really was someone else in the house. So the girls made their way downstairs again and went to the main light switch. They flicked on all the lights in the kitchen. As the girls continued to walk towards the basement door they began to hear something. It sounded like someone flicking past the sheet of tarp that Sophie’s father had put on each end of the massive bookshelf that lay in the corner of the basement. The girls walked to the door and opened it. Still armed with the bat and the flashlight the girls turned on the light and walked down the steps. Suddenly they heard a quick noise from behind the tarp. The girls walked back behind the tarp and were horrified at what they saw. There stood a little boy with an axe stuck on the top of his head. The boy just stood there with a blank expression on his face.

The next morning the girls agreed not to tell anyone what they saw. They all agreed that it was just the night playing tricks on them. They knew that it was not true and that they had really seen a ghost of a little boy. When Sophie came back in her house she asked her dad if he knew the history of the house. Her dad said that it was fairly new and only had one owner before them. He told her that he knew nothing of the previous owners. That night Sophie decided to find out for herself. She invited Cindy and Hannah to come over. The girls went online and search for 1221 Fairview, avenue. When They saw the first result was from a newspaper they clicked on it. They looked at the page where it said “10 year old boy killed by parents”. They read the article and learned that the little boy’s parents had gone insane and murdered him with an axe. The girls looked away from the screen. They never talked about the boy or the night they spent at Sophie’s house ever again.

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