The Basement

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic
When you're home alone and need something from the basement, you always think...there could be someone down there.


What if there was?

Comments are Greatly Appreciated!!!

Submitted: January 22, 2015

A A A | A A A

Submitted: January 22, 2015



The Basement

Kevin Coroneos

Clancy O’Connor lay in the center of his bed with his head propped up on his pillow, lazily throwing darts at the board across the room. At sixteen, most of his classmates would be out by now, probably getting drunk off the cheapest crap they could find. It wasn’t like he didn’t have friends; he talked to a lot of people at school. Just when that final bell rang, everyone seemed to disappear. Sometimes he felt like his only true friend was his cat, Jenkins, who was lying at his feet. His orange fur was brushing up against his socks, giving him the only warmth and support he’d get on a night like this. He didn’t mind—he’d gotten used to it by now.

He looked at his phone sitting on the charger next to him. The last sound it made was hours ago—his sister, Claire, asking him if he knew where the keys to the basement back door were. He didn’t, but they were probably in some random spot she decided to throw them. He didn’t even know why he had a phone. The only ones who ever contacted him were his mother, father, and Claire.

“Ohhh, Misterrrr Jenkins if only you could text.” He smiled a little, imagining receiving the little emoticon cat faces from his cat.

As Clancy picked up another dart, he heard the bedroom door next to his open. It was Casino Night. His father owned his own consulting firm and spent almost every second of the business week in the office. His mother rarely got to see him before midnight, so Casino Night was their little honeymoon each week. So every single Friday, the strong scent of his mother’s perfume, followed by the clacking of heels and dress shoes down the stairs were the indication that his night would be even lonelier. His mother’s incessant cackling was just pouring salt in the wound. Smile, gone.

“Clance! We’re going out to the casino for the night! Wish us luck, hun! We love ya, have fun!” she called up to him.

Sure, Mom! I will have fun rotting up in my room with Jenkins! Enjoy blowing my college fund on craps!

“Yep, bye Mom, bye Dad. Be safe.” And with that the door slammed shut. Clancy launched the dart in his hand at the board, slamming the bulls-eye with the sharp, metal point causing pieces of cork to scatter beneath the force. He was actually a pretty good shot—but that came from a lot of practice from boring nights alone. He only had about three darts left, so he figured he’d wait a little before he threw them so he wouldn’t have to get out of bed.

“Clancy, come here real quick.” Claire called from her bathroom. Guess I’m getting out of bed anyway.

He put the darts in the pocket of his khaki shorts and stumbled out of bed into the hallway. A different scent, this time Claire, filled his nostrils. She stood there, inches from the mirror, putting on her last bit of mascara. Even though she was only two years older than him, she seemed much more mature. She was wearing a pink sequined top that seemed to make her pale complexion even whiter. Her classy jeans and long black boots gave the image that she was taller than usual. Her strawberry blonde hair draped on her shoulders in numerous curls, it was obvious she had been working on this look for hours. He didn’t even have to ask where she was going; he knew instantly that she was going on a date with her guy of the month, Mike. She put down the make-up and turned to Clancy.

“Does this look okay? Should I change? Do I look too pale? Should I have just kept my hair straight?”

Clancy couldn’t help but to laugh. It’s funny how panicky girls get over their appearance, especially when they’re as attractive as his sister. “You look great, Claire. Stop worrying so much.”

“I just really want to impress Mike this time; I might want to keep him!” She fumbled through a bag on the counter finding earrings that complimented her outfit. When she found the perfect match, she rushed out of the bathroom, nudging Clancy out of the way. “I don’t want to be late either!” She stormed down the steps with Clancy trailing her. The thunderous stomps of her tall, tan boots drew Jenkins out of hiding and downstairs.

“Wait but what am I supposed to eat? Can’t you make me food?” he said as Claire was digging around the house for her keys.

“Clance, I really don’t have time I promised Mike I’d meet him at 8! It’s already 7:50! There are a couple of frozen pizzas in the basement freezer. All you do is throw them in the oven for like 10 minutes and they’re done. Even you can’t screw them up. I gotta go! Bye!”

“Wait!” His eyes quickly shifted to look at the basement door.

“Really? You want me to go with you? You’re sixteen, Clancy. It’s a basement…you’ll be fine.” Her voice calmed, “I’m sorry, I just really don’t want to be late.” She pulled him into her arms brushing aside his messy, brown hair, “I’ll text you when I’m there safe, okay?” She slowly opened the door and waved goodbye.

Although she wasn’t always the nicest to him, Clancy knew that she still cared. And he cared about her. That’s why every time she left somewhere, she’d send him a message letting him know she was safe, and he’d always reply with a simple “:)” just to let her know he was happy she’d still be there for him at the end of the day. Although it kind of sucked, he sometimes felt his sister cared more for him then his parents. After all, they didn’t even make him dinner tonight.

He looked at the closed front door one last time, cementing the fact that Claire wouldn’t be back for a while—that he’d be stuck bored, alone, and hungry. Clancy moseyed over to the kitchen, straying away from the basement door as he walked past it. He walked over to the fridge and opened the door, staring at an area as blank and empty as space. There really was no food in the house, other than in the basement. He let out a sigh of angst and plopped himself down on the nearest couch in the family room. He stared up at the ceiling, trying to figure out something to occupy his time. He turned on the TV, trying to find a show or movie to watch, but on a Friday night, there was nothing good on—most people were out having a good time somewhere with no use for television. Clancy sighed again, Looks like I’ll be in bed by 9 o’ clock tonight.

He heard a slight rumbling sound coming from somewhere nearby. He shut the TV to see if the sound was coming from the speakers, but then it came again—from his stomach. He’d have to get up and go get the pizza from the basement. With no food upstairs, and no money to order out, he’d have to make the adventure down the basement to get nourishment. He rolled off the couch to his knees and propped himself up to his feet, trudging out of the room and into the hallway.

Clancy walked over to the basement door and stopped for a second as Jenkins rubbed up against his leg. No matter how old he was, there was just something about being in the basement alone. He thought it was weird to be afraid of a part of his own house, but he couldn’t help it. It wasn’t even that creepy—it was a finished basement with carpeting, dry wall, couches, a bar, TVs! But it didn’t matter… it was still like a cavern in the depths of his home. Just the fact that it was like an unknown world scared him. His family hardly went down there, and if they did it was usually to entertain a large group of people or to use the fridge or closets. Every time he stepped down there, he was overcome with a feeling inside that seemed to grab his insides and pull them closer together, huddling out of fear of what could happen. It’s stupid. No it’s not something could happen. I’m just being dumb I’m sixteen it’s my house I’m being dumb. I’m in my own house its fine. I’ll just bring Jenkins with me, anyway.

“C’mon Misterrrrrr Jenkinsssss best cat everrrrrrrrr let’s go get some nomsssssss.” As he opened the door to the basement Jenkins slipped through the crack before him. Clancy threw open the door all the way to see that the lights were still on. Claire must have left them on when she was searching for the basement key. At least if the electric bill is high, Mom and Dad will have less to spend at the casino. He nervously walked down the steps with Jenkins, who had waited for him to come, preparing for any “monsters” that were lurking in the rooms or hiding behind the corners. As he tiptoed down, he thought about checking the game room door immediately to his right at the bottoms of the steps. He imagined opening it to find some large, blue beast with mangy claws playing foosball alone. That lightened his mood a little, a fluffy Smurf trying to score. He reached the bottom of the steps and ignored the door to his right, instead turning the corner and going straight for the freezer.

But he stopped. It was the only action that his mind could contemplate at the time. In front of the freezer was a woman, duct taped to a chair. She looked older, maybe a college student, with long strawberry blonde hair that looked like someone had taken a weed whacker to. A few strands rested on her shoulders, while others lay around her feet, some sticking straight up or seemingly glued to the duct tape that bound her to the chair. Her nose up was covered in a potato sack, hiding the rest of her disheveled hair. She was in jogging attire, or what was left of it. Her pink sports bra looked like it had been fondled with and her spandex shorts had a large tear up the side. She only had one running shoe on her left foot, and the way the sock was torn on the right foot looked to be from trying to get away from the assailants. Her skin was so bruised that it appeared like her complexion was purple. It didn’t matter that her mouth was duct taped shut—her appearance told the whole story. Her eyes were covered, but tears streaming down her cheeks, creating a glow off her face. Her convulsing body looked like someone had a constant stun gun pointed at her throat. Clancy could almost feel her eyes through the sack, pulling him closer, begging for help. But all he could do is stand there—as lifeless as her. He looked down by his side to see Jenkins heading towards the mysterious victim.

Jenkins! Psssst psst come here come here kitty please come here Mr. Jenkins.” He couldn’t do anything about the cat as it approached the victim. He rubbed up against the woman’s tattered leg.

“WHO THE FUCK IS DOWN HERE?” A raspy voice came booming from around the corner, past the bar. Clancy twisted his body around and bolted for the stairs. Emotion and tension violently thrashed his body up the steps as he crashed into the railing. He felt a sharp pain pierce the side of his leg, but ignored it—the raspy voiced man could probably do much worse.  He fumbled for the door knob, throwing the door open looking for a phone, an exit, or hope. All he found was another man standing in the kitchen.

He was tall, around six foot three and very thin, but at the same time, muscular. He was built like a Major League second baseman and looked like he could pack a punch. His beard was grungy, like someone used it as a Brillo Pad to clean a bathroom. He seemed relatively young, maybe around thirty, but his skin looked worn, with tiny scars decorating his cheeks like freckles and dried dirt tattooed to his tanned skin. His beady, black eyes stared up and down the small boy in front of him, sizing him up to find the easiest way to take him out. A smirk came across his face—he had been waiting on the opportunity to take down an easy prey all week.

Clancy glanced to his right to the front door, then to the back door, trying to find which way was quicker, but in a matter of seconds, the bearded man was already running for him.

“Come here, Kid! Jack! There’s a fuckin’ kid up here!” Clancy didn’t turn around, he didn’t even open his eyes—he just ran for the front door praying he’d reach the door knob. The footsteps behind him grew closer, pounding the hardwood with each vicious stomp. Clancy reached out his hand hoping to feel the cold metal knob, but instead he felt a force throw him from behind and his head smash up against the door. The sharp sting in the side of his leg intensified as a large hand grabbed his shoulder and flipped him around. He opened his eyes.

“There wasn’t supposed to be a fuckin’ soul here,” His clasp on Clancy’s shoulder grew more intense, “And now there won’t be.” He cocked his arm back behind his head to deliver a final blow. Clancy dropped his hands by his side and into his pockets, twirling his fingers around the massive wasp that had been stinging him since he fell up the stairs. Inch by inch, he removed the sharp tip from his tender flesh. He clenched the dart in his fist, knowing it held his only hope for survival. The bearded man’s arm was still raised, eyes wide open about to take down his prey. As quickly as possible, Clancy ripped his arm out of his pocket and jammed the dart into the side of the man’s face. He pulled it out and quickly jabbed the man again, this time in the area right next to the eye. He pulled it out one last time, finally stabbing him directly in the cornea. He still took a swing, bashing his large hand into the door and throwing it up into the air. With one hand on the dart, contemplating pulling it out, the man wobbled around, heading towards the family room. He was twisting around, trying to remove the dart without pulling his entire eye ball out, it was clear he had no idea what he was doing. He continued to stumble, eventually tripping over a shoe and into the glass table in the middle of the room, smashing it beneath him. The bearded man was motionless and would be for a while, but the sound of footsteps still haunted Clancy.

“I think that was just luck,” a raspy voice, Jack he assumed, sarcastically echoed from behind him. “That was just my bitch friend who owed me a favor, now you can deal with me.” Clancy could almost feel the evil pulsing from Jack’s body. “But are you going to leave your sister down there like that?” The footsteps inched closer, almost tiptoeing to Clancy. “You get a second head start before I catch you, skin you, and hang you from the ceiling like you’re Peter fucking Parker. Go.”

Clancy didn’t stop to think, he didn’t have time to—he just ran. If he went to the front door he’d run straight into the man, the back door, he’d stand no chance of getting away…the basement. He had to go down there and save his sister He turned the corner of the family room and headed for the basement door, throwing it open without hesitating—he already knew what was down there. He ran down the stairs, three at a time, and rushed past the woman whose chair was now lying flat on the carpet. The sliding basement door was in his sights, all he had to do was toss it open and make it to a neighbor’s house and they could help him. He grabbed both hands around the handle and pulled quickly to his right.

Cluunnk. It didn’t budge. It was locked, through all the madness Clancy had forgotten that the basement key couldn’t be found. He was trapped in the basement with the only possible exit upstairs and a stocky man, Jack, blocking his path.

He walked closer, noticing that Jenkins was hiding under a table near him. Jack picked him up with one hand, stretching the fur on his back. He twirled the knife in his other hand around like it was a drumstick, like he had a lot of practice with the instrument. “You think you O’Connor’s are tough shit don’t you?” How does he know my name?  “WELL YOU’RE FUCKING NOT. You’re all SHIT! Your dad thinks he can just fire me? I was fucking valuable! I CARRIED this company.”

It was at that moment Clancy remembered that the last time he actually spoke to his father. He explained the tough situation at work, firing one of his workers for sexually harassing the women around the office. And here he was, standing in his house with a knife and duct taped woman.

“For weeks now we’ve sat outside your house and every single God damn Friday this place is like a ghost town just waiting for us. Your rich fucking parents leaving for the night every week, it gave us the perfect opportunity to really fuck shit up. And this bitch,” He licked his lips. His knife aimed at the woman lying on the ground, “Your fucking sister, was the perfect opportunity to get back at him. Kill his daughter, fuck around with his psyche. But you and your stupid cat HAD to FUCKING be here didn’t you? Who even knew he had a fucking son? Do you even leave this fucking hell hole?” His fingers twirled the knife again. “Well, it’s no problem. More fun for me I guess.” He smirked, inching even closer to Clancy. “Now, which pussy should I slay first? Her…your fucking cat,” his smile got bigger, “or you.”

Clancy ran, he didn’t know where he was going, he just knew that he was going to be the first to die—he was the only one who was a threat to Jack. He ran away from the door and leaped over the woman who was apparently his “sister”, scurrying past the man, and turning the corner to find the only shelter the basement had to offer—a closet. He slammed the door shut and locked it immediately, kicking aside all the crap that was on the ground. He pulled the string on the light above him, praying it would work so he could actually see all the things sandwiching his body. The light crackled and shined a glimpse of pale light. There was bedding stuff behind him, pushing him into the door and fishing lures and poles on his sides, a really uncomfortable fit for the only thing keeping him alive. The light crackled again. Clancy looked up to see a quick flicker, then darkness.

“You really think hiding is gonna do ya any good?” The door started shaking in front of Clancy’s face—Jack was right outside of it. “Let’s just end this, kid. Quickly.”

Tears started streaming down Clancy’s face, “Stop it stop it stop it please stop please stop.” He couldn’t help to whimper, he knew in a matter of minutes his life would be over. The closet could only hold him for so long. It was like a glass bottle, holding all of his fear, his life in it, just waiting to be shattered by the evil lurking on its outskirts. The few rays of light creeping through the cracks of the door were not enough to give Clancy hope. It wasn’t heaven out there, just a man, using the light as an instrument to see every second of his passion. Clancy could hear the edge of the knife grazing the killer’s skin. He was supposed to.

“It’ll be yours soon, kid.”

Clancy stood there, shaking. He didn’t know what else to do.

"Just step out now and I’ll go easy on ya. I’ll slit your throat before I skin ya. Then you won’t even have to watch me fuck your sister up.”

“THAT’S NOT EVEN MY SISTER.” Clancy threw his hands over his mouth. He was thinking it the whole time, but he should’ve just kept his mouth shut. Sure, the woman and Claire had the same hair color, even looked around the same height, but that definitely was not Claire bound to the chair. Now he was the only target that mattered for revenge.

“What the fuck did you say? That’s not your fucking sister? Then who the fuck is that bitch?” The door quaked again, rattling the entire closet. Clancy looked around, trying to find something to help him escape. His eyes had slightly adjusted to the darkness, he could somewhat make out all the objects in the room. All he needed was something to give him just a split second to get away—something to save him. “WHERE THE FUCK IS YOUR SISTER?”

Then, there was nothing…just silence. For the first time since his parents left, life seemed peaceful. The yelling ceased, the door stopped shaking—it was just quiet. Then, Clancy heard it—footsteps above his head. He sensed that Jack was still there, and the bearded man upstairs could not have gotten up for a long time. There was only one person it could be—Claire. All he needed was to get upstairs; he didn’t have enough time to wait for the cops—assuming she called them. He needed to get out, he needed to escape.

“Who the fuck is that? Is that your real sister this time? IS IT?”

The door shook again, this time jingling a box of lures and hooks on the ground. That’s it. Clancy knew what he had to do to buy him time. He picked up the box and hugged it, closing his eyes. He took a deep breath, knowing that he was gambling all he had left on a stupid plan. It was his only chance. Clancy opened the closet door to see Jack standing right there, knife already raised to attack. He threw all the contents in the box at the killer’s face, making him stumble backwards trying to swat away lures and hooks.

“Whadafuck is this?” There were hooks hanging from his cheeks and eyebrows, which he was flicking out one by one. They didn’t do any damage, but they stalled him for a bit. Clancy ran, heading towards the bar looking for the biggest bottle he could find. He found a few large bottles of whisky and launched them at Jack, nailing him with one right in the shoulder causing it to shatter. He was bleeding, backed up against the wall. Clancy kept hurling whatever he could find from behind the bar at the villain, hitting him wherever it was possible. His legs were slowly collapsing beneath him as Clancy picked up another bottle. He threw it, aiming for Jack’s head but missed and hit the wall behind him. Jack was sitting against the wall now, and for the first time all night…he actually looked scared. His eyes looked up at Clancy, hooks and glass covering his body. He looked helpless, like a week old puppy with a broken leg, just begging to be carried to safety. He heard the screams of his name coming upstairs from his sister, he knew he was safe but he wasn’t going to stop until he felt he was done. He was now standing over Jack, looking down at him, in control. He felt in his pocket for the two darts still remaining. He pulled them out slowly and looked at Jack’s helpless eyes. He jabbed the dart down into his temple as he let out a roar of pain. He fell over, still alive, but in pain as blood squirted from the side of his head. Clancy got on his knees, getting closer to his victim. He pulled out the final dart and lifted it high above his head, slamming it down into the side of his neck. Jack was now still. He stared down at his motionless body, knowing that soon the cops and paramedics would be here, taking Jack away to rot in his own closet-sized cell.

Clancy pulled himself up and walked towards the woman who was on the ground. She was passed out but appeared to still be breathing. He bent down and slowly tore off the duct tape from her mouth so she could get a little more air. If it wasn’t for her disheveled appearance, she would look peaceful, like she was in a long slumber. Clancy smiled, not only had he saved his own life, but also the life of a stranger who would never stop trying to repay him. He walked over towards the freezer and opened it up, noticing a large amount of frozen French bread pizzas. He took one out and closed the door, turning around to head out of the hell beneath his home. Jenkins came out from behind the couch, skipping a step on one of his feet, which looked crooked and mangled, probably broken from when Jack threw him. He looked rattled, but loyal like a dog, came right by his owners side. Clancy scooped him up to relieve the pain of his poor cat’s leg.

The slow climb up the stairs seemed like Mount Everest, with each step, pain shot through his body, but when he finally reached the top, it would be an incredible story of struggle and survival. He opened the door and saw Claire standing in the kitchen clutching a knife against her chest with both hands. He smiled at her—it was the first face he was glad to see all night.

“I f-found the p-pizza,” he limped towards her, holding up the pizza to show her his prize.

“Clance,” she threw the knife behind her and jumped on her brother, holding him tighter than ever. “Clance Clance,” she whispered softly in his ear. The sound of sirens slowly faded into the scene.

Tears fell from the siblings’ eyes. Clancy broke free from her hug, but still kept his hands on her arms. “How did you kn-know to come back for me?” The sirens grew closer.

“You never texted me back and I…I don’t know I ju-just had a feeling something was wrong. I don’t know I just felt it. You needed me.”  She pulled him in again, even tighter this time, her wet cheeks soaking his hair. The sirens were right outside now. At any moment, the cops would be rushing into the house and taking away Jack and the bearded man, paramedics coming to take the woman and examine Clancy. But he didn’t care; he was comfortable right where he was at—in his sister’s arms.

© Copyright 2020 kcoroneos. All rights reserved.

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