The Basement by moredecaix7
Since I was little, I’ve always lived with my grandmother. My mother divorced while I was very little but remarried shortly after. Due to their financial situation, my grandmother turned her garage into a place for my mom and husband to stay in until they could get on their feet and get a house. There wasn’t enough room for me there so I kept staying at grandma’s house. My mom and step-dad got their finances in order and bought a new house. I was already attached to the neighborhood and had a few friends so I was asked whether I wanted to move with them or not. I chose not to and finished the rest of my schooling living at grandma’s house.
I moved out for awhile with some acquaintances but that fell through after about a year. I needed to move again and thought this would be the perfect time to finally live with my mom for a little while and get to know both my mom and step-dad better. Back then I was just dating my wife and planned on getting married as soon as we were able to save up the cash for our wedding, so it wasn’t going to be a very long time. We figured it would be quickest if we stayed living with our parents so we could fund the wedding ourselves without incurring any debt in addition to our school loans.
My sister had gone away to college so I was able to crash in her old room, in the basement. The basement had a really nice setup. You would walk down the open stairway from upstairs and to your left was a door that lead into the basement. To the right was another door that lead to the laundry room with a bathroom, an extra refrigerator and the door to my room. To the left was the entertainment room and wet bar my step-dad had built. It was a really nice setup with surround sound that I’ve watched plenty of action movies on when I’d come over to visit.
I got my stuff setup on a Friday night, pretty impressed I was able to get it all moved in a single day. I was pretty beat and quickly fell asleep. The next day, roughly middle to late afternoon, I was coming down stairs to go to my room and play some video games when I stopped at the entrance to the basement. I looked left toward the wet bar, where there was an empty space with an old rocking chair. The room was dimly lit by the sunlight pouring in through the basement doorway. The rocking chair didn’t move or anything like that, but I just had this eerie feeling that something was over there. I didn’t feel as though whatever was there was staring at me; I could just feel a presence in the room. I really didn’t like it. I moved through the laundry room and into my room and closed the door. I decided I’m being stupid, played some video games and forgot all about it.
It must have been roughly 1 am when I decided to go to bed. My parents typically stayed up until 3 and 4 am so I could still hear them clicking away on their laptops upstairs, playing casual games together into all hours of the night as I headed to the bathroom outside my room to brush my teeth. My mother noted that it can be pretty hard to wake up in the morning with the door to the laundry room and my room shut since the sunlight won’t pour in. Knowing this, I’d left my the laundry room door open. As I walked past the laundry room door that leads out to the entertainment room, I could feel the presence again. It was definitely more pronounced this time. I could feel the hairs standing up on the back of my neck. I quickly moved into the bathroom and shut the door. I finished up my nightly duty and bolted back to my room, only a few feet away.
I shut my bedroom door and contemplated leaving it closed. I really hated not waking up on time in the morning, and I know I won’t if the room stays permanently dark because the door is blocking any sunlight from coming in. I cracked the door open, not too wide but wide enough that the sunlight will shine through in the morning, turned my box fan on low and crawled into bed. I’ve always been kind of paranoid, so I made sure when I set my room up that I my bed faced the door, feet pointing toward the same wall so I can look out of the room.
I closed my eyes and tried to fall asleep, making sure I was tucked in toward the wall, as far from the door and edge of the bed as possible. After a couple of minutes, I could feel it again. I’m being watched. I cracked my right eye open, ever so slightly so I don’t look awake should it be true that I am being watched. My door was open much farther now, almost all the way. Likely this was due to the fan blowing, I thought to myself, but I was still uneasy. I opened my eyes slowly, watching the darkness slowly shift and flow while my eyes tried to adjust to the inky blackness. I simply could not see through the darkness.
I could feel the presence now; the feeling of not just being watched, but someone or something being there was now stronger than ever, just beyond my doorway. I closed my eyes again and tried to remain calm. I’m being stupid, I thought to myself. I’ve never been scared of the night before, why would I be now?
As I tried to mentally psyche myself out so I could get some damn sleep, I felt the presence shift. I kept my eyes shut, for I wished not to know what lie beneath the veil of night. The formless void crept into my room slowly, moving it self across the room cater-corner to my bed. The presence remained there for a long time; all the while I dared not move, afraid I would garner more attention from the presence. After what seemed like an eternity, the presence began to shift and move to other parts of my room, yet never coming any closer to my bed.
I pushed myself to ignore whatever I was feeling and busied my thoughts with video games and what I would be doing the next day. After a short while I was able to drift into a dreamless slumber.
From then on, every night I could feel this presence watch me from just outside my doorway. Always coming in for a time and shifting around my room, never coming close to me. I got used to it thinking I was either just acting like a child or the stress of the wedding planning was forcing my mind to play tricks on me. Even though I was convinced of these facts, I never opened my eyes when I felt the presence come in, nor do I sleep without my back facing the wall. This had gone on for roughly 8 months before I simply got tired of it. I was tired of feeling this presence watching me, hating the eerie feeling it gave me. I decided that enough was enough and even though I was worried I’d sleep too late without sunlight helping to wake me up in the morning, so I left my door closed for the night. I kept my same sleeping position, back against the wall, just in case. For a few minutes it seemed like the feeling wouldn’t present itself but, shortly after I convinced myself of the fact, I could feel the presence again just beyond the doorway waiting in the laundry room.
I felt a little more secure in that I knew it couldn’t see me anymore, but I still didn’t like the fact that I could feel it waiting, lingering in the shadows, just outside my door. The next night I decided to not only close my door, but also close the laundry room door that lead out to the entertainment room and upstairs. It didn’t help much. That night I could feel the presence lurking in the entertainment room, pacing around the wall and door that separated me from the rest of the basement. It was still unsettling but the feeling was lessened enough that I was able to sleep much better.
I began to shut both doors at night but this came at a heavy price. I no longer woke up to my alarm on time, sometimes hours late for work. This wouldn’t do, so I decided to buy one of those outdoor light timers to turn my standing lamp on across the room at a certain time. This worked for about a week or so but the timing quickly became off. No matter how many times I set it to the correct time, it would either go off way too early, way too late, or not at all. I decided it was time to just man up, open both doors, and let the sunlight help wake me up again.
As soon as I turned my light out, the presence returned. It felt stronger than ever, as if it were infuriated that I shut it out of my room. However, the presence still stayed across the room from my bed so I just forced myself to fall asleep each night, ignoring the presence lurking in the pitch black corners of my room. In a fit of rebellion against the presence, I began shutting the doors on weekends when I could afford to accidentally sleep in.
Of course, the presence did not enjoy this decision of mine one bit. After a few weeks of shutting the thing out on weekends, the one thing I had hoped would never happen began to occur. The presence began to move closer to my bed. It was a Tuesday night when it first started. It moved, ever so slightly, from its preferred corner to the middle of the room. For the next few nights, it stayed in the center of the room and stopped roaming the opposite wall. The weekend was pretty peaceful; I didn’t even feel it roaming the entertainment room the whole weekend. It was as if the presence scared itself by getting too close. That Sunday night though, everything changed.
As I turned the light out, preparing for the inevitable presence to come waltzing back into my room, it came quicker than it ever has before. It didn’t go across the room to it’s usual spot or to the middle of the room; it came closer than ever before, just my nightstand in between it and myself. I was definitely frightened and couldn’t think. All I could do was remain motionless and let the void drink me in, eyes shut tight.
After a few minutes, unsure of the actual span of time, the presence moved to the foot of my bed. The presence didn’t stay still. I could feel it constantly shifting at the foot of my bed, pacing back and forth. I knew not how I could even attempt to sleep feeling what seemed like contempt or possibly hatred, coming from the foot of my bed. Thankfully, the presence calmed itself and moved back to the center of the room for the rest of the night.
I only had to put up with this for another few weeks as my wedding date was approaching fast. I was very much ready to be rid of my parent’s home. Whatever is in their basement is becoming too much for me to handle. Over the course of the few weeks leading up to my wedding, the presence would always come quickly and hover near my bed, and at the foot of my bed. I slept less, ate less, and was becoming generally unpleasant to be around with this presence haunting me compounding with the stress of the wedding.
It was my second to last night being at my mother’s house when I decided I wanted to know what was coming into my room. I don’t know why it never occurred to me before; I dug through some old stuff of mine from when I was a child my mother had laying around in a closet and grabbed a night light. I plugged that bastard in over by the corner the presence used to hang out at. Now I’d be able to see, even if it was only a little bit, what was entering my room. I also wondered if it even would enter due to the fact a light was on but, with this nightmare almost over, I was feeling braver than ever.
It was about 2am when I decided to go to sleep, so I plugged the night light in and hesitated at opening my door. There was no going back from this. Once I turn my light out, either that presence will rush in, or it won’t choosing to shy away from the night light. I breathed deeply, opened both doors and darted for my bed. I, again, hesitated turning my light out. I still had a chance to back out. I didn’t have to work the next morning because it was the day before the wedding; I could still close both doors and sleep soundly. I mulled over this thought for a minute or two and ultimately decided that if I didn’t do it now, I’d never know. I turned the light out and for the first time, kept my eyes open while drawing the covers up around me as close as possible.
I couldn’t see yet as my eyes had not adjusted to the dim lighting. I could already feel the presence outside my doorway, waiting in the laundry room. My eyes began to cut through the shadows and I could see the void had a shape. It was squat, sat low to the ground, but I couldn’t see a full outline of the thing. I was terrified, never actually believing something would actually be there. I didn’t budge and just stared at the thing, obscured by the darkness of the laundry room.
I couldn’t help myself and closed my eyes tight. I debated whether I’d open them or not for a good long while, but I knew for sure I wasn’t going to move a muscle. I decided to peek again and what I saw, still chills me to my core this day. The squat creature I could now see was actually just crouched down with it’s hands placed on the floor between it’s feet, sitting in the middle of my room. I looked directly into it’s wide, unblinking eyes completely horrified that my mother was crouched on the floor staring intently at me, her head cocked to the side with a tiny grin on her face. Her curly, dark blonde hair was disheveled and all over the place. Had this been going on for over a year? My mother staring creepily at me while I slept? Did she do this to my sister? Was she possessed?
A million questions raced through my mind in the span of seconds but as quickly as I discovered it had been my mother watching me the entire time, she began to move out of the room. She slowly shifted her hands and feet, keeping them close to the floor, moving sideways to keep staring at me with her insane glare. She paused again at my doorway for the longest minute in my life and then vanished into the darkness of the laundry room.
I couldn’t feel her creepy stare coming from the laundry room. She must have moved on back to the entertainment room or straight back up stairs. I really hoped it was back up stairs but I wasn’t brave enough to find out yet. If my mom was crazy or something, I’d rather not provoke her, who knows what she would do in that state of mind.
I checked the time on my phone and it had been over an hour since she left my room and I’d stopped feeling her presence. I clicked my light on and sat up in bed. I thought maybe it’d be best to at least check on her, see if she did make it back to bed... or not. That’s how you die in horror movies I thought. I could see into the laundry room and knew she wasn’t hiding in there so I thought it best to at least close the doors. She never bothered to open them before.
I got up and slowly made my way over to the laundry room door. Not thinking about it, I glanced out into the entertainment room and could see my mother, crouched in the same position on the far side of the room by the rocking chair, staring intently at me in the doorway. She kept tilting her head back and forth slowly, never breaking eye contact. I froze; a brand new wave of terror keeping me bolted to the floor. My mother began to shuffle toward me, tilting her head back and forth all while, her smile now wide and seemingly menacing. I shut the door before she could reach me, ran into my room and locked the door.
I heard a thud as she slammed into the door. Once, twice, three times she slammed against the door. I was stricken with fear, gripping onto a pair of wooden nun-chucks I’d bought from a flea market when I was younger. I couldn’t hit my mother, could I? Either way, it made me feel safer.
The thumping on the laundry room door stopped. A minute later I could hear the creek of the hinges as the door slowly opened. The handle of my door began to turn back and forth, trying to push open the door. I sat up the entire night with the light on, quivering in the corner of my room watching the door handle twist left and right. Around roughly six in the morning, the handle stopped turning.
I waited until nine o’clock, making sure it was daytime out before I unlocked the door and ventured out of the room. I peeked out into the laundry room; she wasn’t there. Still gripping my nunchucks, I peeked around the now wide open door to the entertainment room and she wasn’t there either. I peeked a third time around the corner of the of the door that leads to the stairwell and she wasn’t there. I breathed a sigh of relief and walked up stairs to the living room and kitchen area. My mother was sitting in her usual seat at the dining room table, eating a bowl of cereal. “Good morning, how’d you sleep?” she asked in her usual chipper tone.
“Fine, I guess... did you get up at all last night?”
She finished chewing the wad of cereal in her mouth and swallowed. “No, I didn’t get up. Why do you ask?”
“Nothing, I just thought I heard something in the laundry room” lying right to her face. What was I supposed to say? Hey, why were you trying to kill me or something last night and staring at me while I slept every night since I’ve lived here?
“Oh ok, it could have just been the house settling. You hear most everything in that basement,” she said, shoveling in another mouthful of cereal.
“Yeah, it was probably nothing,” I said, lying again. I let her get back to eating and I began preparing for a long day ahead, getting everything ready for the wedding Saturday. All day I couldn’t shake the feeling of what had happened out of my mind. It wasn’t a dream... I mean I never went to sleep. I didn’t have the chance to dream. Nevertheless, I still had one night left in that house and decided I need a backup plan.
I asked my best friend and best man to stay the night with me, using the excuse that I needed help waking up in the morning and staying on task for the wedding. I didn’t dare tell him about what had happened with my mother, partly because I didn’t want to scare him, and partly because I wasn’t sure of it myself. It was just too surreal.
We stayed up somewhat late, laughing and joking about the stupid things we did in high school and played video games. He crashed on the floor and I’d forgotten all about last night. I was completely exhausted and crashed into bed. I waited to fall asleep for awhile, wondering if my mother was going to make a repeat appearance with my friend there. She never did. I couldn’t feel her presence in the entertainment room either. I fell asleep quickly, assured the presence of my friend was keeping whatever my mother was doing in check.
The wedding went off without a hitch. It was the best time of my life. My wife and I drove to Kansas City and stayed for close to a week, having a blast on our honeymoon. I thought nothing of the events that had transpired only a few days before and had completely forgotten the entire event until it came time to open our wedding gifts.
We poured out the box of cards that had been given to us and were slowly making our way through them, making a list of what each person had given for writing thank you notes. I opened the card my mother gave us; it was one of those cards that had a pocket for money. I read the message written on the left of the card and pulled the money out of the pocket. A small slip of folded paper fell to the floor. My wife hadn’t noticed, so I picked up and unfolded the note. In the note was scrawled in big thick messy letters “I’ll always be with you”.
I quickly folded the note back up and threw it into the trash pile. My wife didn’t need to know and if I told her the story of what happened, she’d just be frightened of the darkness at night. So I kept the story and what was written in the note to myself.
A week later I woke up in our apartment one night in a cold sweat, my wife sleeping soundly beside me. I was feeling thirsty and got up for a drink of water from the kitchen. I made my way into the kitchen and poured a tall, cold glass. As I drank, I heard something shuffle outside by the front door. I didn’t think anything of it; it was probably the neighbor across from me. Then the door handle started to twist. Back and forth the handle moved, squeaking lightly with each turn. I looked out the peephole but no one was there. I closed the peep hole and grabbed the handle to keep it from turning. I could feel the pressure of someone trying to twist the handle back and forth on the other side of the door. After a moment, they stopped trying to turn the handle. I looked out the peep hole again and saw my mother, crouched low to the ground, staring at me with wide, unblinking eyes, and that menacing grin.