Stories, poems, and stuff kids would like.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Böseboy and the Shade, Part II

As his eyes adjusted to the gloom within the stone mausoleum, Böseboy noticed how filthy the place was. There were cobwebs everywhere. Not the pretty spiral kind that you sometimes see glistening with dew in the yard, but nasty tangles of silk that gathered black dust in a chaotic mess. Broken bits of stone and wood littered the floor and a small statue had fallen and shattered on the grimy slabs. He felt right at home. If only there were cable TV here, he thought, I could make this my clubhouse. The air stirred and brought a damp wind across his neck. There, where the gloom was the thickest, he thought he could make out stairs leading down, down, into pitch black.

Böseboy remembered a game he had played at a cousin’s house. They turned of the basement lights, and then they took turns walking down the stairs in the dark. They took a piece of chalk along, and when it got too scary to continue, they would write their initials on the floor. Böseboy had gone the furthest and won the game. It’s scary walking in the dark, but he figured he was a master of it. He wondered what was at the bottom of the stairs.

Böseboy walked to the stairs and looked down. Very little light made it into the depths, and he could only make out the first three steps. No telling how far it went. He stepped onto the first and looked as hard as he could, until his eyeballs hurt. It did no good. The dark remained dark. He turned to go back, and then remembered the taunt he had used at his cousin’s house: “fraidy-cat, fraidy-cat, Jason is a fraidy-cat!” Not very original, perhaps, but it had persuaded his timid cousin Jason to go too far into the basement and actually get lost in the dark. Böseboy laughed at the memory. He had made spooky ghost sounds to scare the poor kid even more. That gave him an idea.

“Hello!” he said, “Did someone order a pizza?” There was of course no answer.

“Well that’s too bad,” he continued. “I have a hot delicious TOMBSTONE pizza here!”

He slapped his leg and laughed at his joke. The he remembered he was holding a pizza and tried to catch it before it fell. Then he remembered that the pizza wasn’t real, and looked around to see if anyone had seen.

He didn’t have a pizza, of course, but he did have a good luck charm that his friend the Witch had given him for his birthday. It was a chain that went around his neck with a silver coin. The coin had a small hole to let the chain pass through. When he had asked the Witch where it came from, because the markings were very strange, she said from the River Sticks and wouldn’t say anymore.

Böseboy took the chain off and removed the shiny coin. Then he held it to reflect light into the hole. By leaning just right and tilting the coin just right, he could focus the sun’s rays down into the blackness. He saw a fourth step, a fifth, and …. something that moved? He took a step back and tripped, sitting hard on the stone. At the same time he heard a ‘tink, tink, tink…’ His coin had rolled down the stairs! He would have to go home and get a flashlight to search for it. But what if someone came along and found it? Such a pleasant spot must surely have many visitors, he thought. Better to get it now. He was scared though. Had something down there really moved, or was it just his imagination? He took a step down. Then another. It was cooler and damper. And darker. His heart pounded at the thought of decending further, but in the back of his mind he heard his cousin Jason singing “fraidy-cat, fraidy-cat, Böseboy is a fraidy-cat!” He took a deep breath and slowly descended the stairs.


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