Stories, poems, and stuff kids would like.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Böseboy and the Shade, Part III

Böseboy kept his right hand against the wall as he took the steps one by one. The stone was cool and damp. A bug ran across his hand, making him jump. He didn’t know how far the coin had rolled, so on each new step he stopped and searched, feeling for it in the gloom. Once he thought he saw a glint of light from down below, but it disappeared quickly. The inky blackness deepened with each step, and every so often a slight breeze would brush against him—air as cold as a deep freeze. He considered whether he should go further. Surely he would have won any game with his cousin Jason by now. Jason was the real fraidy-cat, not him. He decided that he would go down one more step, and if there was no coin, he would go back for a flashlight. He took a step.

With his hands he felt the surface of the stone stair step. There was a stick or something, but no coin. Disappointed, he picked up the stick and felt it. It was rounded at both ends like a … bone. Cool, he thought! He turned to go back up the stairs when a slight sound below caught his attention. He couldn’t see, so he stopped and listened as hard as he could. There it was again. The hairs on the back of his neck stood up, and he felt a prickle of sweat return, despite the cold drafts. What would the Witch do, he wondered. She would probably have a spell that would cause light to appear. He tried to remember one, but couldn’t. He scrunched up his face and concentrated.

“Mumble dee bumble, I’ve got a fright,

Crumble dee stumble, make me a light,” he intoned in his best spell-casting voice.

Böseboy opened his eyes. Lo and behold, there was a single ray of light coming out of the ceiling ahead and providing the barest flicker of illumination! He repeated his chant, faster this time. The light got brighter. He could see the outlines of things. He tried again and it got brighter still. He scanned the stairs ahead. There were only two left before he reached the bottom. He looked for the coin. There it was! It had rolled all the way to the last step. He took two steps and reached for it. It felt very cold. The small room at the bottom continued to get lighter, bit by bit. There was a large box shape against the wall. Further left there was a shape that looked like a very…skinny…person. Just then he heard a voice.

“So where’s the pizza?” it said. The voice sounded like dry twigs breaking.


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