Short Story Fiction
The Basement Dweller

Something was down there and it needed to go.

Door image

“We need to sell this house and get the hell out of here. I can’t take any more of this.”

The pounding and the scratching on the basement door became louder.

Edith walked into the living room. “How can you just sit there and ignore it?”

Charles sat in his Lazy Boy channel surfing. “Excuse me. I’m having a hard enough time hearing the TV without you adding to the noise.”

His wife was not so at ease with the situation. “This is starting to scare the shit out of me. What if it gets out? Then what? It will tear us to pieces. I’m sure of it.”

“Edith, just calm down. You’re not sure of anything. It’s a strong door. I’m not going to worry about it. Besides, It only happens during a full moon. You know as well as I do we would never be able to sell this house with that thing in the basement.”

“Then let’s just pack up and leave. We have to get out of here. The sooner the better.”

“What is your issue. We’ve been putting up with this for two years now. Why all of the sudden are you getting so panicky about it?”

Edith knew she was getting nowhere with Charles. She threw down the butcher knife she was carrying and stomped out of the room.

“Where are you going?” Asked Charles.

“I’m leaving. I’ve had enough. You haven’t heard a word I’ve said. You might be able to live with this basement dweller but I can’t.”

Charles turned off the television and worked his way out of his chair. He walked into the bedroom where Edith was busy packing a suitcase. “OK I’m listening. Are you happy now?”

“Too late. I don’t know what the hell is in that basement and I don’t care if it only make itself known during a full moon. If it ever breaks down that door, I’m not going to be here to suffer the consequences. I’ll leave that up to you.”

“Edith, the door is secure. I’ve told you that a thousand times.”

Edith continued packing.

“Come on Edith, be reasonable.”

“Reasonable! You want ME to be reasonable. You’re the one who needs to be reasonable. If you don’t do something about this and do it now I will walk out that front door and out of your life forever.”

Charles didn’t want Edith to leave. It was time to do something. “OK you win. Get me my shotgun.”

Edith grabbed the shotgun and a box of shells from the closet and handed them to Charles. Charles loaded it and walked into the kitchen where the basement door was located. Edith was right behind him. On the way to the kitchen she picked up the butcher knife she had thrown down.

“What are you going to do?” She asked.

“What you want me to do. Take care of this situation once and for all.”

“Are you going to open the door???”

“Should I?”

“Hell no. The next time you hear that thing blow the hell out of the door.”

They waited. Five minutes. Not sound. Ten minutes. Still nothing.

“Maybe it’s done for the night,” remarked Edith.

Charles stayed focused on the door. “No way. It’s only eight o’clock.”

They waited patiently until the pounding on the door finally started up again. Charles pointed the shotgun dead center and pulled the trigger. He put three shots into the door leaving a gaping hole in it. There was no sound.

“Get a flashlight.” ordered Charles.

Edith grabbed one from the kitchen drawer and handed it to Charles. He shined it through the hole. Neither one of them could see a thing.

“Maybe you got it?”

“Three shots from a twelve gauge at close range. I sure as hell hope I did. If not, we’re in deep shit.”

Charles moved in closer to get a better look. He still couldn’t see a thing. He put his face right up to the hole and peered in. Suddenly a clawed hand as strong as a vice grabbed Charles by the face and pulled him through the hole. A blood curdling scream from Charles was the last sound Edith heard from her husband of fifty years.

The quick and horrid demise of Charles scared Edith to death. She dropped to the floor in a heap.

It was a full two weeks before the bodies were found. Edith was dead on the kitchen floor with a shotgun by her side and Charles was in the basement. His body was almost beyond recognition. Murder was suspected but never proven.

The house was put up for sale and purchased by a nice young couple from Idaho.

© Copyright 2023 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.

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