|Under The Staircase
Author: konstantine.paradias PM
The end of the world, seen through the eyes of a child.Rated: Fiction T - English - Horror - Words: 1,438 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 2 - Published: 10-01-12 - Status: Complete - id: 3062295
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I don't live in the same house where I was born. This one is bigger and it has four bedrooms, while the one where I was born had only two and me and my brothers, we all stayed in one. Now we have one room for Mom, one for Dad, one for me, and one for my brother. It's less crowded now, after my other brother died. We were very sad when the rain made him sick, but at least I have the room all to myself now.
The house where I live has a bigger living room with lots of pretty furniture that my Mom likes, but my Dad only likes the couch and the thing that you put the TV on. He also likes the footstool with the red cover, the one he puts his feet on without taking his shoes off when Mom is not there so she won't yell at him.
Our kitchen is also big and my Mom likes it a lot, because it has many tools and she likes to arrange them like the alphabet. Sometimes she arranges them based on their size and then she argues with Dad if he moves them and she has us call her Julia, although her real name is Martha. This one time I asked my Dad why she has us call her that and why she moves the furniture around when we call her Julia, but he said something about her sister and then he had her sleep in the basement. Julia's room must be down there, so our house has 5 bedrooms after all.
I have never seen the basement, but my Dad seems to like it, because he spends a lot of time down there and sometimes we hear loud music, so he probably has his old music tapes down there, because when we asked him he said that he has an old stereo and he doesn't feel like bringing it upstairs because it's big and he goes there so that our Mom won't bother him when he wants to listen to music, but I think he's lying, because every time he comes back up his hair is a mess and he's full of dirt and then he and Mom go to one of their bedrooms and they fight, because I can hear them shout. One day my Dad came out and Mom started chasing him and she got one of her knives, the alphabetic ones, and was yelling about that whore Julia. My Dad must have said something about Julia to my Mom and she was confused, probably because she hadn't noticed the way the knives were arranged.
In our house, we have this big loft, with a very big, round window that my Mom (Martha) calls a skylight and we go there and look outside when there's nothing on TV. We used to hang out by the porch window with Mom and Dad and my two brothers (including the one who died) and we used to watch the ash fall on the city from the sky, along with the rain. Sometimes we saw people run inside their houses to find cover from the rain, but in the end, they all stayed inside their houses and never went out, just like we did. That's a good thing, because in the morning we usually had to help Dad clean them away from our yard and they smelled bad and broke in our arms and made us dirty and my Mom was yelling and arguing with my father.
We liked watching the city outside, because the big buildings were still standing and the sun shone through their windows and made them look like huge flutes. At some point we had gotten close and heard the wind blow through them and it sounded like god playing the flute, as my brother used to say. I guess god must have been really good at playing the flute, because it started raining afterward and we couldn't get back home in time and my brother gave me his coat to cover myself and the rain got him and then we carried him home inside his coat and buried him.
My new house is bigger than my old one, but I liked the old one better. In the new house it's quiet in the evening, but sometimes we hear something meowing under the staircase in the evenings and sometimes my brother wakes up and starts shouting and Martha (or sometimes Julia) comes over and tells him to shut it. But my brother can never remember what he opened in the first place, so it takes some time for him to stop shouting. When we ask Dad what's making the purring noise he tells us it's nothing and then tells us not to go under the staircase. I don't get it, though. If it's nothing, then why does he bother with all those padlocks under the staircase? And why does Mom (or Julia) doesn't let us finish our lunch sometimes, when the purring gets louder?
One day me and my brother went downstairs and knocked on the door, but we got no answer. I guess there's nothing under the staircase, after all. But when we told Dad about it, he spanked us because "we knew why" and then he went and peeked through the door and he argued with my Mom, and then she took our lunch and tossed it through a hole on the door.
After that, my brother went back down one day and stuck his hand inside the hole, because if it was nothing, then nothing bad would happen to him, but then he started crying and when he pulled his hand out he had only three fingers left and there was blood and he was screaming and then came Mom and Dad, who was covered in dirt, and Mom's name was Julia and they bandaged his hand and we didn't get anything to eat for lunch or dinner that time either.
In my room though there is a hole to the kitchen and sometimes I can hear Mom or Julia through it. So one day I was sitting there, when I was heard Mom and Dad say that we were running out of food, they were whispering but they wanted to yell and Mom said the children weren't hers, they were Julia's and that he ruined her life and my Dad said she was crazy and couldn't take it anymore and that the world was over, accept it you goddam bitch and stuff like that. So he told my Mom that we were eating too much food and they'd have to get rid of us. They said that my brother was hurt bad and wouldn't last through the night and he'd eat a lot more food to get better and wouldn't just die like that. And my Mom and Julia agreed and they said fine, let's get rid of them.
So that's when I went and told my brother and we snuck down to the basement together while our parents were asleep and we held our breath and turned on the gas tank and got the big shears that my Dad used to carve the meat he had wrapped in black bags in the big basement fridge and we cut the chains and lockets and opened the door under the staircase and then left the house. We decided to go back to our old house, it was smaller, but now that our parents would die we'd have the place all to ourselves.
We heard Julia and Dad scream from inside the house and then Dad must have grabbed his shotgun or something like that, because Julia shouted "No! Those filthy brats have turned on the gas!" the house caught on fire and exploded and we heard something else screaming too, and it wasn't Julia or Dad. We felt a bit bad for doing that, but if we hadn't, we would have been eaten by Mom or Dad or the monster, because that's what it must have been.
We went back to our house and we're still together, me and my brother, we live in separate rooms now, but we're running out of food and my brother isn't feeling well and he'll probably die soon so at least I'll get to have some more.