Concerning the black mold which lives in the cellar, dark and dank underbelly of our
house; being alone in the house as darkness fell brought its presence to my attention. The
wind howls by the mountains with frightening noise, and sets various points about the
property to knocking and falling in the screaming, violent wind.

That night, as it were, I had occasioned to leave my window open, and seeing as how the
lovely lilac tree at the threshold was in danger of being pushed over by the force of the
hideous wind, I determined to venture outside quickly and right it. Its delicate blossoms
in the springtime brought a smile to my face every spring morning I looked out, and I
could not imagine the premises without its fragile fragrance.

For some reason I was reluctant, even afraid to go out, as the twilight was such as to
instill a man with a queer and uneasy feeling in the depths of his being, as if something
was surely horribly wrong, but he could not tell it by looking about him. The world
seemed hushed and abandoned as I stepped outside, none about but the wind which
stirred the grasses under the shade of the oaks. The house, being so much older than
myself—in fact having been in the family for generations—rose black and towering
above me, its rugged heights and brooding presence acting as a pall upon my very soul.

But these odd and uneasy fears I pushed out of mind, and proceeded down the hill to the
side of the house where the lilac tree stood. The grasses waved softly about me, and the
vaulted, darkening oak-canopy above whispered windy verses of loneliness, seemingly
warning me of the coming night, and violent storm. I paused, I do not know why, and felt
the whispering green world about me in the dying light. An unspeakable and
indescribable feeling took hold of my soul, and I felt that I should never see the stars
again, fully enveloped and smothered with shadows as I was. I could not move. Suddenly
the wind flared up, and sent its scream along the ragged sides of the mountains. I
shuddered and went on.

Having crossed immense side and back of the enormous house, I finally reached my
beloved lilac tree. Its branches now were bare and shriveled in the approaching winter,
and I had to suppress the notion that they looked like claws. The poor tree was almost
touching the ground, and I knew that if it fell in the storm, I should never right it again,
and it might probably die, being of delicate nature and not native to the rugged
mountains.

After much struggle and effort, I managed to secure it once more to the pole to which it
had been tied, somehow in the fierce storm having come unfastened. With my task done I
turned, admittedly with much hasty relief, to go back to my warm well-lit room. But on
the way up the hill I noticed, on the side of the house deepest in shadows and farthest
from any window, that the door to the cellar had somehow become unlatched, and stood
wide open. For a moment I had the illogical urge to leave the door as it was and run back
inside, but I overcame this absurdity and started up the hill. For some reason I could not
make my feet move fast towards such a goal, and the sight of that undefined yawning
maw of shadow struck the deepest chord of terror in my heart. Throughout my frequent
visits to this house as a child, I had unconsciously avoided that door, shunning the deep
oak shadows on that side of the house for the wide open green and sunny meadows. But I
steeled myself against this irrational fear and approached the doorway. How had it
become open like that? Who, or what, had unfastened the rusted latch? It creaked on its
stiff hinges in a sudden gust of wind, and only a conscious effort kept my step straight
and steady. Rain started to fall softly about me as I approached, and hissed as it came
down among the grasses. I was now almost to the execrable door, and steeled myself for
the last few steps. At last, the doorknob was within my reach, and it took the effort of my
whole soul not to gaze into that horrifying maw of blackness. Suddenly, just as I took
hold of the door, a terrible flash of lightning shook the skies, illuminating with electric
brilliance the gaping threshold. What I saw in that split second of unearthly white light
will remain engraved in my soul for the rest of my days. Words utterly fail me in any
kind of accurate description; all I can say was that something black and immense was
revealed in the crack of blinding light, and it filled my soul with the acutest terror I have
ever known.

I slammed the cellar door behind me and fled, and the only thing I remember of that
horrible night is a completely irrational flight away, away from those shadows, that
house, away from that thing. Where my terror-crazed limbs took me that night I shall
never know. All I remember is waking up to a sweet and glorious dawn, and dancing in
the heart of the forest of oaks.

I never returned there again