A/N: So, this was written as a response to the prompt 'Under the Stairs', in the livelovewrite deviantart group. I don't know if I might expand on this in the future or anything, I might do. It's kind of inspired by a variety of fantasy novels, including the Chronicles of Narnia, Alice in Wonderland, and Peter Pan. As always, thoughts and comments are appreciated.
She had never liked her grandmother's house. She had never liked her grandmother, either. The woman always insisted on drawing Veronika into tight hugs, planting her slobbering lips on the girl's cheeks. The house itself was big, and old, much like her grandmother, and boring. Her parents often went on business trips together, leaving 'Ka on her own with her grandmother.
At age fifteen, she really thought she should have been allowed to stay at home by herself.
Her parents refused, and so 'Ka found herself staring blankly at the TV, playing a black and white Western while her grandmother snored in the corner. Bored, she decided to go out into the garden. The garden was huge, with overgrowing grass and trees at the back. As a kid, she'd loved to climb them, more often than not facing a telling-off from the old woman afterwards, for getting her clothes and shoes muddy. 'Ka thought she was too old for tree climbing now, but at least she could get some fresh air.
On the way through the hall, she noticed a door she had never seen before. The door was positioned near the kitchen, under the large set of stairs that led to the first floor of the house. 'Ka stopped in front of it, staring at the wooden panelling and tracing her fingers over the figures depicted there.
The figures were beautiful; strange shapes with strange forms, wings carved into the wood on the backs of feminine shapes, trees and plants and flowers around the edge of the door. 'Ka's hand trailed over it, until finally it rested on the cold, silver doorknob.
She glanced up the hallway towards the living room, and listened.
Her grandmother's light snores filtered down towards her and with a grin, she opened the door.
'Ka stepped in, finding herself on the top of a set of stairs. The floor beneath her was wooden, and through the gaps in the boards she could see that it was held up by wooden support beams. With the light from the hallway, she could see that there was no switch or pull and she assumed there would be one at the bottom of the stairs. No matter. She would simply leave the door open and allow the light from it guide her way down.
As soon as she stepped onto the top step, the door behind her closed, allowing only small streams of light through from the gap in the bottom.
'Ka bit her lip, wondering whether it would be safe to go down or better to return to the living room and her grandmother.
Then, she thought about the boring Western movie on TV. 'Ka took a deep breath, deciding that whatever happened to her down there would be better than sitting through that.
Carefully, she moved down the steps, expecting the air to grow colder as she got deeper. To her surprise, however, there seemed to be a warm wind blowing around her, growing stronger with every step she took. 'Ka gasped out in surprise as the smell of sand and sea filled her nostrils, and unable to help herself she leapt forward, off the third step from the bottom, and landed on the wooden floor.
Her head snapped around, expecting anything except what she actually saw.
She was standing in a basement.
The warm wind, the smell of the ocean, seemed to whirl around her before disappearing entirely.
The room curved, creating a circle, and she turned around and around to try to find something odd about the basement. But there was nothing. Just brick walls, a wooden floor, stacks of objects pushed against the walls and a strong, musty smell.
"Well," she muttered, "this is rubbish."
She turned and climbed the stairs, returning to the top and stepping out into the hallway, closing the door behind her and returning to her grandmother.
She didn't hear the high pitched, childish laughter trailing behind her as she had climbed the stairs.
"She'll be back," a girlish voice whispered, filling the basement, though the source of the voice was invisible. "She'll be back soon enough..."