Prologue

The main hallway in my dad's house and the door leading downstairs had always given me a bad vibe. I couldn't tell you why – but it just felt wrong. Off. I felt like someone – something – was watching me. For the longest time, after we moved in, I refused to go downstairs. When I had friends over, they'd tease me. 'Oh, you don't really believe anything's down there, do you? You're such a chicken!'

"Yeah," I'd snap back, always testy about the subject. "I am. I'd rather be a smart chicken then a brave fool." They'd shut up then, for a little while, at least. My friends never liked making me angry – I'd been told time and time before that I could terrify them without saying a word.

No one really went downstairs. My dad only went if he had to. It was storage space, really. Apparently, it'd been really nice at one time. Dad told me that it was fully furnished – a bar, two couches, a few card tables, and an old TV stand. There was one room that was locked, below the stairwell – it would've run under the hallway, he'd said. Told us the lock was rusted and old, and that he wasn't willing to try and break it, or the door down. So it went left alone.

One night, things started to change. Because I broke. Because of me, my family is gone. And it's still out there somewhere. It won't stop until its hunger is satiated. Until it has the last of them.

Until it has me.