You’d like to think that you’re not scared of what’s down there. You’d like to think that it’s just another set of steps creaking down to just another basement. A bit of damp and dark.
You’d like to think that you’d be just fine starting the descent: foot on each groaning stair: one after another, one creak after another announcing your arrival, despite your soft-shoed efforts, your snapped-shut teeth, and your ever-clenched breath.
You’d like to think that there’s nothing waiting at the bottom. Just beyond the dim glow of the bulb, within the ring that dissolves into dusty darkness.
You’d like to think that you didn’t hear that noise just now. That subtle scratch, that muffled thud.