Hello! Welcome to my blog. I’m Vashti (for those of you that don’t know me). Today I will share a chapter from my first novel The Basement suspense/thriller (MG/YA). I would love to read your opinions. What do you think happened to Natasha, as she heroically tries to save her friend Robbie?
Natasha ran out of her building and down the street toward Robbie’s basement to aid her friend. It was dark and creepy outside. The streetlights were dim and cast weird shadows on the pavement. The block seemed isolated—as if the end of the world had come and she was the only survivor. Had she entered another dimension, a parallel world where she was the only person alive? She had a great imagination, but, under the circumstances, she did not feel it was helping.
When she reached the entrance to the basement, it seemed like the entrance to a great cave. She was afraid to enter, but determined not to waste any more time, so she stepped into the unknown. It was dark, and the light from the street did not illuminate past the first couple of steps.
Then a realization struck her. “I didn’t bring a flashlight! How could I have been so stupid? How will I get to the bottom without falling on my face and breaking my neck?”
Unlike Robbie’s mom before her, Natasha saw the big, yellow flashlight sitting in its dark little corner. She gasped and opened her eyes wide. “That’s Robbie’s flashlight!”
She grabbed the flashlight, searched for the switch, and flipped it. No radiance shone from its reflector. She turned it in her hand and heard a rattling sound. She tried to open the battery housing, but it was stuck. She unscrewed the top of the flashlight, figuring she could get straight to the battery compartment this way. She lost her grip on the flashlight; she fumbled, and it flew out of her hand. She squeaked and leaped toward it, managing to grab the flashlight, but not before a couple of the batteries rolled down the cement steps.
“Oh no.” She pressed her rosy, full lips together tightly. “Now what am I going to do?”
Natasha pondered the descent into the basement. She decided the only way she would be able to do it would be to sit on the top step, and, in a seated position, slide off one step and then onto the one below it, feeling her way down with her hands, feet, and legs. In this fashion she went down, one scratchy concrete step at a time.
She knew her method would ruin her pajamas, but she figured it was a small price to pay. She never imagined she would be so scared. She was not normally afraid of the dark; then again, she never had reason to fear what was in it before.
At first she was able to see shadowy figures scuttling about. Ick! Bugs! She narrowed her eyes and wrinkled the bridge of her nose. After a while, she could not see a thing. She thought her eyes would eventually adjust and she would be able to see a little but that did not happen. She realized she was going to be blind down there and would have to fine-tune her other senses to get through it.
She proceeded to scoot down the steps on her bottom. A sluggish, heavy, ugly stench began to intrude upon her awareness as it filled her nasal cavities. She grimaced with revulsion. She pinched her nose and continued to move down, using only one hand to balance herself, since the other was trying to prevent the unpleasant odors from bombarding her nostrils, and she lurched. She slid to the next cement step hard, and in order to prevent hurting herself, she brought her other hand down on the step for support. When she slammed her hand hastily beside her there was a pop and a crunch, and then a squishy sensation on her palm.
“Eeeeww!” She imagined the gooey crack of a cockroach’s backbone under the weight of her hand. “Ick!” Immediately she began to rub her palm on the sidewall nearest her. She retched and vomited a little in her mouth.
As she moved farther down, she began to hear peeping and chirping sounds. She stopped. Her heart thumped in her chest. She listened carefully, her big almond-shaped eyes scanning to the left and to the right. She thought she heard a chorus of trills, peeps, and whistling echoing out of the basement. Birds? Mutant rats! Creatures that are part rat and part bird? What is making those sounds? Her muddled mind gave way to her efflorescent imagination. Her jaw dropped. I’m sure they can’t fly. Otherwise they would have flown out of this stinky basement by now. Poor Robbie, I must hurry! Panting, she continued to descend the steps one by one, until her feet could no longer find the edge of the next step, which meant she had reached the bottom and was in the basement.
Natasha got up off the last basement step, and, at the same time, she heard something cry out. Her hand flew to cover her mouth. She felt a swift breeze pass in front of her face driven by something heavy. She recoiled and heard a thump, something large hit the ground. What was that? The odd chirping and tweeting sounds became huffs and a low-pitch vibrating noise resembling a hum and trill combined. It was a soft, mysterious sound but spine-chilling just the same.
Then the sounds became—terrible noises, ferocious noises—all around her. She was terrorized, no longer thinking clearly. She was nauseated and numb throughout her body, wanting nothing else but to escape.
She became ashen. Her eyes darted in every direction, her pulse raced, and she gasped openmouthed. She turned and bolted, but not up the steps to safety. Panic disoriented her and she did not know where she was going, plus, she could not see.
Natasha jostled through what seemed like large, warm bodies, which brushed her legs and bumped into her. She made noisy, hoarse breathing sounds as she moved. Her fingers were spread so wide by tension they hurt. She opened her mouth to scream but could not produce a sound. As she scrambled to find her way, she slipped on one of the batteries she had dropped earlier, and something massive and horrible crashed into her face, smashing her delicate bones. There was a loud explosion in her head, and then there was no more panic, no more fear––there was nothing.