It All Started with a Staircase

06 Dec 2021  C. chou  4 mins read.

He took a step, heading down the stairs. A creak and thump followed him. Startled, he looked back. Nothing. Another step. Another creak and thump. He turned again. Nothing. He took a half step, feigning a foot forward, without actually placing it down onto the step before him, and quickly turned. Still nothing, not even a creak or a thump. He placed his foot down, and there it was again. He turned back. Still nothing.

Spooked, he dashed down the rest of the stairs. The creaks and thumps following him the entire way down, the sound mixing with his footsteps and becoming a hurried banging. He darted behind a corner, and pressed himself against the wall, trying to catch his breath.

He hazarded a look back. Nothing. Relaxing, he slumped against the wall, resting his back on its surface, and slid down into a sitting posture. His hand hit an unexpected hard rounded surface. He jolted in shock. A sudden sharp pain hit his fingers as he blindly ran them over the surface, in effort to identify the object. He looked down at the source of his pain, and gasped in horror.

A skull. And he had accidentally slipped his fingers into one of the eye sockets, and jammed them into a crack behind them. Panicked, he did his best to shake off the item. But it wouldn’t budge. The pain only intensified with each arm swing. Then, the sound was back. A creak followed by a thump. The sound sharpening and loudening with each second, as though something were taking its time to approach.

He shook harder, desperate to swing the skull off his hand, while pressing his back against the wall, hoping that its source wouldn’t get any closer. Suddenly, an eerie green light emanated from his hand. He stopped shaking to look down at it. The skull’s eye sockets gained glowing green orbs, focused on him like green pupil-less irises, seemingly watching him.

He almost screamed then, but bit his tongue, in hopes that the source of the sound behind him hasn’t found him yet. Using his other hand, he did his best to try to push the skull off his hand. But it was stuck. The sound behind him wasn’t stopping. He pushed at it franticly, swatting and attacking it, as it tightened on his already stuck fingers. Then, as though, aware of his panic, it’s jaws started moving, silently cackling at his panic.

Panic, fear, and dread mixed within him. He couldn’t just stand here. The thing behind him was only getting louder. Thump, thump, thump. It’s speed increased behind him, getting a sense of urgency. He would’ve covered his mouth to hide the sound of his breath, but without realizing, he’s blind swatting left his other hand stuck in the skull, somehow embedded in a crevice that he didn’t previously notice.

He looked around the room. Not even a window in sight. No escape. He did his best to move over to the desk at the corner of the room, crawling over with only his knees. He pushed the skull against the desk, using its edges as leverage trying to pull the object off. Using as much force as he could muster and repeating the scraping motion as quickly as he could, he looked up, trying to keep an eye out for anything approaching from behind the wall.

A thump occurred right next to him. He drew his hands to him at the sudden pain. Then he realized what the thump was. He was free from the skull. Looking down at his hands, he suddenly realized the cost. His hands were bloody. His fingers had popped off. Gone, with nothing more than the blood and pain to prove that they were once there. The injury was too clean. He looked down at the skull again, recoiling in horror and disgust. It was laughing. Laughing at his pain. Laughing at his fear. Laughing, with all ten of his missing fingers somehow having found their way into its creaking and crunching jaws.

Note from author:

Hope you enjoyed this article. It was written as a part of a challenge to myself to write something horrific. Personally, I’ve always had issues getting into horror movies, and books. So, I hope that this article has struck the right chord among some of you, keeping you entertained and possibly thoroughly horrified. As usual, thank you very much for reading, and I hope that you will continue to follow me in the future for more interesting stories to come.

C. Chou
C. Chou

A writer that loves cabbages and bamboo, but also enjoys writing and sharing fiction (particularly the fantasy genre). Find me on Medium at: