Copyright (c) 2020 by Randall R. Peterson ALL RIGHTS RESERVED This is a work of fiction. All persons, locations and actions are from the author's imagination or have been used in a fictitious manner.
“Down the Darkened Stairs.”
By R. Peterson
You must have read DEEP READER part 5 “before” you read this part. If you haven’t read it yet … go back and read it now.
The only things you will need for this journey are a glass (crystal is even better) of clear, cold water and a table or a piece of wood. Get them now and place them within easy reach.
The stairs creek with each descending step we take. I want to confess that I might not be able to protect you as I promised, but then you’d probably bolt and run and that wouldn’t do … so I remain quiet. I need you here with me as much as you need me. In order for me to help you to conquer your fears … I must first conquer my own.
When I was six years old I had a recurring bad-dream, a nightmare that visited me for several nights. In my dreams, I would open an old door with dark stairs that led to a cellar in my grandfather’s kitchen. I was terrified and didn’t want to descend the stairs, but my feet would not obey me. When I was halfway down the stairs a hideous dwarf with a large wart-covered nose would appear at the foot of the stairs waiting for me. He would raise his pudgy fingers to grab me … just before I woke up.
I was terrified and made a childish agreement with whatever powers that be that if I could stop having this dream then I would have it on my wedding night. The bad dreams stopped and the bargain was sealed. I’ve been married twice and both times on my wedding night I thought about the dream and the bargain that I’d made … both times the dream did not happen. So it lurks there still in my mind … at the bottom of the stairs.
The dark squat figure, that I glimpsed before, is still there somewhere in the shadows I know it is … and so do you. We are blind and in complete darkness but we still need to find out exactly where this creature is so that we can avoid it. We must use our other senses. Evil always carries the smell of death and we can use this to our advantage. Reach up and gently touch your nose. If you’re in a restaurant a library or some other crowded place you can do it so casually that no one will notice. (DO IT NOW!)
You now have the odor scenting abilities of a bloodhound and you can even smell warmth. Close your eyes turn your head to the left and breathe in through your nose, turn you head until it’s looking forward and do the same… then again while your head is turned to the right. (DO IT NOW!)
The scent of warmth was to the front. Fear is approaching … directly before us. Vicious, mean eyes appear with just the slightest suggestion of bristly hair surrounding a snarling mouth. I want to sprint back up the stairs but we must go past this dwarf-like monster. Please help me. Make a fist with your left hand and squeeze your fingers tightly together. (DO IT NOW!)
You hold my right hand with your left as we take slow sluggish steps … we both want to run but we can not. Running gives power to fear and if we run we’d never get out of this dark place with our sanity intact. A cold fingernail brushes the back of your neck. You want to scream … but you don’t … not yet. Instead you squeeze your left hand fingers more tightly together. (DO IT NOW!)
We hear the muted rattle of a dragging chain following behind us. For the first time I realize my nightmare has been tethered to the bottom of the stairs. No chain can reach into infinity … we keep moving. I think we have moved out of its reach but we must be sure. Close your eyes, then reach up and touch your ear. Listen carefully until you hear or imagine a clack. This means my monster has reached the end of his chain. (DO IT NOW!)
Thank you so much! We have moved past my fears … now we must confront yours.
The dark place we are in in unbelievably vast and we walk beyond the constraints of time. For the first time since arriving at the bottom of the stairs we see a sliver of light and we move toward it.
As we approach the light we realize it comes from the other side of a closed door. There is in fact a long hallway with rows of doors on both sides. The doors on the right are good memories starting from your childhood and proceeding down the hall. The doors to the left are bad memories. Each door represents a year in your life and each is marked with the year number. Move down the hall and stop in front of the door on the left or the right that you want to open. This is your best or worst memory from that year in your life.
You want to relive the pleasure of your best memory. Take a drink from your glass of water then close your eyes, relax and tap your desk or your piece of wood twice and the door opens. Go slow. Allow your best memories to return. You feel wonderful. Should you want to venture inside …
Inside each door is a round room with more than three-hundred sixty-four windows. Each window represents a day from that year moving from left to right and each has the month and day carved into the window sill. To relive the memories from a particular day close your eyes and relax before opening your eyes and looking through the glass. Allow time for the specific and very detailed memories to form. They may come as dreams … you must decide if they are real. Taking a drink of the water and tapping your finger three times … will close the door to that year in your life.
Close your eyes and touch the desk or the piece of wood with your right hand finger once as we pass each door on the right and you will get a very pleasant feeling of joy or euphoria without even opening that door as we move down the hall. (DO IT NOW!)
For some of us the hallway is much too long … for others it is short.
You are smiling as we reach the end of the hallway. This is good. Happiness and fear cannot exist in the same place.
We are only concerned with the black door at the very end of the hall … this is your greatest fear. This iron door is partially open … and we must close it.
You may wish to venture beyond this door. If you do, take a drink of the water, close your eyes, relax and tap the wood (or your desk) twice. If you wish to go inside this door, I will go with you. If you wish only to close it … tap three times. (DO IT NOW!)
When the door at the end of the hall closes, the lights suddenly come on and our journey is finished. Relax your clenched left hand and the wonderful memory you brought up from the darkness has been released. Enjoy it. There are many doors left unopened … many windows not looked through.
I will leave you … for now. Memories are our greatest treasures and our most formidable enemies. I hope you brought at least a few fantastic ones back with you. Remember there are many doors beyond the dark stairs … perhaps you and I will go again.
THE END ?