D is for… the Dark

*The theme for my A to Z is Childhood Stories. Some are real, some are embellished, some are downright fictional but are based on the kind of things I imagined when I was younger.*

There are different kinds of dark. Some darks are friendly, some are even nice. Some are a little scary.

Then, there was the Dark from above the front door of the house I grew up in. We lived in an old Victorian house, and the door had glass panels in its top part. Above the door was a wide rectangle of glass that spanned the whole width of the entrance hall.

The Dark that lived behind the glass seemed innocent enough when I was downstairs with the entire family; but it was a devious Dark.

After everyone had gone to bed, I realised that I had left my book downstairs. Already in my pyjamas, I headed down, glancing nervously at the Dark. It let me go, sweet as you like, staying behind the glass partition. It didn’t even look at me. Relieved, I retrieved my book from the chair I’d left it on, and returned to the hallway.

The stairs were immediately opposite the front door, so that to go from the ground floor to the first floor I had to pass right in front of the door. Right in front of the Dark.

Seeing me return with my book, the Dark sprang to life. It turned and looked right at me, smiling a smile full of darkness. It waited for me to go up the stairs. You see, the Dark likes to strike when you have your back to it. When you can’t see it.

Of course the hallway lights were on, but that made no difference. Real Dark, devious Dark doesn’t care about light. It can strike even if all the lights of the house are on.

I hesitated, clutching my book closer to me, looking at the Dark behind the glass. It looked back. “Go on,” it dared me.

I gripped my book as hard as I could. I took a deep breath. Then, as suddenly as I could manage (to catch the Dark off guard), I sprinted for the stairs, grasped the end of the banister with one hand and swung myself onto the steps so that I stayed as far from the door as possible. The Dark lunged after me. I felt it on the back of my neck as I ran up the stairs, taking them two by two.

I tripped. My knee smacked painfully into the edge of a step, but even that didn’t stop me. I picked myself up and sprinted on, all the way up until I turned the corner and was in the safety of the first floor. I stopped then, out of breath, heart hammering.

The Dark coiled back to its place behind the glass, grumbling to itself. I was safe. For now.

“Tomorrow night I won’t forget my book,” I promised myself.

But the Dark is tricksy. Every night it found ways to make me come back down. Every night it chased me up the stairs, its fingers clutching at my pyjamas.

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26 thoughts on “D is for… the Dark

  1. Great writing style. I feel like this in the dark, going up the stairs, even now as an adult. Then again, perhaps my house has a ghosty or two. My kids refused to play upstairs alone when they were young. Hmm . . .

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  2. I’m not a child, but I still have problems with the Dark…Especially if I’ve read something scary or saw a scary movie…Or the latest episode of American Horror Story. Trying to go up the stairs in the Dark is a test of emotional strength and physical agility, lol. The Dark also likes to hide behind the bathroom shower curtain when I’m brushing my teeth.@Get Lost in Lit

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  3. This resonated with me. When I was 5 we moved to a bigger house and I couldn’t settle at night because of all the dark corners. I’m not scared of the dark now – or I wasn’t until I read your story!

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    • I still don’t like the dark very much – I mean I do because it helps me get to sleep but if I’ve read or watched something creepy before going to bed, I go right back to the childhood feeling of being scared of the dark. It’s why I don’t do so well with horror.

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  4. Oh, this sensation of Dark must be the result of being a kid and having a kid’s imagination. As a girl, I felt Dark pulling on my clothes when I ascending the steps from my parents’ creepy, unfinished basement. I haven’t felt that way in a long time. My current house is finished top to bottom. No creepy here. So I smile when my daughters speak of Dark chasing them when they need retrieve their books from the main floor.

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    • Oh yes the basement is a good place for the Dark to hide, yours sounds like it was particularly creepy! I still get flashes of that fear every so often – like a flashback. It must be fun in a way to see your daughters going through the same thing, even in a nice finished house – I guess it’s a right of passage for childhood.

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  5. Pingback: V is for… Vinegar | Celine Jeanjean's Blog: Down the Rabbit Hole

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