The Cellar In The Mysterious House!
by Amy Chan T.
(Dalton, Huddersfield, UK)
The first thing she noticed was the smell. An old smell, like dust and mold, but with something underneath--something rotting somewhere dark and damp. It tainted the air in the kitchen. She checked under the sink, in the broom cupboard, behind the stove. And then, standing irresolutely before the door to the cellar, suddenly it became stronger, fouler, cold. She nearly gagged.
She took a potholder off the wall hook and held it over her nose and mouth, and unlatched the cellar door. She opened it cautiously, and switched on the light switch at the top of the wooden stairs. The smell was gone. She blinked, took the potholder away from her face and took a cautious breath. Nothing but the faint smell of wood and a little mustiness.
She slowly went down the stairs, looking carefully around. Cardboard boxes, shelves of very old preserves, cobwebs, stacks of old newspapers. She looked down at the cellar floor for rat droppings and was relieved to see just the bare concrete. She took a relieved breath and shook her head. Just a cellar.
Then the door at the top of the stairs slammed shut. The light went out. The smell was rising up all around her, choking her. She whirled around, grasping in the darkness, trying to reach the stair railing.
And then it took hold of her from behind, wrapping itself around her, overpowering her, enveloping her in putrescence. She opened her mouth to scream and it filled her mouth with foulness, covered her face.
In the last moments she ever knew, she heard a liquid whispering and the squeal and crack of her lower jaw as it was torn from her face.