Scared cat arched back from the corner of the basement room and tried to disappear into a crack in the concrete wall.
She heard the heavy footsteps coming down the hall and the door above her closed with a bang. The cat, unable to find any safe place to hide, sat with a trembling leg and whimpered, her white fur glinting in the blackness of the room.
The basement was damp and cold. The smell of damp concrete, dirt and the dampness filled the small room, making the cat's fur heavy and uncomfortably stiff.
There was one window in the basement, and the curtns were drawn, leaving only the little light of the lamp from the living room shining through the glass.
The cat slowly rsed her head and peered out, trying to see what was going on, but she couldn't see anything, only hear the footsteps.
"Ahhh, the cat's scared, the cat's scared," came a deep voice with a hint of a growl. "That's right, the cat's scared."
"Don't you think that a cat can scream, if she really wants to? I mean, you'll find no pussycats inside of this place," came a second voice, but the other didn't say anything.
"Maybe they're not here, or they're on the other side," sd the first voice.
"They better be in this room, because I got two good eyes and I know it's this room. The old man's too damn old to put the two of them into another place, and he's not the one who'd forget to lock his door if he knew that I was here. So they better be in here, and they better be scared."
"I'll show them scared."
"I'll show them scared."
"You'll show them so scared."
The deep voices stopped for a moment, then the basement door flew open and hit the floor with a thud. The basement door slammed, and it was closed so quickly that nothing else could be heard.
It was the first time the young man was there in the basement for more than a minute, and he stood there, holding the door closed and listening to all of this. He was afrd to move, afrd of what he might find. The deep voices of the two men echoed throughout the basement, bouncing off the walls and then coming back agn, growing louder.
Suddenly, the deep voices stopped, the cellar door being pulled wide open.
"I got two good eyes, and I know it's this room," sd the first man.
"Then let's see," came the second man's voice.
The first man laughed. "I guess I win, because I already guessed it's this room."
The young man thought that there might be another man there, because of the laughing of the first man, but he was not sure. He would have to watch. He looked away from the door for just a moment. He listened hard, but he could not hear a thing. After a minute of sitting there, he heard the first man say, "Okay, I guess you win this round."
Then he heard the basement door slam shut, and then a second later, a loud and strong lock being forced into place. He held his breath. His heart was beating so loudly, it could be heard throughout the entire basement. He listened hard, but he could not hear a thing. He wted for what seemed like hours, and then he wted some more.
Suddenly, he heard something that shook him to the core.
The young man heard a child's laughter. It came from somewhere nearby, and he knew that he was only seconds away from death. He did not even have time to get out of his chr. He was so close to getting away, he was able to catch the first two words of a sentence. He thought he could also catch the names of some of the people there. It was the only opportunity that he would have to escape. He did not know if he would have time to reach the lock to get out, or if he could find it, or if he could even open it. It didn't matter. What did matter was that he had to try, and if it meant his life, so be it. He would not allow himself to die without a fight.
The young man pulled himself to his feet. This was the moment of truth, and it was also the moment of death. The only thing he could do was run. He ran down the hall, trying to be quiet, but he could not be quiet. He ran up a set of steps, and he knew he had not taken enough time to be quiet. But then, as he reached the top of the strs, a large form caught his eye.
The large form had a knife held in its hand, and he knew that it was only seconds away from striking. He could see that the form was moving, so he immediately dropped into a crouch. This would give him time to jump, but it also meant that he would have less time to find the lock, open it, and get out. The young man had to be very careful not to be too late. He jumped and turned his body just as the knife came down. The young man used his momentum to take him further down the hallway. As he landed, the knife found his ribs, and it cut into his body. A thin trickle of blood ran down his side.
The large form was in hot pursuit, but the knife was now in its hand, and the knife was coming down to meet the young man's body. The knife came down, and the young man saw that it would be too much. He could not survive a single blow, and he knew that the blow was going to come. The young man tried to roll over. He tried to put the knife aside, and he knew he was not going to be successful. His only hope was to get away. As he rolled, he tried to grab the knife. As he turned himself in his hand, he lost his grip. There was no time to recover. He felt the coldness of the blade, and it was now in his body. He felt his life being cut out, but he still tried to run. The young man tried to move, and he felt the life escape him. He fell to the ground. He had barely enough time to look at his bloodied side before he fell. He died shortly after that.
The only thing that was left to do was to get to the end of the hallway. The young man was tired, but he was alive. He had no idea of what he was going to find when he got there, but he was alive. He was so glad to see the end. When he reached it, he fell to the ground and lay there a while.
"What are you doing? Where did you come from? What are you doing here? Are you alright? Can I help you?"
But the young man had no answer. His head was spinning. He had nothing. He had no answers, but he had no life either.
### Chapter 18
Sam's heart hammered hard in his chest. He couldn't calm his nervous pounding. It was almost as if he had no heart at all. It was beating too fast, and it wouldn't slow down. His mind felt in turmoil as he lay there in the hallway. Where should he go? He didn't have any answers, and he was starting to feel that he had nowhere to turn. He had been in one situation after the next, and all that was left was his dead mother and