When I was a kid I was absolutely terrified of the dark. When the lights went out, my imagination conjured shapes and sounds that paralyzed me with fear.
My parents bought the house I live in when I was four years old. It had two levels, but only the upper floor was completed.
They got a deal on having an unfinished basement – a deal my young mind would never have even considered. That basement was home to spiders and dust and, worst of all, the dark.
Whenever I had to go down there for a can of soup or a box of spaghetti sauce for dinner, I would go as quickly as I could, and when I bolted up the stairs, my legs pumping vigorously,
I would never look behind me. I was worried that, somehow, the darkness would grab me if I looked back or didn’t run.
Eventually, as most children do, I grew up. When I was eight, I started to run slower, then when I was nine, I would risk a glance back.
When I was ten, the fear was gone entirely. That’s when I was most vulnerable.
The news reported my disappearance in March, and my parents searched for the next year for any sign of where I went.
They’ll never find me, though – they keep turning on the lights when they go into the basement.