When I was a kid, my brother Jack spent countless hours winding me up with ghost stories. He took a perverse delight in terrifying me. We had no hydro or TV and the nearest neighbor was miles away. I guess I was his entertainment.
He had a knack for turning the most mundane thing into a source of pure terror. For instance…. a flight of stairs.
The Cellar Stairs
A narrow stair, a slippery stair,
A stair into the black.
To take this path, to travel down,
Is never to come back.
A basement stair, a cellar stair,
Just how far can it go?
What’s waiting there? What’s lurking there?
If you go down you’ll know.
It’s just a stair, a simple stair,
There’s nothing there to fear,
Then why the shakes, and why the sweats,
Each time that you go near?
A wooden stair, a shaky stair,
It waits to take you down.
To every terror you can dream,
Your very soul to drown.
A dreaded stair, a hated stair,
You’re frozen at the top.
If you should slip, if you should fall,
You know you’ll never stop.
A proving stair, a testing stair,
Your brother eggs you on,
If you complete this trial then,
Your fear will soon be gone.
A haunted stair, a cursed stair,
This brother told you so.
And now he nudges you a step,
And says you have to go.
A treacherous stair, a fickle stair,
You want to flee this place.
You turn to go, you turn to run,
You foot slips into space.
Triumphant stair, victorious stair,
You plummet to your doom.
Your brother calls down from the top,
“Now I’ll have my own room.”