I was terrified. It was a dark and dank basement. I was scared to be there when the lights were on, let alone pitch black. I don’t remember how they managed to convince me to go downstairs in the first place.
I heard laughing. Menacing, evil laughter. I was not only tied by my arms with duct tape, but my legs were also taped to the legs of the old, red vinyl seated metal chair that was once used at a kitchen table in the fifties. What was once a beautiful and charming chrome finish was now rusted. Now it sat alone in our basement against the wall. I could not fathom what you would do next.
All of a sudden a flash comes on, I’m being filmed as I scream and struggle and cry. Again, terrified. I can barely make out the two people standing in front me, amused by my horror. I didn’t have my glasses on any more. But it was you. And you had a friend.
You’re holding dads chainsaw and encouraging me to scream, that always makes the film more real. You always did love to film yourself torturing me. “Keep screaming Ashley. Yeah, make it look more real.” I couldn’t form the thoughts to ask you why you were doing this. I just wanted to stay alive.
The sounds of the chainsaw turning on, and I have absolutely no idea what’s going to happen. I can’t see past my tears, or the light of the camcorder. I’m screaming for someone to help me, when I realize we’re the only three in the house. The revving of the chainsaw is getting closer and closer to my head when I realize you do a really good impression of a chainsaw. It’s not actually on. I’m still terrified, you’re holding a massive weapon and I’m completely helpless. I’m tied down by my arms and legs and even if I weren’t, you’d find a way to subdue me. You had all the power. You continue with your escapade of horrifying acts. I was waiting for you to actually turn on the chainsaw. You looked crazy, as you held that chainsaw and brought it down to my shoulders like I was a log and you a lumberjack. You wanted to cut me in two. You slapped my face with the back of your hand and spit on my face. This went on for a while.
After a what feels like hours, your friend finally convinced you to leave me alone. He convinced you to go watch the video you had just taken. To bask in your own tortuous glory. You would not untie me or turn the lights on, but I was finally alone.
So much nervous and anxious sweat, I was eventually able to get my hands free of the tape. I untaped my legs and head, and headed for the door that lead to the kitchen. I had to get out of there. I fall going up the stairs and I hear the the sound of the door being locked. You blocked the door with a towel so the tiny sliver of light that was my guide, was no longer. I slipped and fell down the old, creaking wooden steps. I hear more laughter.
I feel my way around cob webs and all of dads tools. I see another sliver of light. The door to outside. I try with all my might and I finally make it to the door. It doesn’t open well from the inside, and I could barely get it open with the light on. Again, it’s pitch dark. The only thing I can see is what the light lets me see. Even that is skewed because I don’t have my glasses. I can barely make out the ten fingers on my hands, let alone open an 80 year old wooden basement door.
Finally, the latch opens and I’m free. But I’m not alone for much longer. I try to run but no matter where I go I am completely visible and utterly vulnerable. There are no adults. Just me and two people who want to see how far they can go. How far they can push me before I break. What did I do? I left the door open and ran back into the basement. I ran behind the wall of firewood that was being stored for winter. Again, I’m in the dark but this time I’m hiding. This time I think I’m safe.
Again, what feels like hours has passed, I decide to check the door to the kitchen again. The light-blocker is no longer positioned by the bottom of the door and I can open the door… It’s unlocked! I think to myself as I push open the door and run into the kitchen. I make a beeline for the stairs when I realize my room is not safe. No place is safe. And there’s a monster and an accomplice in my house. What am I going to do? I say to myself as come to a halt in the middle of the living room. There are no locks on any of the doors other than the one that leads to the basement and the bathroom upstairs.
I finally get myself together enough to remember all the hiding places in my house. This is not the first time this has happened. But where do I go? I tiptoe as silently as I can, aware of every creak and squeak in the house built in the 1800s. I can go under my bed, in the bathroom towel cabinet or one of dads closets. Getting to any would be difficult, and I settle on my bedroom. It was the closest after all. I continue up the rickety old stairs and I’m almost there. I get to the top, and turn into my room.
You are there. You are waiting for me. You two have your camera on. It’s time for round two. I hear more laughter as I scream, as I turn around and run into the bathroom. I barely managed to get in there and lock the door behind me.
I’m crying, terrified, looking at the window as if I might actually jump to my own demised freedom. I’m not even ten, but it’s the only escape I can think of. I get into the shower and turn the water on to drown out the pounding on the door.
Suddenly it stopped. Everything stopped. I stepped away from behind the shower to see why everything is so quiet and calm after so much chaos.
My dad is home.
Nothing happens, I don’t say a word. I wipe my tears and run downstairs to greet my dad. Happy that, for now, my nightmare is over.
He never knew the truth about what happened when he wasn’t home. He wouldn’t have believed me if I’d told him. He was the only person I feared more than my brother.