If we wanted to sneak. We could. It wasn’t easy but it was doable. If you could get to the basement door. Go through it and quietly close it. Take those four steps down to the first landing that let you out the side door. The main entrance and exit for all of us. Then you take the remaining steps down. Running your right hand along the concrete wall. At the bottom of the steps you take an immediate left.
The tall freezer stands to the right.
The monster green furnace with the freaky texture if you touched it, ahead to the left.
You pick the freezer.
You quietly open the door. You move the packages to find the frozen and hidden Christmas cookies. You sneak a couple. Not too many! You shake the container to make it look more full.
Don’t turn any lights on!
Turn, from facing the freezer, to face the back wall of the basement. Somewhere you never, normally, care to go.
Boldly to take a step or two.
All of the laundry to the left. The dirty clothes hamper on the wall. Filled constantly by the eight, nine, or ten of us in the house. Open the shoot, toss it in, and it ends up in the laundry closet at the bottom. Mom, so brave, had to pull everyone’s dirty clothes out of there. Wash it. Dry it. Fold it. Pile it on the tables lined up.
To the right, hung rows and rows of clothes.
Stuff that was never, ever, paid attention to gathered here. Over there. But straight ahead.
Straight ahead. On that back wall.
Was the door of gold.
And the door wasn’t even gold. It was dark green. Or black. Or grey. Or brown. Who paid attention?
All year long there was no need to go there. It was dark. Poor lighting. Big metal desk. Dark places that no child would willingly go look in to. You never went there on purpose. If you got called to go there, there was usually a chore attached. Or you did something you were about to get in trouble for. There was no good reason to go there.
It turned in to the closet of the North Pole. We knew. We knew. We knew what it held. Treasures were hidden there.
And now….so close. Waited all day to sneak down here.
Get that forbidden frozen treat.
Finally. The last steps.
Standing at that door.
Now I will know.
All that awaits me.
It’s so dark down here.
It had a latch door handle. All. I. Have. To. Do. Is. Lift. it. Open the door. And the treasures.
I lift and hear a clink.
An odd clink.
It won’t open!
I have to peer in the darkness and feel with my hands…
WHO PUT A PAD LOCK ON THE DOOR!!!!