The Stairway

I never know how it happens, but I always end up here, in the same house. I can’t quite recall the first time I’ve been here, but the smell of the rotting wooden panels and the creaking under the stairway were all too familiar. I always hated walking up this stairway, the age of the house and the feebleness of the steps made it seem like it was going to collapse beneath me any minute. Yet, I know there is something up there, something special about that attic; I had to go there.

The architecture of this dream is always the same; it seems as though there’s a party going on, I always hear music and laughter from that old kitchen up the hallway, but whenever I turn around, it is the same old tattered house, with that red glow of the bare wood, and the lavish, legitimate Persian rugs on the floor and walls. It always looked like a party had happened long ago.

Now it was about halfway up the stairs when I reach that big grand window. Every time I entered this house, I would always stare out this window for a long time, just to see the world around me. The scene stays the same: desert stretches far out into a distant river bank, and the dust would reflect the sun, creating this sort of crimson haze that sunk in contrast beneath a hovering, sapphire sky. The brilliance of the wilderness shines in magnitude compared to the darkness of the interiors of the ancient house from which I stand and gaze. Man, just to think of the number of times I always wanted to run through that field. I would venture through the grass and trees and explore what’s out there; or who.

I can’t go, however. I will never be able to scout out there, in the wilderness, I have a responsibility. Until I can go into that attic and retrieve whatever it is that’s up there, I will never able to do what I want. It’s simply dedication.

After every other failed effort, I’m determined to make it up to that attic. I never knew what was up there, I never could understand what it is about this house, this stairway, this wide window, that drew me towards the attic. The stairs are creaking, the voices grow louder, the dust falls from the ceiling, I can see old cob webs hanging right above my head. The more I remember why I’m here, why I need to get into that attic, the more I begin to notice how disgusting this haunted house really is.

A jolt of fear and panic just struck at my spine. Something awful is up there. Yes, now I’m beginning to remember. It was never a duty for me to retrieve something, the attic itself was trying to lure me in. Now that I’m more than halfway up the stairs, I’m starting to question whether I should continue or head back down the steps. I am so close to that tiny square door, and as I look down, I notice that the stairway is decaying; I won’t be able to stand here for much longer. I can’t move, I am too frightened to enter that doorway, but if I descend, I’ll probably fall to my death.

I’m stuck, like a bolt. Maybe I’ve become a part of the house, maybe those voices belong to spirits of people who were like me, lured in and trapped, slowly but surely transforming into planks or chairs or nails in the wall.

And now I realize this isn’t a memory, it’s not a recurring dream; this is happening right now.

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