Her feet plunk-plunk-plunked sullenly on the metal stairs to the basement. They always sent her. Every time. She stood on the step in front of the door for five breaths and then flicked on the light switch. Not that it would help. She heard the tink-tink of the light warming up inside. Not that it really mattered if the light was on, though. It was always the same in there.
She counted another five breaths.
Her skin started crawling in earnest as she pushed the door open and the fluorescent light spilled out. Though the basement was really just a small, dusty study with stacks of boxes along the walls, it exuded a level of menace that is generally reserved for childhood nightmares.
Just get the photo album, Millicent Antoine, she thought to herself. Just–
Something cold and wet slithered up her leg. She felt a shriek building up in her throat before she could get herself to look down. It was already just over her knee. She forced her eyes open. The whole floor was a churning mess of eyes, teeth and slimy brown tentacles, one of which was wrapped around her leg. The scream tore loose and then the light flickered and died.
When she opened her eyes again, she was curled into a foetal position. The light was flickering on and off, still tink-tinking. There was a patch of warm wetness spreading from her crotch.
I need to see my shrink, the flashbacks have started again.