School Daze

School Daze

The way it was

This feature will die when the school year dies. Suggestions as to its replacement are being entertained.

An assignment from my feature writing class: Describe something from an early memory.

It still makes me nervous. A trip to any basement can moisten my armpits. My adult mind knows there are no monsters down there. But deep inside I remember my childhood home and the dimly lit place down the stairs.

The furnace was the worst. I was sure it was part fire breathing dragon and part octopus and could eat little boys for lunch. The grill resembled the dragon’s mouth and you could see the red hot glow behind. It terrified me.

A careful creep around the hulking beast in search of a tool requested by my father was misery. The tool bench was actually behind the fire breathing dragon. If I made it safely past then I had to deal with the fact that the only light for the whole basement was a single, low wattage, naked bulb. Even more bad news was the fact that the bulb was switched on with a long string. It set the light to swinging which caused shadows to dance and inspire even more fear.

Standing there, I wished was any place else, even school or church. Just then was when the furnace would choose to start up with a horrifying noise that levitated me a foot in the air and squeezed a shrill squeak from my lungs.

The lonely light cast a pale glow over the tools but left the corners dark and gloomy. Spiders with bodies the size of golf balls lived there along with who knew what else?

I am sure that my father thought I was brain damaged. In my haste to get in and out of the basement without being devoured by the furnace I would blindly grab any tool that came to my hand and run for my life. What kind of imbecile can’t tell a hammer from a screwdriver?

And so I was sent back into the dark.


The Rant D’Jour is about ingress.

The doors to the concert hall are opened to the public, the soundperson slaps on a AC/DC…more


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About James Rising

A recovering radio addict wrestles with the written word.
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