DOWN IN THE CELLAR (tales from the crypt)

Down in the cellar

It was cold and dark,

lit by one small, dim, overhead bulb,

That produced a bleak, weak light;

We played club in the cellar,

Carol and Patti and I

And sat in a circle

Around a lit candle,

That my mother would have had

A fit about  if

She had known

About the candle

That we were wasting.

 

Scariest of all was the mud cellar

With just a small path

Across the length of the room

illuminated slightly by a small window

That looked out on the street

But cupboards along the left side

held some of my mother’s canned goods.

It was a dry, hard, packed yellow dirt

Which didn’t go clear to the floor boards

To the living room above.

My little brothers played in here

With small cars and trucks,

Especially when it was raining,

And my father kept his fishing gear

And large wading boots on a hook

Over the mud side.

There were  three rooms  in the cellar

But for some reason

That one room had not been excavated

When the house was built.

One day, Carol and Patti and I

Were playing club

When the telephone rang

Upstairs in the dining room

And I ran upstairs to answer it.

Carol and Patti came bursting through

The cellar door,

Their eyes wide with fright

Both shrieking–

There’s a dead body down there!”

“Down where?” I asked, baffled

“IN THE MUD CELLAR!” they shouted;

“Oh, no there isn’t” I replied

And I headed downstairs,

With the two of them

Cowering behind me.

I went to the mud cellar,

And turned on the small light

In that room

And we all began to laugh.

“Their “dead body” was my father’s

wading boots hanging from a hook.

 

Sandra Lee Smith
(incident occurred around 1949-1950

 

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