Someone knocked on the locked basement door. The windowless, one-doored basement. A car drove by and illuminated the empty room for a moment. Steve stared at the ceiling with all his might.
'I frickin told her there was a ghost down there,' he thought. He curled into the fetal position and hid under his blanket. The rumbling of a motorcycle passed by. The clock ticked twice.
Something knocked again.
He closed his eyes and pretended he was dreaming.
The sheet flew off of his quivering body. He fell from the couch with his eyes clenched shut and scuttled backwards until he hit a wall.
Something knocked again. He felt the wall shake.
Two cold fingers separated Steve's eyelids. “That isn't me,” the mostly ethereal man said.
Steve rocketed to his feet and ran through the ghost. He turned once he hit the far wall. There was no one in the room.
Another knock, harder this time, shook the floor. A screw fell from the rusty hinge.
The ghost rose from the floor in front of Steve. “I don't think it's going to wait for you to answer the door,” he said.
“Then why is it knocking?” Steve asked. The realization that ghosts were real could bother him later.
“How should I know?” the ghost said. “Answer it.”
A tiny hand knocked, barely audible over Steve's heartbeat. He twitched his eyes between the ghost and the door. “You answer it. You can't die.”
“I did my part, now you have to save us.” The ghost began to fade away.
“But you didn't even do anything except-” he was gone before Steve finished.
“Open the door,” a raspy voice whispered from the basement.
With his legs trembling Steve took a step forwards. He erupted in sweat, shock finally letting his body get in the way.
A rattling cough bounded from behind the door. He backed up against the wall.
Steve grabbed and abandoned an umbrella, a textbook, and a couch cushion before confidently grabbing an iron fire-poker. He centimetered towards the door. The smell of rotting pizza from the previous nights party blocked any odor the horrid thing below oozed. A breeze played with the wind chime outside.
The fist pounded again. The top hinge fell from the door, a screw dropped from the middle hinge. Steve did what he hoped was the sign of the cross and inched towards the door as fast as he could.
“Open-” A hacking cough interrupted the voice from the basement.
Steve reached the door as the coughing stopped and held his breath. Something was wheezing on the other side. He put his ear against the door.
The creature in the basement hacked up some horrible creation and screamed, “Dude open the frickin door! I've been passed out down here for like 20 hours!”