Kathy walked into TheCorkScrew. During the day it had masqueraded as a cafe with coffee, tea, hot chocolate, soft drinks, and any alcohol you felt like adding. At night the old place truly came alive as the beloved town bar where everyone met to have fun and catch up.
However, the building no longer met fire code regulations. It hadn’t when she started working here as a bartender when she was sixteen, having procured a fake ID. But twenty-five years later the place was so terrible it had to be torn down; even renovations couldn’t save The CorkScrew.
At the front of the bar were bottles from years gone by. For some reason one could still get an ancient bottle of 7Up to mix with lime juice and Vodka. There was original Coca Cola and original Pepsi, whatever you preferred to have with your Rye or Rum.
Kathy along with neighbors, patrons, and friends — some she’d known all her life — had come to the bar one last time to watch as The CorkScrew was boarded-up. Oddly enough, even the rats seemed to be leaving the building, which only made Kathy cry harder.
“Carissa can you come see me in the basement?” Kathy, Carissa’s mother calls to her daughter, my niece.
” I’ll be here when you get back,” I tell Carissa who shakes her head.
” I don’t like the basement” she says, “There’s a monster and he hides under the stairs. He is going to eat us.”If only the monsters in real-life were as harmless as the one’s Carissa sees.
“I’ll go down the stairs with you and we can both look to see if there’s a monster there okay?” I tell Carissa who nods her head. It seemed like a good idea at the time . . .
I take Carissa’s hand and we both descend the stairs.We listen for Kathy. I notice the light bulbs as they flicker on and off. “Kathy?” I call out and Carissa’s grip tightens. She is staring at a dark mass beneath the stairs. I use my Iphone as light to better see.
Beneath the stairs I scream. I have never seen such demonic eyes and large teeth. Kathy’s blood pools at my feet. I hold my arm out to Carissa, “Go, take my phone Carissa. You know how to use it.Call 911. Call Daddy.”
Carissa runs up the stairs and I absorb the pain of sharp teeth and the foul stench of breath.