This story was originally published on October 25, 2020
“Boo!” Timmy and Tammy yelled, popping out from under the stairs in the basement. Their mother dropped the laundry basket full of dirty clothes. They laughed as it tumbled down and landing half-empty at the bottom of the stairs. “What have I told you two about startling me when I go down the stairs? What if it were me that fell down the stairs and not this laundry basket? Would you be laughing then?”
“No.” Timmy and Tammy said – staring at their feet. “That’s what I thought.“ Their mom said. “Now help Me pick up these clothes. Tommy and Tammy loved to startle people. They loved to see which spaces they could fit into – no matter how small – no matter how unusual (and of course those were always the best places) and wait for the most opportune moment to jump out and frighten someone. That someone was usually their mom. “One of these days,” she said after their most recent scare, ”you’re going to hide in someplace that you can’t get out of – and then you two will be the scared ones for once.” They laughed. They were master hiders. That would never happen. One day they were walking around their house looking for their next great hide and scare spot. ”Let’s check out the basement.” Timmy said.
“We’ve hidden in the basement 1,000 times!” Tammy said.
“Yeah, but mom is remodeling the basement. Maybe there is a big box or something we can hide in.”
They wandered down into the basement. Everything was in a sort of disarray. Shelves were half-built, paint was drying on the walls, and a new washer/dryer set sat in the middle of the room.
“Look over there!” Timmy said. He pointed to where the old washer and dryer used to be. On the wall, was a small door.
“Has that door always been there?” Tammy asked.
“Who knows? But let’s see if it’s open.” They opened the door to find a small closet space.
“You thinking what I’m thinking?” Timmy asked. Tammy nodded and they quietly sat in the closet and waited. Their mom would be down any minute to show the crew where to hook up the new appliances. They’d get her then, and if they were lucky, they’d get the work crew too!
They heard footsteps.
“Is that her? Should we jump out?”
“Let’s wait to hear her say something. Let’s make sure it’s her.”
Whoever was out there, they were right in front of the closet door. They heard something lock. Timmy tried the doorknob. It was locked.
“Hello? Mommy?” Tammy said. The footsteps walked away, and then they heard something move slowly across the floor. Something heavy being pushed.
They banged on the door.
“I warned you.” Their mother said. “Are you scared?”