They said not to go to the basement. They said to never open the blue doors. They said it wasn’t safe. I can attest to that.
I was young and foolish. I had talent, at least that’s what everyone told me. I believed them. I wanted to believe them. It was fun being special.
I suppose I believed only good things could happen to me.
You see, I tiptoed down the back steps one night. I was nine. It was right after the last show, and I felt invincible.
I passed the two storage rooms and entered the Performer’s Chapel, that’s what they called it anyway. Apparently this was where anyone close to a breakdown came to calm down – praying or meditating or whatever. That’s why I thought the stories were wrong! Of course bad things would happen to those who came up out of here, they didn’t go into this room if they were in good condition.
There was a spiral stairway down to the lower basement from here, but you had to know where to look – it was below a trap door in the floor. There was a strange symbol burned into the wood of the handle. How it managed to be swirly and sharp at the same time, I’ll never know, but it has marked me forever.
The descent into darkness gave me chills for a moment, but I flipped on the light when I made it down. It was a lightbulb hanging from the ceiling. The room was all brick. There was only the one chair in the corner and the blue doors in the far wall.
I almost stopped then. I should have. Something about the room made my palms itch. But I didn’t. I walked to the doors and ran my fingers over them for a moment. The wood was rough. I got a splinter in my right pinkie finger. I pulled it out and tossed it on the floor at my feet. I took a deep breath, swallowed, and pushed the door open an inch or two.
That was all. Just an inch or two.
I didn’t see anything but light. Then she came into me. My wound made it possible, I think. That’s where the mark is anyway.
Oh. She’s waking up. I have to hurry. If she catches me still here…