Dust shimmered in the wan beams of light shining through the ceiling beams, which had become gapped like crooked teeth. The windowsill had a single line through the grime where a wandering finger had wiped it clean. That tell-tale line was the only indication that anyone had been in the basement for years, and who would want to? The cement floor was blotched with stains, dark and irregular, and there were plenty of dark spaces for any passing ghostie or ghoulie or long-legged beastie to take up residence. An occasional group of kids would find their way into the house to tell horror stories by flashlight, and when they were sufficiently close to wetting their pants there would be the inevitable olympic dash back up the wooden stairs, shoving and shrieking, all of them secretly hoping that they weren't the slowest, already making the unspoken decision to sacrifice heavy-set Jimmy, huffing behind, if it came down to it.