A certain family had some work being done in their basement, which had no windows. An interior door led to the stairs that descended to the basement. The parents warned their kids multiple times not to go down there because most of the electricity had been disconnected and the fixtures had no light bulbs; it was dark, and they could easily get hurt fumbling around among the equipment.
One day, the teenage son became angry at his parents and felt the urge to run away. He didn’t really have the nerve, though, so instead he decided to hide out in the basement. He grabbed some snacks and slipped through the door that led to the stairs.
The blackness swallowed him—but he had started taking a step in the same instant that he let go of the doorknob. He misjudged where the next step down was and lost his balance. The youth threw his outspread hands in front of him, and they hit a step, but his momentum tumbled him downward to the bottom. Pain throbbed at various points throughout his body.
“Help …” he managed to squeak. Everything hurt when he tried to move, so he stayed there, sprawled on the floor. “Help,” he said, slightly louder this time.
Silence, darkness, and throbbing were his world for a time. Where is everyone? he wondered. Why doesn’t someone come help me?
He couldn’t tell how long it was before he felt like he could sit up, and then he called out, “Hello? Dad! Mom! Are you up there?”
It seemed like long moments passed … and then the door opened, spilling light down the stairs. The youth could see his dad’s silhouette in the doorway. He came down in a hurry. “Are you all right, son? What are you doing down here?”
The youth allowed his father to assist him up the stairs, both embarrassed that he had put himself in that situation and relieved that help had come.
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