Shadows Under the Stairs

Posted: September 19, 2016 by J.A. Prentice in Flash Fiction
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,


There was no top and no bottom. There were only the stairs, climbing upwards and downwards, a vertical eternity.

How long had they been climbing?

Vicki asked herself this question every night as they made camp upon a turn in the endless stair, breaking a bannister for firewood and cooking whatever it was they’d hunted that day. The old man seemed like he knew. The pain in his ancient eyes told her he remembered each instant they’d spent in that winding place.

“There has to be an exit eventually, my dear child,” he’d say. “Yes, yes. Eventually. All things come to an end.”

She was starting to wonder if the stair was an exception.

There came a noise and she was shaken from her thoughts. The old man whirled around, hands gripping his lapels.

“The spiders,” he whispered.

They ran as hairy legs scuttled half-seen in the shadows.

Word Count: 148

This is for Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer. Thanks to Priceless Joy for running the challenge and Joy Pixley for providing the prompt photo!


  1. Oh no! After all that, they are being chased by spiders! Loved the story J.A.! It fit the prompt well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. mandibelle16 says:

    Fascinating setting for an adventure story. It’s like Jumanji meets trying to take the stairs all the way up the Eiffel Tower, but who knows if it will end. The spiders ick!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Michael says:

    I like the notion that the stair went on forever. Very well done, spiders and all…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Iain Kelly says:

    Love the idea of an endless stairway with travelers moving along it, camping out, looking for a way out. Great visual. Nice end with the creepy spiders. Great work.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. michael1148humphris says:

    Those stairs do appear to go on for ever,

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Morgan says:

    eeeek, yeah I’d run too! Great take on the prompt πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  7. milliethom says:

    A never-ending stairway, or spiral, is a fascinating setting for your story. I like the way you describe their activities as they constantly trek along it – camping out, collecting firewood and cooking. It makes the story come alive, as do the spiders. The pair did seem unduly frightened of those spiders, and I’m wondering whether there’s something particularly nasty or evil about them.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Joyfrida says:

    Maybe the spiders wanted to say hi, you know, hahahaha

    Liked by 1 person

  9. jademwong says:

    Nooo not the spiders. Anything but the spiders! *peeks through fingers*

    Great writing as always!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. afairymind says:

    A never-ending staircase is bad enough. Throw in spiders, as well, and that place really becomes the scene of nightmares! Wonderful story, JA. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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