The Stairway

by Arthur Daniels

Having lived in that old house for more than fifty years, I must have climbed that flight of stairs thousands of times without giving the process any thought or feeling any sensations out of the ordinary. At he top and to the left was my small bedroom, my sanctuary, my private world since I was six. To the right was a bathroom and what was once my parents bedroom. However, this time was different. From the moment my foot touched the third riser, waves of goosebumps were flowing over me from head to toe and, when I finally reached the top, the initial feeling of unease and anticipation had progressed to a state of abject fear. At that moment, three sounds caught my ear: running water in bathroom and the slamming of the door at the bottom of the stairs followed by the distinct rattle of the key and the final click as that door was locked.

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Arthur Daniels, 58, married with two daughters and four grandchildren, has been everything from a zoo keeper to a sea cook on an oceanographic research vessel. He used to play a lot of Chopin, but since his left hand no longer cooperates, he now plays a lot more like Thelonious Monk: floppy left hand outlining the harmonic structure of the music. Despite his medical issues, he's just fine, and reinventing himself daily. He is the author of Peripheral Polyneuropathy and Me.