The two boys stood, rigidly staring down into the pitch-dark cellar; they each knew what they'd heard, but neither could manage to vocalize it.
No one else was home, and calling for help would reveal them as cowards; they could never allow that.
Hearts pounding, they looked to each other for courage, but the fear was clearly evident in each pair of adolescent eyes.
In agonizing silence, they debated which would lead the way; Chris was the elder, so it fell to him.
The old wooden stairs creaked as they crept slowly into the abysmal unknown that awaited them.