The stairs told a story about the family living there with each creaky step that Sandra took. The staircase could fill volumes with details about its occupying family’s life. It saw laughter strong enough to hurt one’s sides, as well as tears of sorrow and joy. Each step Sandra took was deliberate and firm enough to startle a nearby centipede, which scurried into a corner before disappearing. Her steps were firm enough that any person, not just insects, should have been aware of her approach, yet Ryan hadn’t noticed.
Sandra reached the top of the stairs when, from across the hallway, a hot, white light almost seared her eyes. The light came from behind a crack in a nearby door. Though squinting, Sandra relied on the light to guide her on the path to the door. Meanwhile, flickering images from somewhere behind the door cast ten-foot-tall shadows with giant jaws and towering teeth. Out of the corner of her eyes, she saw these monstrous images and got giant goosebumps, but she pressed forward, focusing on the door. She took a deep breath, pulled the door knob, covered her eyes for a moment and entered the room.
She smelled funky gym socks, heard strange sounds that sounded like explosions, saw a dusty calculator and several dog-eared paperbacks of Plato’s dialogues. Then she looked deep into the source of the white light: it was a T.V.., and Ryan was playing video games.
“Ok dinner’s ready in ten,” she said. “Hey, wait a minute. Aren’t you supposed to be studying?”
Ryan said, “Uh, well, I was talking to this really old guy named Socrates, and I realized all I know is how little I know. So I decided, as a starting point, to learn more about my video games.”
Sandra tilted her head, raised her eyebrow and rubbed her chin in response to Ryan’s comment.
“Well,” she said, “that’s fine as long as it came from Socrates. You can keep playing before dinner and some more afterwards.”
Then she walked out the door with a smirk on her face. When she had closed the door behind her, Ryan snickered to himself.
“Pfft! She thinks I actually talked to a dead ancient Greek dude.”
Meanwhile, as Sandra closed the door behind her, she laughed to herself.
“Haha he actually thinks I bought his story about speaking to Socrates. But I’m glad he’s reading.”