This is a microfiction piece in response to Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo prompt.
The stair went on forever, winding round and round, higher and higher, but the small window, the winking square of daylight came no closer. He stopped, to ease the fire in the muscles of his legs, and to scratch a mark on the stone with the edge of a coin. He climbed again, searching the walls, anxiety heavy and dull in the pit of his stomach. Round and round again. And the mark appeared. The bright, new scratched cross. He wanted to weep. The light laughed and he threw the coin, aiming for the window. The coin twisted and glinted once, twice, then disappeared. He couldn’t even tell if he had aimed true.
There was only one choice—up or down. He turned and peered back down the winding stairwell. Darkness rose to meet him, thick, impenetrable and suffocating. One by one, the stairs were swallowed by the rising shadows, and from the shifting depths came the sound of the pit, the moaning and the mad chuckling, following him. With a cry he turned back again, cursing the winking, laughing window and the light of a day he would never see, to climb the never-ending stair.