It starts like this:
The wooden staircase creaked under William's feet. He squinted into the basement's complete darkness, remembered the flashlight in his hand, and made his way to a bare light bulb hanging from the ceiling. Its light didn't reach all the way into the corners of the room, and it sent strange shadows crawling over the walls.
He kept his head bent; he was too tall to stand straight in the confined space. "It's not elegant, but should be safe enough for now."
Three dirty faces turned toward him with faith shining from their eyes, and he swallowed hard. What if he couldn't live up to their trust? No, he couldn't afford to think like that. He started down this road. There was no going back.
A female hand clutched his. It was small and cold and made him want to protect her. "Thank you. I don't know what we'd do without you."
He cupped his hands around hers. "I have to go. The congregation will be here soon. You just stay put down here, okay?"
Taking a glance around the bare room, he exhaled through his teeth. There had to be a better place to hide the family than this dank cellar, but he couldn't think of anything. "I'm sorry it's not nicer."
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