The boys are absolutely convinced that the darker areas of our lower level hide all manner of man and beast. They have seen gun- and knife-wielding pirates disappearing into a secret passageway, and sword-carrying men whose "flesh is stripped to the bone" (whatever that means) cutting up meat on cutting boards and "shoving it into their mouths."
While putting together puzzles in the sunroom, they have also seen these men emerge from the outside wall of the house where the secret passageways appear to end; the tiny footprints that I previously thought belonged to rabbits were instead created by the feet of said pirates as they escaped our house via the backyard.
Though quite certain that the elusive pirates are more scared of them than the boys are of the pirates, Matthew and Seth are determined to locate these invaders and bring them to some kind of justice. I have suggested that the pirates might appreciate a dinner invitation so that we can all get to know them, but Seth is skeptical that they would remove their masks long enough to actually eat any food.
All I know is that the next time I head down to get something out of the workshop/storage room, I will exercise great caution in face of such looming danger (or take one of my weapon-carrying boys with me for protection), because I'd hate to be sucked into the secret passageway that appears to begin just beside the door to the workshop.
Yesterday, Seth and Matthew prepared themselves to fight the bad guys in the basement: they donned protective helmets; filled their backpacks with "survival gear" such as extra clothing, homemade binoculars, their Valentine candy, and a tiny Snoopy teddy that might prove to be an able fighter; and tucked light sabres and nerf guns into the mesh water bottle holders at the sides of their backpacks in order to keep their arms free for hand-to-hand combat. Once ready, they marched down the steps into the dark basement to do battle!
Ahhhh, boys. Gotta love 'em.