From Chapter 3 of AIA (book 1 of The Italian Saga), “The secret basement”
The light from the opening above and below my head had carved away a slice from the dark, revealing a grey concrete floor on which my shadow lay. Right on the edge of the gray light there seemed to be something, maybe old desks, stacked chairs?
I gathered all my courage, wanting to look brave in the eyes of my friends, and for some reason wanting to impress Nico. I was no chicken! I stepped into the secret basement.
The other three asked from outside, “What do you see?”
“It’s pitch black, Guys. It’s impossible to see the back wall.”
I swallowed entranced by a very bad feeling, remembering the Nothing that had swallowed Fantasia in The Neverending Story, one of my favorite books ever. Maybe this was where the Nothing fled after Atreyu and Bastian kicked its butt.
I felt like Atreyu from the Neverending Story dealing with Morla, the grumpy old turtle. It was nice, for once, not to feel like scrawny bookworm Bastian.