They told us never go down the steps. So we sent the slinky. We watched him go into the dark. We listened. I sat on the edge. My feet were in the shadows. We called our names after the slinky so he wasn’t alone. We waited for echoes. They didn’t come.
The next day, we went back. We pressed our ears to the top step and heard him. The cold stone hurt. I rubbed my ears warm. They wanted to guess how far down he was. I made them stop.
Every day, we gathered on the top step. We didn’t talk. We took turns to listen. I guessed the number of steps he’d taken, but not out loud.
We are old now. We still come. We listen. He still goes.