What's in the Attic

David J. Lovato

What's in the Attic?

     On a separate sheet of paper, make a list from 1-26. Then, come up with words for each of the following, and insert them into the story on the next page.

  1. Male’s name

  2. Body part

  3. Noun

  4. Vehicle

  5. Adjective

  6. Adjective or Feeling

  7. Adverb

  8. Adjective ending with –ly

  9. Color

  10. Sound Effect

  11. Saying or Proverb

  12. Hobby or Activity

  13. Number between 1 and 12

  14. Name of a loved one or close friend

  15. Weapon

  16. Name of a room that isn’t the Attic

  17. Name of another loved one or close friend

  18. Name of a specific place (state, country, province, etc.)

  19. The same weapon as #15

  20. Last name

  21. Same loved one as #17

  22. Horror adjective

  23. Color

  24. Body part

  25. Something you’d find in a kitchen

  26. Organ

 

     You inherited the house from your great uncle 1._____, after he died of a ruptured 2._____. Nobody told you that the old house on 3.____ Tree Lane was the only one around for miles. As you pulled up to it in your 4._____, a tingle went up your spine. Clouds covered the sun, the trees shook with the 5._____ breeze—one you couldn’t even feel.

     “It’s nothing,” you said. “I’m just 6.______ because it’s a new house.”

     A long path led among the leafless trees, snaking its way through the lifeless grass. You walked up 7._____, feeling more uneasy with every step. Then—what was that? Did something move in the upstairs window?

     Impossible. Anyway, the windows were too grimy to see through from down here. You pressed on, reaching the old wooden steps that led up to the door. Each groaned 8._____ as you stepped on it, threatening to break beneath you.

     You found respite on the front porch. It was late in the afternoon, and you took a last look at your 9._____ vehicle, offering to give you a ride out of this creepy place. Instead you turned and tried the knob. It was locked, not that anyone would have any reason to come way out here, let alone try to break in. You had the key, which slid roughly into the lock. It made a 10._____ sound as you turned it, then the door popped open.

     The lights came on when you flicked the switch, and though they were dim, you already felt better about the place. The old man’s furniture still adorned it, and the house looked recently cleaned, if only lightly. Dust settled in the spaces where the floor met the walls, and on top of old ceiling fans.

     “11._______,” you reminded yourself, then got to work settling in. After a few hours of 12._____, the uneasiness had completely passed. With a violent yawn, you decided to turn in for the first night in your new home.

     At 13.____ o’clock in the morning, you heard a sound. It stirred you from a dream about 14._____ calling to you for help, so your heart was already pounding. A few seconds dragged by like molasses; you wondered if you’d actually heard anything, and then you heard it again: shuffling, like footsteps.

     You grabbed the 15._____ from beside the night stand, then stood up. More shuffling sounds, coming from the 16.______. “Who’s there?” You called.

     Through the crack in the door, a figure moved. How could something get all the way to the hall so quickly? Your eyes must’ve been playing tricks on you. Cautiously, you opened your bedroom door… and nothing happened. No sounds, no movement.

     Until the attic door slammed shut.

     You raced up the stairs, weapon in hand, and tried the knob, but it was locked. Strange, that door only locks with a key. You felt a sudden fear and turned, but there was nothing.

     You investigated the set of keys you’d been left, and discovered there was no attic key. It wasn’t even listed in the paperwork describing everything your uncle left you. He must not have had a key to leave.

     Still a little shaken, you slept with your bedroom door shut and locked.

     The next day went by without anything unusual happening. You even got a call from 17._____ all the way in 18.______. The two of you talked for hours, and before you knew it, it was nighttime. You said your goodnights. You were in the kitchen making a late night snack when movement caught your eye. You whipped around to face a small vent in the wall above a little cubby door, but saw only a light cobweb drifting with the air conditioner. You chuckled at how silly you were, then went on to finish your meal.

     That night, you heard noises, this time coming from the kitchen. You reached for your trusty 19._____, and then scoured your house, but you didn’t find anything. Only the attic remained unsearched.

     Shaking, you called the police. They seemed annoyed by the prospect of driving all the way out there, but eventually sent someone out. It took an hour to arrive. Officer 20._____ searched your house and found nothing. Yawning, the officer asked “What’s in the attic?”

     “I don’t know,” you said. “I don’t have a key.”

     The officer grunted, clearly annoyed. “I can make a copy of the lock and get you a key by next week. Other than that, I think we’re done here. You enjoy your night.”

     Nothing stirred the rest of the night. You felt safe, even a little happy that you’d finally get your attic key. Smiling, you went to sleep.

     A few uneventful days went by, then you were awoken again one night. You reached for your weapon—but it was gone.

     By now you were more annoyed than scared. You found a baseball bat in the closet, took it in hand, and headed downstairs, toward the sound.

     You turned on the kitchen light. The baseball bat clattered to the floor as you used both hands to cover your mouth. On the table was a clean white plate, serving up 21._____’s freshly severed head.

     Your phone was all the way in your bedroom, on the night stand. And anyway, the police were an hour away. You reached for the baseball bat, but it was gone.

     Tap. Tap.

     Wood on metal. Slowly, so slowly, you turned toward the vent you’d noticed the other day. The cubby below it was wide open, and sitting inside was a 22._____ man, or woman, or thing. It had desaturated 23._____ skin, straw-like hair, and was missing a 24.______. It was tapping your baseball bat against the vent. And it was smiling at you.

     You turned to run, but didn’t make it a single step before you felt the blow on the back of your head. You fell, turning, and landed on your back, looking up at the 25.______. Pain ravaged your body and you screamed as the thing’s long, slender fingers tore into you and ripped out your 26.______.

     In a daze of pain and darkness, you felt yourself being dragged around the house, like the thing was giving you a tour. Up the stairs you went, the thing carrying you by one foot, your head bumping against every stair.

     “And thisssss here is the aaaaattic,” the creature said. It opened the door with a simple turn of the knob, then threw you inside. You slid across the hard, dusty wood floor, trailing blood the whole way, and came to rest in the middle of the room.

     The creature entered the attic and shut the door behind it. You heard it lock. Then you remembered something almost funny:

     The police would come by with your attic key in the morning.