Creaks of the Attic

Custom User Avatar
More by this author
The bell rang again, but Julie didn’t care, her bedraggled red hair and crooked face told the world she wasn’t in a good mood. Her checkered book bag slammed against the purple lockers, as it sank to the green floor in defeat. It was raining hard, so she didn’t bother dressing up for picture day, but Mom insisted and it led into another pointless argument. She recollected her book bag, and steadily worked at the combination. “Maybe Mom was half right…” she said glancing down at her casual look. Her black skinny jeans tucked under her baggy, green hoodie; with her blue converse sticking out below it all. Her locker clicked open, she rummaged through the colorful mess of posters, notes, and wrappers; moments after she stalled staring deep into the lockers crevasses. A small, gray thread was sticking out in one of the corners. She pulled and revealed her old, gray beanie, that her mother had scrawled ‘precious’ across the top. She nonchalantly put it on, in attempt to disguise her ‘end of the world’ look, her flat hair and steady green eyes displayed her pale skin, as her sheepish grin made her look anorexic. She frowned, while cramming more junk than supplies into her locker; she reached for her books then paused staring at the chipping black paint, on her finger nails, which she had put on last night. Sighing she grabbed her books and headed for class.

After class, she piled onto the bus with the others, she stared contemplating where and who she would sit with. Tricia Perkins smirked as Julie attempted to sit next to her, but decided against it when she saw Scarlet. Her best friend smiled as she collapsed into the seat.
”Agenda for the day?” Scarlet asked in her inquisitive voice, as her green highlights bounced on her shoulders. Her heart-shaped face and long body made her look like a model, but due to her obnoxious personality-that Julie loved- she was turned down. They both decide that a conversation should start with a question, not so much as a hi or hello.
“Hmmm- how about- self-sufficient girl, with over bearing family?” Julie said after brief moments of thought.
“Parental issues? Or parental control? Or both?” Scarlet was practicing to be a psychiatrist, while she was going for a mystery/horror writer.
“Both, but Mom won’t be home tonight, and Dad-as usual- is nowhere to be found, I swear, I have nightmares about him!”

Scarlet got off a few stops before her, so she had to stare out the window a lot. Her stop was farthest down, so she was usually the last to leave. Games and I-pods were often lost or stashed on the bus for the next day or found and destroyed, so the bus was kind of a dump, with its cracked windows and bad light fixtures, and (not to mention) horrid smell.
The bus stop was a few blocks away, but if you cut through the forest it was only one, Julie thought as she jumped onto the wet grass. She started toward the forest looking to the gray skies, the moss-covered rocks and ever-green pines that calmed her as the sun seemed to go down. A fog set over the place as she trudged through the leaves, making her own way. The smell of burning cedar surrounded her, she fluttered her eyelids then they shot open. No smoke surrounded her, nor did the scent of smoke fill her nostrils. Confused and slightly concerned she carried on, shoving off the uneasy feeling or so she thought…

She neared the house, with its slanted rooftop, creaking floors, and dilapidated porch. Sighing she headed up the porch, as it quickly began to rain. The humid air filled her lungs as she fumbled with the rusted keys. A cool liquid hit her face, as it slowly made her hair damp; she looked up to see the hole troubling her. She stomped her foot as the molded floorboards creaked in resentment. The door opened after a few clicks, while grumbling she stepped inside. The dark, old house was decorated in antiques and collector’s items, its nooks and crannies held the putrid scent of cinnamon and rot, while showing history in every corner. The only thing Julie liked about the house was the fact that it was spooky. She paused then darted for the kitchen, remembering the cookies in the oven that her mother had told her to take out. She stopped in the middle of the kitchen and saw a silver kettle on the black stove boiling water, while puffing out steam and shrieking in a horrid tone. Her mother was forgetful and clumsy; she sighed and started walking toward the stove. The lights slowly dimmed then went out. The kettle went silent after a few last spouts of steam; Julie’s hands flew up out of caution, while knocking off her hat revealing her knotted and tangled clump of red hair. After a minute or two, she put her hands down realizing nothing was wrong. Pacing on the tiled floor, the strong scent of burnt cookies wafted from the oven, she glanced around the dim-lit room, with only the brief moonlight to guide her. Sighing she started looking for the flash light, the pink and yellow flower arrangement on the wooden table now looked red-orange in the dark room. She put her hands out in front of her feeling the hidden objects; her eyes squinted, and then opened them again with no progression. Her hands pressed against something firm with a material feeling. Mistaking it for a coat rack she carried on, only to trip on the white fur rug. Murmuring to herself she got up, and looked to see the new scrape on her knee and the hole in her jeans. “I hate this house!” she screamed as she kicked the wall, only to have it back fire on her big toe. Swearing under her breath, she opened the blinds to let in more light, only to find a dark figure walking toward her. She closed the blinds not even uttering a word. With no success in finding the flash light she headed upstairs with the single word of paranoia ringing in her head.

The mahogany steps seemed darker, as the picture frames appeared to glare. She shivered as she stared at her even paler hands and all the shadows surrounding her. Taking the steps two at a time the walls moaned and enclosed around her. The hall lights began to flicker as she quickened her pace, beads of sweat rolled down her cheeks as her ragged breath came to a halt. Flying to the top of the stairs, as the lights went out with a slight flick from behind her, “Who’s there?” she asked as the panic rang clear in her voice. No response; she jumped, as the power came back on, and sprinted for her room. The door slammed, reminding her intruder she had reached her destination.

She half expected to hear a knock on the door, as it creaked open and cold air blew in. Julie was pitifully hiding under the bed, as she watched black boots go up and down around the room then leave. About five minutes later, she built up the courage to get up. She glanced at her bedroom mirror and saw scratches and black smudges covering her face as dust bunnies danced in her hair. She looked away quickly and decided to head to the attic for better refuge, rather than worry about her appearance. The attic had one opaque window, its long arches and high ceiling made it seem like a great hide out; while its thin floor boards and holes made it dangerous, one step in the wrong place could kill you. She hid behind a dresser filled with maggots and mold, she screamed as her hand came in contact with it. She clamped her other hand over her mouth, in an attempt to catch the sound, but she knew it didn’t and it heard her. She felt the hesitant breath breathing down her back, she sloppily ran to the window, and uncovered it. The light attracted a nearby bat; it swooped down after her, as a loud pound came from down stairs. Running out of the attic she tripped going down the stairs, and broke her left arm. She cried out in pain and fear as the front door swung open. The dark figure towered over her. “Sweetie. Are you alright?” a familiar voice spoke as her mother looked over her briefly, while turning on the lights. “Don’t eat me! Wait…Mom?” Julie said shocked and embarrassed thinking her mom was it. “I forgot my keys and came back, you kept screaming. Eat you?” she laughed as she left the room. Julie sat there as a thousand emotions flooded through her only to cease, with the creaks of the attic…





Join the Discussion

This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

...PensiveGurl... said...
Nov. 18, 2010 at 6:20 pm
I liked it! The way you desribed things was really well done. By the way, I like Edgar too and I have the book with all of his poems and stories too!
 
TheEdgar replied...
Nov. 18, 2010 at 7:47 pm
Cool! And thankyou!!!!!!! i have the Edgar Allan Poe collection too!!!!!!!! its amazing!!!
 
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback