An Attic Story

It was dark. As it always is in horror stories I suppose. Not that my ordeal was particularly scary, but it was certainly horrific. I don't think there's a more apt word than that to describe it really. Horrific. 

I suppose like every horror story it didn't start out dark either. No, in fact, it was rather bright and unseasonably warm for March. Which is way my parents decided to go on a spur-of-the-moment trip to the coast, leaving me behind to catch up on my studies. I was 13 and it was only for a couple of hours so it was no big deal. I put up no protest as it gave me the perfect opportunity to have the house to myself. 

 The moment the red people carrier turned around the corner I headed up the stairs, snatching the attic keys from the key bowl as I ran.  I had never been allowed in the attic because it was too "dangerous" , which of course made me desperate to find what treasures might be stashed above my head unbeknownst to me. Ever since I found out we had an attic and been told never to go in, I had been fixated on getting in and finding out what secrets it might hold. Normally I'm a realist but seven year old me had envisioned hidden bodies, chests of gold or even a secret passage to some unknown realm, and once an idea has been planted there's no getting rid of it. 

After a cursory fumbling of the keys, I slid them into the hole and waited a second before turning. I slowly opened the door to add effect. It was dark. Too dark to see anything and with no light-switch on the wall I had to run downstairs to grab a flashlight. It kind of ruined the moment if truth be told. 

Once back upstairs, I turned on the flashlight. The dust-filled beam illuminated a pile of old records which was all that I could see because the attic took an immediate corner. I had no choice but to enter, not that I was complaining since the whole of my childhood had led up to this point. The floorboards gave an unreassuring groan as I stepped on them but they weren't going to stop me. Or so I thought. 

On I went into the depths of the attic, finding nothing but old books and mouldy suitcases. What I think I was really looking for is something, anything, to inject interest into my mundane life. I spotted a shape that seemed to be swaying up on the rafter. Some sort of black cloth was my first instinct but upon shining the beam directly onto the cloth, it revealed itself to be a bat. Not a big one, but still frightening enough to make me jump backwards. The force of the jump caused my foot to break through the floorboard. I felt it shred the skin of my right leg as it went down. The pain was excruciating and caused me to scream out in agony. It hurt too much to try and tug, so I just clenched my teeth and waited for the pain to subside. It didn't.

 It kept on getting worse until I was forced to try and haul myself up but I was only able to lift it halfway out before I had to give up. The leg went down again but this time it broke through the living room ceiling below. It must have cut the leg even worse because I could feel the blood starting to flow down it. I knew that my parents wouldn't be home for at least another couple of hours so I would have to escape by my own means. I figured that since I wouldn't be able to lift my leg out, I would have to put the rest of my body through the ceiling and drop down into the living room. It seemed like the lesser of the two evils at the time. I swung my left leg around and put it gently into the hole in the floorboards. It didn't hurt that bad because I was able to avoid the side of the wood. I was holding on with my hands on the other secure board so I began to lower my body down the hole. As soon as I took the pressure off of my legs and solely onto my hands it became too much and my arms collapsed. The broken wood grated my torso and chest as I fell. My body stuck with my legs dangling out and my head just below the board. I began to scream but opening my mouth just caused the splinters to      scrape my cheek. At this point I'm fairly certain that around 85% of my body was covered in blood. There are no words to describe the pain I was in as they say.

I stayed like that for a couple of minutes, silently crying and trying my best not to breathe as every movement made the wood and splinters dig themselves even deeper into my flesh. I decided that I would have to suck up the pain and give one final push to completely break though the ceiling. Anything was better than the state I was in.

 

 I took a deep breath (which caused me considerable pain) and heaved my body downwards. My nerves flared up and I almost blacked out but I kept on pushing and pushing, even as my body was being ripped to shreds, until I finally broke through and fell out. I landed onto the glass coffee table and heard both my legs snap amidst the smashing of the glass. The shards dug themselves into every inch of my body and I didn't even have the energy left to scream. Something started flapping above me and I saw the bat making its way out of the hole. After it emerged, it swooped down and landed on my head. It was only then that I finally passed out. 





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