Cleaning the attic
Lettie gazed out of the car window with unwavering attention onto the surroundings of her new home. It was a solid, modern looking house with newly painted rendered finish on the outside, and a big garden with tall cut hedges, portraying different animals. Entering the building was a different world, the exact opposite of what you would have imagined it to be. Old beams were embedded into the ceiling and the doors were abnormally low. But it was friendly and contained a lot of character.
It was seven o’clock on a Monday morning when Lettie was aroused by her loud alarm. She was nervous as most teenagers would be when they were starting a new school. However she was excited about exploring her new house after lessons were over. The school was a ten minute walk from the house, and as she strolled along, hands in pockets, she imagined herself the next week walking with a cheerful group of friends. The first few lessons were boring and she found it intolerable to concentrate. As the other GCSE students realised there was a new girl about, they all kept asking her questions. She felt less forlorn. However when a tall, skinny girl asked Lettie if she lived nearby, then everything went down the drain. At first she didn’t know what she had said wrong, possibly it was that she had got the wrong name of the village that she was now living in. But the girls soon gave her the impression that there was something about her house that was different……in a bad way.
The next week was terribly dull and tedious; a few ignorant teenagers didn’t bat an eyelid in her direction, but the others posed many questions to her. The girl who Lettie thought resembled a pencil with hair, called Gabby, was vile to her. “You simply can’t be living in that house, do we all want another person crying their eyes out to us”.
“Ummm, I…” Lettie said, horrified at the abrupt statement from Gabby.
“Don’t even go there”, Gabby interrupted.
In spite of this, it was finally the weekend, and she could get away.
It was two in the morning and Lettie still couldn’t get to sleep, too many things whizzed around her mind. Suddenly she heard a knocking on the roof, thudding like a heart beat. Feeling petrified, she closed her eyes and blocked out the noise, but the words of the other girls about her house keep sneaking in. She has mixed emotions, which involved feelings of curiosity and also feeling disturbed. She plugged herself into her new iPod, and soon she forgot all about the knocking and soon fell sound asleep.
This is a preview of the whole essay
Light filtered in, through the soon-to-be-binned, translucent curtains of Lettie’s new bedroom. She groaned while grabbing a spare pillow from the already clothes-covered floor, turned over, buried her head into it and concealed her face from reality and the outside world. But she couldn’t catch another wink. A familiar voice yelled from downstairs, a voice that was demanding that she get downstairs now, telling her to do some chores. The news inflamed her temper, but it had to be done.
Half an hour later, she was up a ladder, climbing up stairs into a filthy attic with a duster and a little smelly hoover trailing in her arms. The door to the attic had rusty bolts and a blocked key hole in it, which she found puzzling. But as she advanced through the creaky door, it was like opening up an old chimney. She had always hated cleaning especially when it was as foul as this.
She couldn’t see the wood on the floor and the strong, musty smell of the loft was enough to make anyone choke. The paint on the wall was peeling and the only light visible was the light leaking through a small grubby window. Her mum’s orders were specific, to clean the attic and be down in time for tea.
It was about an hour later when she had reached the end of the attic. She was exhausted, but a single grimy painting of a middle aged man hung there incongruously on the wall. The portrait was blurred, and it looked like three merged images painted together. It was horrendously dirty, but it was the last item to clean, so Lettie felt inclined at least to wipe it down. As she scrubbed away the layers of grime, she accidently chipped the smallest bit of paint off. “Oh well, nobody will notice”, she muttered to herself serenely. But obviously someone had noticed. A haze of smoke erupted from the tiny hole, where the paint had once been, and slowly but surely a figure started to form, centimetres away from her face. Like melted wax her face moulded into horror. Her heart missed a beat, as she dropped her paraphernalia, and hurdled over the boxes and old cushions that were blocking her only escape path…
Panting and dishevelled, she sprinted down the stairs. The shock hit her like an icey cold blizzard. The words rung and echoed over and over again in her head, “You live in that house”. She didn’t know whether to tell parents or not, but she was afraid that doing that might make it angry.
She had been completely shaken, however some of her wanted to see it again. Lettie had never believed in ghosts or spirits before, and the sudden sighting had changed her mind and her curiosity had been aroused.
The following night, as she stayed silent and concealed in the safety of her room, she wondered should she or shouldn’t she go back to the attic? It was a hard question but a simple answer. She wanted to go up and find out more; it would be edgy but quite exciting all the same; she didn’t care about school the next day. After a long period of time, listening outside her parent’s door, she was finally satisfied that they were fast asleep, and sneaked up the stairs quietly. There it was, that same door lying slightly ajar just ahead of her. Determination overcame the butterflies in her stomach. Inhaling deeply, she held her breath and walked into the dark, mysterious room.
Lettie walked further and further into the room, slowly approaching the bizarre painting. She could see it now but the image was gone. The single frame remained there just lying aimlessly on the floor. Where had he gone? She was concerned about this, but also relieved that she didn’t have go through another nasty experience. She headed back towards the door now, not caring about what had just happened, until her hand came into contact with the door handle. As she took a last look in to the dingy loft, the baseball bat that was held tight in her hand, slipped away and fell to the floor, with a resounding thud, as a haggard shaft of moonlight seeped in from the small velux window. The pale light caught the image of her beloved teddy in shreds on the floor. At the unexpected sight, she gasped, her vision went blurred and her head hit the hard wooden floor. Her body went limp.
Lettie kept getting waves of dizziness, as she lay down in her warm bed. Her parents leant over her. “It’s going to be OK”, they said reassuringly stroking her forehead.
She would be fine, obviously school was out of the question for a while, but she could get over that. She had tripped over paint pot as she was going to the loo, the night before, and she had had a nasty fall……But she knew that the paint pot was nothing to do with her injury.
The moment Lettie recovered, she insisted on going to school. Her parents found this strange, but she sub-consciously knew that something might happen to her again during the day and she wanted to avoid the possibility.
Lettie was shattered from her evening run. Her parents were out and she let herself in. She stripped off and headed for the shower. It felt good to cool off after exercise, but not for long. Within a minute, the flow of water reduced to a trickle, drip by drip each perfect droplet turned into a deep reddish blood colour. She screamed in horror. Her breath seemed to have disappeared, got stuck half way down her windpipe never to re-emerge.
She heard a deep cackle as ran down the corridor in her towel with her clothes in her arms; she grabbed her phone off the banister and raced out of the front door, choking back tears. Dressing as she ran to her friend’s house, she kept glancing around convinced someone was following her. She was relieved to see George answer the door.
It was a complete misconception. The outside the house looked lovely, tricking people to believing it was a perfectly normal, modern-looking place. And currently she appreciated the students understanding the facts about her house. They obviously had a lot of experience of other kids coming for shelter at their homes. She did empathise for them.
George accompanied her home, but stayed a while too. Just to make sure she was fully settled. “Thanks so much for walking me home”, Lettie said gratefully, “do you want something to drink”.
“Just a coke, I can’t stay long”, George said.
Shortly after George had left, she sat down to finish off her work. You must know that feeling, the overwhelming joy of completing coursework. Well that feeling is what came over Lettie, two thousand one hundred and thirty eight words, done and dusted. But the sensation soon expired. All of a sudden, an upsurge of scattering noises erupted in the room; she spun around praying that is wasn’t anything nasty again. But sure enough as she turned back to face her Sony laptop, she was frozen to the chair. There, right in front of her were the keys tapping away, letters haunted her desktop and a message of warning grew. She hastily tried different methods of stopping it, turning the laptop off, pressing the back space and delete button, but all it did was laugh at her. Nightmare after nightmare was just emerging, wrapping her up in them, helplessly. She was abandoning this house, now.
Armed only with a phone, Lettie ran through the woods, scrambling over protruding tree roots and dodging between clumps of nettles. Grazing her legs and arms she tore through the trees. Her parents’ last words echoed through her head, “Darling have a good day at school”. An infinite spectrum of possibilities raced around her mind, as the branches clawed her face. There was no time for puzzling over explanations. Lurching forward as ivy strangled her ankles, she lay on the muddy ground, winded. Feeling the presence of somebody behind her, she scrambled to her feet, ran forward and then halted; there he was standing now right in front of her.
She didn’t want to believe what her friends had told her, but the truth rang in her ears. Lettie sharply spun round, as a gust of wind and tornados of leaves hit her and then stopped. Nothing was to be seen or heard apart from the gentle hooting of an owl in the distance. The silence was a blood-curdling scream of anguish, set out to break a soul.
Finally, he was gone.