Letters in the Attic

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
Nichola had always been sceptical about anything supernatural, but what she finds in the attic of her parent's old house might well just change her mind.

Submitted: January 28, 2015

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Submitted: January 28, 2015

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Letters in the Attic

 

Nichola watched in a trance as the rain drops slid hastily down the ancient window pane, connecting and distorting other drops as it went. The movie on the television held none of her focus. Some stage school brat, breathing heavily and over using her eyebrows to compensate for her lack of acting talent, shoving her bosoms forward up the stairs in dramatic fashion to avoid the wild slashing of the “terrifying” killer, just wouldn't cut it tonight. If only she were back in the city. Sure, her flat mate had turned out to have fallen victim to the worlds biggest cliché, and if she hadn't walked in on her and two of her mates, wearing what could have passed for dressing gowns and chanting over a pentagram, she would still be in her own place, getting ready to go out. What kind of moron believes in that nonsense anyway? She thanked god she was out of there now though, it had been genuinely alarming to discover the person she had been living with for the last couple of months had a been a delusional lunatic.

 

A quick flash of light followed by a dull rumble disturbed her thoughts. The storm had obviously moved directly over the house now, bringing with it more frantic rain smashing itself against the windows as if desperate to get in. The walls seemed to shudder and the lights flickered. She shivered and pulled her thick woollen cardigan closer around her. “Useless, run down old house,” she muttered. She wouldn't even know where to look for a fuse box in an ancient building like this. How would she put the lights back on if they went out? In a huff, she stretched and peeled herself off the sofa where she had been comfortably settled. She might as well be proactive about this and go and have a look for it now, before she had to start looking in the pitch black. There weren't exactly many street lights out here in the middle of nowhere.

 

She started to wander towards the kitchen and, once she had a candle in her hand, and a box of matches in her pocket, she started to meander through the old stone hallways in search of something that vaguely resembled a fuse box. The house was a run down old relic which her mother had instantly fallen in love with when she had been out driving through the country one day. She had redecorated their previous home and turned an ever so slight profit, so had decided that she could handle a place that didn't even have electricity or running water. It hadn't even had a roof when she found it. Nichola had to admit, though, her mother had done a pretty good job. It retained all of the old features, such as stone and wood beams, while still having all the mod cons, such as a phone line and internet access. A few more heaters coupled with double glazing wouldn't have gone a miss, Nichola thought as she shivered.

 

She decided that since this place didn't have a basement that the most logical place to look for this damn fuse box would be in the attic, not that anything about this house was actually logical. Each step creaked as she trudged up the narrow staircase, her mood turning more sour the closer she got to the second level. The circular landing window trembled in it's frame as she stepped onto the landing, and the lights flickered again as if in agreement. Her eyes raked the ceiling, the slightest bit of concern marring her features as she waited for the bulbs to return to normal.

 

As she started up again, a movement in the corner of her eye made her jump and spin around, her heart jumping towards her throat. Her eyes frantically searched for the source of the motion, and she let out a small sarcastic chuckle as she recognised her own reflection in the round window. She walked forward a few steps and appraised her image. Her black wavy hair had twisted into wild curls from lying on the sofa so long. She raked her hands through it and checked the rest of her face. The sofa cushions had crumpled her face on her right side, distorting her maple leaf shaped birth mark which she had always hated, but her mother had said was her most beautiful feature. Of course she would say that, mothers had to.

 

Another crack of lightening reminded her of her task, and with a sigh she turned towards the end of the landing. She saw with slight curiosity that the antique wooden board that made up the hatch to the attic was slightly open, the cord swinging slightly. She decided this wasn't really a surprise though, hardly anything in this house worked as it should so why would an attic hatch stay closed? Leaping slightly to catch the cord, she pulled hard to move the stiff ladder down towards the ground. With a creaking snapping sound, that worried her she may have broken something, the ladder settled on the beige carpet. A glacial breeze rushed down from the dark opening in the ceiling, as she cursed under her breath at what she must do next. Tying her thick woollen cardigan firmly around her she started to climb the ladder. Her eyes worked furiously to become accustomed to the darkness, as she reached the top rung and her hand reached out blindly, swinging back and forth, until she felt the chain for the light and pulled. The aged bulb flickered to life, throwing out a dull glow that didn't quite reach the corners of the attic. Squinting into the dim room she hauled herself up onto the ancient boards that covered the floor, feeling the cold surface through her thick socks, and took out the matches, lighting the candle she held. Any extra light could only be a bonus. After one quick circuit around the room it became quite obvious that there was nothing even slightly electrical up here, apart from the light, let alone a fuse box, so with a sigh she started back towards the hatch.

 

When she was a few feet away there was a sharp crack and her foot jolted down through a rotten piece of wood, scratching her skin and pulling something deep inside her ankle. Swearing furiously, she fell down to the floor until she was sitting cradling her leg and attempting to pull it from the hole in the floor. All of the work her parents had done on this house and they didn't even replace the sodding attic floor, she thought. While the pain subsided she stretched out her leg and bowed her head over it, it hopefully wasn't as bad as it had first seemed. As her breathing returned to normal her eyes absently roved over the hole that had been made with her foot. There was something in there. A yellowed piece of paper, creased and torn at the edges, was just visible in the faint light. She removed her hand from her throbbing ankle and reached for the paper, finding three separate envelopes all addressed in elaborate script “Dearest Emily” and signed simply with an “X”. Nichola carefully slipped a finger under the fold of the aged parchment and, brushing away the years of dust, she began to read.

 

“Dearest Emily,

 

I stand outside your house watching over you. I can see your every move through the open window. Never fear, my dear, I will stop any man who tries to approach. I watch you from afar as you leave your father's house. I am most displeased to see you speak to the other gentlemen in the village. It is indecent and no other has the right to gaze upon you. You are for me only, and soon you shall see this to be the truth. I shall force you to submit to my wishes if I must. Soon we will be together, forever.

 

Yours forever,

X”

 

The lightening flashed overhead, filling the attic temporarily with white light through the small skylight, bringing Nichola back to sharp reality. Creepy, for sure. Poor girl. He sounds like a psycho. No wonder she had hidden hidden away up here. Why wouldn't this Emily just throw them away? With increasing curiosity, she picked up the next letter and started to read eagerly.

 

“Dearest Emily,

 

I watch you again as I write this. You stand at the circle window, gazing out. You seem unhappy. Your hand traces your most beautiful feature, the leaf shaped mark which God placed upon your cheek. Others may see this as an affliction but, Emily dearest, you shall see it is what marks you out as for me only. I shall take you away soon, my dear. Look for me at the circle window. No one will stand in my way, I will fight to the death and, if I die, you shall lie with me, forever.

 

Yours forever,

 

X”

 

Nichola's heart started to beat fast in her chest. Her hand reached up to her own leaf shaped birth mark on her cheek. That's surely impossible. This girl must have lived about a hundred years ago, and her family had no connection to this house, it had been empty for almost a century. The lightening cracking directly overhead made her jump. Her head spun to left and right, the hairs on the back of her neck standing on end. She told herself to calm down. It's just a coincidence. A remarkably strange coincidence. Her mind couldn't help drifting to the circle shaped window on the landing that he had mentioned in his letter, lightening flashing behind it, rain battering the window pane. She shook her head as if to empty it. Her brain had a wonderful talent for bringing up the most terrifying scenario when she was alone, it needed no help from outside sources. She started to prop herself up on her hands, ready to go back downstairs to the warm and familiar, but her eyes sought the last letter, cursing her morbid curiosity. Her hands shook slightly as she straightened out the well worn paper.

 

“Dearest Emily,

 

I must write quickly, there is not much time. Your father and brother tracked me down and have beaten me until I could hardly escape. They pursue me now. They claim you wish me to stay away from you. How can they tell such lies when you are mine to take. You looked out the circle window at me as if you did not recognise me. I know this must simply be a ruse, you did not want your father to know, our love must be secret. I can feel my life leaving me. The pain is unendurable, the barbarians have sown my very lips together, claiming I have told such heinous lies about you that this shall be my punishment. I hear them at my door now, but I will not give in. Emily, my love, I will find a way to come back for you, to take you with me, into death.

 

Yours forever,

 

X”

 

This was definitely getting far to creepy. She felt extremely ill at ease, her eyes randomly scanned the dark attic, straining to see in to the pitch black corners. Her imagination was leaping and bounding to ever increasingly unlikely terrifying conclusions. She thought several times that the shadow moved in the corner of her eye. The lightening crashed around the house once more, lighting up the whole room and causing small beads of cold sweat to form on her forehead. That was it, she had to get out of there, this was getting ridiculous. She roughly shuffled the papers together, and hobbled to her feet on her injured ankle, and started to shove the sinister letters back where they had come from.

 

As she reached in, the very tips of her fingers brushed the smooth surface of parchment at the bottom of the hole her foot had made. There was one more letter. She slowly drew out the folded paper, looking from left to right, as another crack of light and thunderous noise filled the room and shook the house. The writing was rough and hurried. Dabs of ink and aged blood covered the parchment. It was torn in places and had several deep wrinkles which had been smoothed with time, as if the letter had been written in a great hurry and harshly shoved out of sight in a crumpled mess.

 

“Dearest Emily,

 

I am here. I have climbed the walls of your house to rescue you. I watch you now through the window in the attic. You are sitting on the floor, you seem upset. Do not weep for me my dear, I have dealt with your brother and father, they will not bother us any longer. I have come for you, to take you with me into eternity. I can see you hold my letters in your hand, you think of me as I watch you. Your beautiful ebony hair cascades down your back, it is hanging loose, my dear, have you been sleeping? Sleeping and dreaming of me. No more dreaming, no more waiting. The time has come, my dearest. Look for me at the circle window, I will climb across and wait for you there. The injuries inflicted by your father have become too much to bear, however my mutilated mouth will still kiss your lips. Forever. Look for me at the window.

 

Yours forever,

 

X”

 

Nichola frantically shoved the letters out of sight, her shaking hands closing over the dim candle as she scrambled to her feet, a short whimper escaping her lips through fear and pain. She no longer dared look at the dark attic. She limped too hastily towards the ladder as a massive flash of light and a terrifying boom of thunder surrounded the attic. Her hysteria grew, feeding on the unknown dark behind her, and the terrible words she had still flashing in front of her eyes, until she stumbled forwards, her foot missing solid floor boards and cascading down through the hatch in the floor. She landed on the landing floor with a sharp thud, the air completely sucked from her lungs. As she lay there gasping for air, a monstrous rumble of thunder shook the walls, and her final source of light flickered and died.

 

She desperately darted her eyes around the landing, trying to find a tiny glimmer in the pitch blackness. Her panic once again seized her in enormous waves. It grew and grew until her feet tried desperately to take flight. She grasped her torso as she righted herself, and started to limp wildly towards the staircase. As she reached the top of the staircase a flash of brilliant lightening illuminated the circular window and, in the corner of her eye, she glimpsed one thing: a wild face, staring maniacally, with a mouth punctured and sown, dripping in blood.


© Copyright 2018 CharlotteK. All rights reserved.

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