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Lakewood Times

Lakewood Times

Lakewood Times

“The Attic”

Absent Character

Every night around midnight, the cracks around the attic door begin to glow. Originally, I thought maybe a mouse or small critter had gotten in through a hole in the gutters and found a way to set off the lights, but it was so repetitive and perfectly timed that it seemed damn near impossible.


 My house was never exactly the nicest—the porch paint was always chipping and the stairs creaked no matter how close to the edge you stepped. The furnace barely ever worked and neither did seemingly anything else within the walls of my ancient home. My microwave would stop randomly and end on odd intervals, such as eleven seconds left on the clock. The fridge light would burn out way faster than it should and my Brita filter always seemed to be dirty. None of this ever made sense to me and I chose to spend as much of my time as possible outside—away from all of the broken pieces that built my home. I worked a very demanding job and only really came home in the evening to eat dinner, shower, and get into bed. 


That’s when I noticed the light coming from the attic. The same warm yellow light that appeared for maybe five minutes every night before it miraculously shut off again. One night, I had gotten fed up, or I guess you could say curious, and I finally decided to see what the cause of this light was. Sure enough, as I opened the door to the attic, the light was on and shining down on the peeling paint covering the wooden stairs. As I climbed, I realized that not a single step made a single sound, the only thing in my house that was ever silent. Reaching the top, I turned around and saw a rather odd scene—many newspapers flattened out on the ground and a blanket was thrown into a pile. There were open cans in a delicate stack, cans that I remember seeing in my pantry days ago. I began to step towards the blanket and I saw that the insulation was spilling out of the ceiling onto the floor. There was a battery operated lantern and a gallon jug of water next to piles of neatly folded clothes. The more I looked around, the more signs of life I saw. There were cutlery, a trash can, electronic cables, a small television, and a minifridge. The sight of all of this sent chills down my spine and I hurriedly made my way back to the staircase. As I reached the bottom and turned to face the door, the glowing light shut off as the door closed. I made my way to my kitchen, noticing nothing unusual about it. My pantry was stocked, except for a few missing cans of perishable food. My microwave was flashing the twelve seconds and I felt my stomach flip. I wasn’t living alone.

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