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The entrance to my attic was a folding ladder that came down from the ceiling. You pull the door down, then the ladder collapses into place. The light to the attic didn’t work (of course), so it was pretty dark up there. I was armed with one of those huge bright flashlights that you can hold with two hands, just in case there were any werewolves or goblins that tried to eat me up there. Doc had yet to verify the existence of any such creatures, but I was pretty sure that if they did exist, they would be waiting to pounce in my attic.
“You know, Doc,” I said. “I’m pretty sure going up into the attic to look for my dead body is probably the weirdest thing I’ve ever done.”
“Are you sure?” he asked, little blue head cocking back and forth like a dog.
“Tell me honestly. Is there anything dangerous up there?” The dark hole in the ceiling loomed over the ladder, unaffected by the light in the hallway below it.
“I… don’t know,” he stated.
I’m not sure what I expected. “Are there any supernatural things besides ghosts like you? Yes or no.”
He didn’t reply for a moment. He seemed upset by those parameters. Spirits sometimes had a weird way of talking. When you get more than three of them together they would often reply simultaneously with slightly different responses, each one true, in its own sense. I tried to keep Doc alone so that confusion couldn’t really happen.
“Yes,” he finally replied.
“So there could be some vampire up there that wrote that note to make me easy prey.”
I didn’t reply. Taking a step up the ladder, I craned my neck to see if I could hear anything going on. There was nothing. I couldn’t even hear the wind outside.
“If I die,” I told Doc. “I’m blaming you.”
“Note’s already written,” he chimed.
That sent a chill down my spine. It was the perfect trap. Write a suicide note to lure the victim into a murder that would look like a suicide. Burning my house down to kill whatever it was that was lurking up there suddenly sounded like a very good idea. Could I call the police?
But no, there was no way to convince them that I didn’t write the note. I wasn’t diagnosed with any mental disorders, but that didn’t mean they’d believe me if I told them I didn’t write it.
I could just close the attic and pretend that this never happened. But what would the vampire do, his meal having escaped him? I couldn’t very well sleep in this house if there was some sort of malevolent necromancer in here or whatever. Could I perhaps stay in a hotel until my parents came home? But the thought of leaving the house for a month didn’t suit me either. If there was nobody home, who would guard it from new potential scary-things?
Which left me to the conclusion that if my parents had something to do with the supernatural, then I did, too. I could at least face this. So long as it was susceptible to flashlights to the head.
I took a deep breath and ascended the ladder. As I breached the next floor, the atmosphere of stagnant heat asserted itself. There was a little bit of light filtering through the only outside window, so it wasn’t as dark as I had anticipated.
I glanced around before climbing all the way up, making sure there was no immediate threat. Near both the front and back walls there were small plastic file cabinets, along with a few boxes of who-knows-what. My dad always liked things to be extremely organized. He could probably tell you the exact contents of everything up here, even though the attic door was probably opened less than twice a year. Everything had it’s place, and this was the place for things that didn’t need to see the light of day. Except maybe the few beams that filtered through that window.
After I climbed up the ladder and looked around, slowly scanning the room with the flashlight to check for any scary red eyes or maybe sleeping vampires, I found that the result was far scarier than I could have possibly imagined.
Save for the few items of storage, the entire attic was completely vacant. No vampires. No ghosts. No dead Lisa Stenton, or even any traces that anything unusual had ever happened.
Just what exactly was going on?