The Man in the Attic
I woke up and my clock read 3:00, ugh three more hours till I have to wake up. I grabbed my glasses and went to look out the window. Complete darkness. The only sound was the scraping of trees against the house. I opened my door and walked downstairs. My door and the floor beneath me creaked with every step I took. I heard a noise coming from above me. It sounded like something big was being dragged around. I heard foot steps. Thinking that it was my parents I ran back to my room. Little did I know it was someone way worse than my parents. As I looked around there was nothing there, but when I looked in the corner of the room, there in the dark was a shadow with blue eyes. I tried to ask who or what it was, but I couldn’t find my voice. I tried screaming, but no sound came out. All I could do was watch as the figure came closer and closer to where I stood outside my bedroom door.
That was two days ago. Let’s start the story from the beginning. Hi, my name is Luke. My family and I have just came from the United States all the way to England. Before we moved to this big empty house in the middle of nowhere I was as fearless as can be. But after moving here, my life got really complicated. I started hearing strange noises in the night and always felt like there was something or someone watching me. Ever since my family and I moved here I’ve been losing my things. For example I would put something down and walk away from it and come back five minutes later and it would be gone. When we bought the house the realtor told us that there was a legend of people coming into the house late at night but never returning. During the night I would hear weird sounds, like someone dragging a box or bag across the floor. I’ve always been too scared to go find out what caused the noise. Somehow I knew that the noise was coming from the attic.
It was my first night in England. Most of my belongings were still on the moving truck. The only items in my room were my bed, my side table, my lamp, and my desk. We had to get the rest of my stuff in the morning. I couldn’t sleep that night. I tossed and turned. I finally dosed off at about 2:45am. When I woke up, I was sweating. I had a nightmare that night. I was being chased by a shadow. All I could see of it was its eyes. It had a pair of deep blue eyes. In my dream every time I looked into them it was like I was in a trance. I couldn’t look away. It was like it was holding me. When I finally freed myself from its grasp, I woke up. My body felt limp. I felt like all of my muscles were wrung out like a towel. I felt weak. At this moment anyone could come up and just poke me and I would collapse on the floor. It took me an hour to get out of bed. It took me fifteen minutes to climb down one flight of three stairs. When I finally made it to the bottom, I nearly passed out. I was so weak. My muscles were so stiff I could barley lift them. I sat down at the kitchen table where my older brother, Brandon, and my parents were sitting.
“What’s wrong Luke?” my mom asked.
“I don’t know,” I said, “I just woke up and my body felt really limp.”
“Are you still tired?” Richard asked. Richard is my mom’s fiancé. I still call him by his name though. I’m not comfortable with calling him “Dad” yet.
“No, I don’t think so. But I did have a really weird dream,” I told him.
“What was it about honey?” My mom always calls me honey when she’s trying to get information out of me.
“There was this, this shadow thing following me around and when I looked into its eyes,” I stopped there. I couldn’t bring myself to finish my sentence. Now that I'm thinking back on it, I didn’t even remember the rest of what I was going to say.
“Keep on going,” My mom urged me.
“I-I-I can’t. I don’t remember what else happened,” I stammered.
“That’s because you’re lying, Luke,” My brother said in a stern voice. My brother never believes anything I say.
“I'm not lying Brandon, I really did dream it,” I said. See Brandon is sixteen. So he thinks that even though I'm only two years younger than him, I'm not as smart as him. This actually isn’t true I’m a straight A’s student, while he’s a B and C student. Before he turned sixteen, Brandon and I were like best friends. But now, it’s like I'm always bothering him or something. My mom says that it’s just because he’s older and he wants more independence, but I think it’s because he’s being a jerk. Richard told me that he’s just adjusting to the new move, but the truth is, Brandon’s been acting like this since before we moved. He’s been really rude to everyone in the family, but mostly me. I’ve taught myself to just tune him out but it’s kind of hard when he bothers me 24/7.
“Yea sure, whatever,” Brandon got up and walked away. I think he went to his room. He spends a lot of time in his room. He practically lives in there. Literally, he has a mini fridge and a bathroom in there. Whenever he’s mad at anyone, he just goes to his room and doesn’t come out for a few days.
Apparently I was still looking drained because my mom asked, “Are you sure you’re okay Luke?”
“Yea I'm ok. I think I'm just going to go outside and get some fresh air,” I got up from the table, but I think I stood up too fast. I lost my balance and almost fell over. I felt my body grow weak again. My sight went away. I felt myself falling to the floor. I couldn’t feel anything around me. I heard my mother’s panicked voice call for me. I tried to answer, but just like in my dream, I couldn’t find my voice. I heard Richard trying to calm my mom down. I heard the panic in his voice. But then I heard another voice. A voice I’ve never heard before.
“Luke,” it sounded like a whisper. “Luke,”
I tried to respond. Then I saw something. I wasn’t sure, but I thought it was the black figure. I could feel its eyes pounding into my body. Somehow I knew that this figure was doing this to me. I tried to tell it to stop, but my body started hurting. My body felt more than limp. I felt like I was dying. Then it all changed. I felt someone shaking me.
“Luke, please wake up,” it was my mom.
I opened my eyes. “Mom, mom it hurts.”
“What hurts?” this time I knew for sure it wasn’t my mom.
I saw my mom standing above me trying to help me up. She had tears in her eyes. I saw the blue eyed creature move across the room. I could feel it pushing me down. Richard picked me up and sat me down at the kitchen table. I tried to stand up. But I couldn’t find the floor. Richard caught me before I could fall.
“Are you okay Luke?” He asked me.
Before I could respond I heard the figure’s voice, “You got saved this time.” It sounded like it was right next to me. I turned my head, but I saw nothing.
“What are you looking for?” My mom asked.
“Nothing, I just thought I saw something. I think I'm going to go lay down now,” I said, taking a deep breath between every word.
“Ok, just take your time please,” mom said.
“Ok I will mom. Don’t worry,” I headed for the stairs. It took me less time to go up than coming down. When I made it to my room I saw something that stopped me in my tracks. The attic door was open. The door has been closed ever since we moved here. The door has never been opened once. I heard the voice calling my name again. “Luke, come here. Luke, come here.”
Like an idiot, I went up the stairs.
It got really cold the farther I walked up the steps. I was still wearing my pajamas so I was really cold. The closer I got to the top, the louder the voice was. “Luke, come here. Luke, come here.” I couldn’t tell if the voice was in my head or if there was actually someone following me. I felt the presence of another person or thing. I stopped walking. I wanted to go back down stairs. Something told me that going up in the attic was a bad idea. Without my permission, my legs kept climbing up the stairs. I tried to stop them, but I couldn’t. It was like they had a mind of they’re own. They led me farther up the stairs, and the farther I went the louder the voice got. The louder the voice got, the less I could see. Everything became blurry as I came closer to the top. I realized then that I didn’t have my glasses on. They must have fallen off when I fell in the kitchen and I forgot to pick them up. When I finally got to the top, my eye sight was the worst that it’s ever been in my life. I felt like I was walking through a foggy tunnel. The only thing I could see was the eyes. They were staring straight at me. I knew for a fact that they were the shadow’s eyes. Again I was locked in its powerful trance. I wondered why I could see it, but I couldn’t see anything else.
“It’s the fog Luke,” a voice said to me. It wasn’t the voice that I heard in the kitchen or on the stairs. This was a new voice. It sounded like a boy, no a man.
“Who’s there?” I asked in the direction of the voice.
“You can’t see me?” the man’s voice asked.
“Well if I could see you, do you think I would be asking?” I knew this wasn’t a good time to be sarcastic but I couldn’t help it.
“Well I guess not,” I heard the smile in his voice.
“Why are you here,” I asked trying to hide the fear in my voice.
“I believe the better question is why you are here?”
“What do you mean why am I here? You’re the one in my attic. Who or what are you? What is this shadow thing that keeps following me around?” I asked the voice trying to sound more confident.
“I’m Hunter,” the man said.
“Ok, well that’s a start. What are you doing in my attic and why can’t I see you? Why does this shadow keep following me everywhere I go?”
“The fog is blocking your sight Luke. You have to concentrate on my voice. Block out everything and only think about my voice,” Hunter told me.
I tried it. At first I thought it wasn’t going to work, but then the fog started clearing up. I saw an outline of a person. It wasn’t the same shape as the shadow that led me up the stairs. This one was a lot thicker. I forced myself to walk towards it. My hand, without my permission, reached out in front of me and tried to touch the outline. I gasped when I felt a shirt.
“Hunter?” I asked hoping that I didn’t find another stranger in my attic.
“Luke, please don’t be frightened by me,”
“No, how could I possibly be scared of some guy living in my attic for who knows how long? Wait, how long have you been here?”
“30 years,” Hunter said his voice barley a whisper.
“30 years? 30 years? How could you possibly survive in my attic for 30 years? No better yet, why have you been in my attic for 30 years?” I said forgetting to keep my voice low. I was shocked. Not only was there a man in my attic, but there was a man living in my attic longer than my brother and I have been alive.
“Hiding,” he said it with a horrid look in his eyes. That was the first time I actually examined his features.
Hunter was old, maybe around 40 or 45. He had these bright green eyes that had the same grasp as the shadows. His clothes looked old, but they also looked clean. You would think that a man that has lived in an attic for 30 years would need a shave and a shower, but he looked completely well kept.
“Hiding from what?” I asked. My fear was now gone. It was replaced by suspicion.
“Not now Luke. This isn’t a good time. You need to leave before it gets you too.”
“Before what gets me? Why do I need to leave?” I didn’t want to leave. I wanted to find out more about Hunter.
“Go to your room Luke. We can talk later. It’s not a good time right now,” he stood up and started going towards to the attic stairs. “It’s not safe now.”
I wanted to say something, but he motioned for me to be quiet. So I walked down the stairs without another word. When I got off the last step, the door closed. I stood there staring at the door for awhile.
My eye sight was horrible. I went back downstairs to get my glasses. I looked at the kitchen clock. 11:14 it was 11:04 when I went upstairs. Only 10 minutes? That didn’t sound right. It took me 10 minutes to get up the attic stairs. I decided that I didn’t need to worry about anything else right now. I had enough on my mind already. My parents already left for work, so it was just me and Brandon for the day. I didn’t see him downstairs anywhere, so I was guessing that he was in his room. I grabbed my glasses and walked back up stairs.
I felt the chill of the fog when I got to my door. I went straight to my bed. As soon as my face hit the pillow, I fell into a deep, dark, sleep.
My dream started like this.
The shadow was chasing me down a long tunnel. I must be the stupidest guy in the world because I kept glancing behind me and looking into its eyes. Every time I looked back, it held me in its grasp. It was like I was hypnotized. It was pitch black in the tunnel and I kept running into things. I was doing pretty well before I tripped on an old box. I saw the shadow coming towards me. I tried to scream and unlike my other dreams, it actually worked. At the time I didn’t know if the scream scared it off or if it just decided it didn’t want to kill me, but I flew over my body and kept on going. Only then did I notice that the shadow wasn’t chasing me. I heard Hunter’s blood-curling scream. The shadow was hurting him. I don’t know why, but this shocked me. I thought the shadow and Hunter were working together, but I guess I was wrong. Hunter screamed again and I head the voice of the blue eyed figure, “I warned you. I’ve kept you around all these years and I can easily end your life right here, right now”
That’s when I woke up.
I looked at my clock. I slept for five hours. I sat up in bed and looked around. I felt the presence of another person.
“Luke,” it was Hunter. I spun around and looked into his eyes.
“W-W-What are you doing in my room?” I stammered.
“We need to talk Luke,” he has a frightened look in his eyes.
“About what?” for some reason Hunter made me feel safe in some way. I know that’s kind of weird coming from a guy, but somehow I felt like no one could hurt me while he as around.
“Luke, have you come in contact with the thief?” He still had a feared look in his eyes and he was whispering. It was almost like someone else was in the room with us and Hunter feared it with his life.
“What thief?” at this point I was really curious at what this large man could possibly be scared of.
“He hasn’t been here?”
“Dude, I don’t even know who or what you’re talking about. How would I know if someone has been here if I don’t even know what it looks like?”
“How could you not know? He's only here because of you. You brought him here. You brought him and his curse here.” He looked at me with urgent eyes. Right when he looked at me, I felt like I should know what he was talking about, but I didn’t.
“Hunter,” I was frustrated now, “I don’t know who you’re talking about, but I can assure you that there is no one else in this house besides me, my mom, Richard, and my brother. Who is this thief?”
“I can’t just tell you Luke. This is something you have to remember for yourself,”
“What do you mean ‘remember’? I don’t know any of this. Don’t you understand this? I can’t remember something that never happened,” at this point I was angry that he wouldn’t just tell me what was going on. What was I supposed to remember? Then I remembered the blue eyed shadow.
“So it wasn’t a dream,” I was staring directly into Hunter’s green eyes.
“You do remember,” His eyes started glowing.
“Are you talking about the shadow?” I was scared of his answer.
“Yes, the blue eyed shadow. Have you seen it?”
“Yea, I saw it the other night in my dreams and I saw it when I was going up the attic stairs.”
“Has it made contact with you?” His eyes glowed brighter.
“Um well it tried to keep me on the ground when I fell this morning if that counts,” I couldn’t keep my eyes off of his. They were too distracting. I watched them get brighter as his curiosity grew.
“This is good. This is very good indeed,” His eyes were now neon green.
“How is that good? You were just yelling at me to stay away from him,”
“Now’s not the time Luke. This is not a safe place.” I don’t know if I was seeing things, but I thought I saw his eyes get slightly darker.
“Ok here’s a little tip for the future, if you’re going to bring up a topic with me, you need to be willing to finish the conversation.”
Hunter stood up and stared deeply into my eyes, “Never talk back to me understand?” I nodded. “Good, now I will see you in the morning Luke,” and just like that he vanished into thin air.
I glanced at my clock. 6:30. A million questions buzzed through my mind. Where did hunter go? How did he vanish like that? What was this figure? I decided to think about all of this later. I already missed lunch and I really didn’t need to miss dinner too.
I went downstairs and saw my mom leaning against the counter.
“Hey look who finally woke up,” she smiled at me.
“You feeling any better? Were you asleep all day?”
“Yeah, I'm ok. I went to sleep as soon as you and Richard left,”
“Does your head still hurt?”
“Not as much. I had some really weird dreams though,”
“Oh yeah? What about?”
I was about to tell her about the figure chasing Hunter and all the fog in the attic, but then I wondered what Hunter would do to me if I told anyone. I really didn’t want to make him mad at me, so I decided not to tell her. “Well I don’t really remember much. Al I know is that I was being chased by something. So what’s for dinner?” I wanted to change the subject.
I think she knew I wasn’t telling her everything, but all she said was, “Chicken and potatoes. Have you seen your brother?”
“Last time I saw him, he was headed towards his room, but that was about five hours ago, so for all I know he could be out with friends,”
“Can you go check for me?”
“Yeah sure,” I headed back upstairs to go get him.
I got to the top of the stairs and I noticed the attic door was open again. I went to go close it when somebody called my name. I jumped and turned around.
“What are you doing?” it was Brandon.
“What are you doing? Mom wants you downstairs,”
“I saw you go up there a few hours ago and I want to know why you were up there,”
“It’s nothing. I thought I heard something,”
“Hmm, sure go ahead and keep to that story,” he took a step closer to me, “but believe me, I will find out why you were up there.” Then he turned around and went down the stairs and into the kitchen. I slowly followed him, being careful to keep my distance.
I spent the rest of the night trying to avoid my brother and his questions about the attic. I really hoped that he didn’t hear me and Hunter talking in my room. Hunter had said that we would talk in the morning, so after dinner, I went to my room to write down some of my questions for him.
Why does he live in my attic?
What is this figure?
Why is there fog in my attic?
How did he survive 30 years?
Is the figure a danger to me or him?
I couldn’t think of any more questions, so I put the paper on my desk and went to go take a shower. When I came back to my room, I felt like something was wrong. I went to my desk. The paper was gone. I opened up all the drawers and looked around every inch of it, but it wasn’t there. I started panicking. If my mom found it she would search the attic and call the police. I sat on my bed and stared at my desk. Brandon must have done it, I thought. He’s just trying to figure out why I was in the attic. I decided not to think about this much longer. I put my head on my pillow, and before I knew it, I was asleep.
I actually slept dreamlessly that night.