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(A short story of 4029 words)



by Brenda Ray

It’s hard to describe what it was that made Grandma’s house so spooky, but as long as I could remember, something permeated the house with a sense of unease.

56, Stroma Road was tall and narrow, one of a row of four, built just before the First World War. It was not the best of times. My mother said her first memory was the sound of sirens, then the great dark shape of a Zeppelin filled the sky. Perhaps such memories record themselves in the bricks and plaster. Or perhaps it was the layout of the house itself, with its dark middle room, or the echoing quarry tiles of the kitchen and scullery, or the cold dark pantry, which had a distinct depression in the middle of its tiled floor. Or perhaps it was the attic, reached by a narrow staircase from the bright, light end of the house close to my grandparents’ bedroom. There’s something about an extra floor that disturbs, especially when it encloses strange shapes shrouded in old sheets, and boxes of photographs and documents full of family secrets. And the feeling, even in the most innocuous of rooms, that someone might be up there...

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