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Man in the Attic

by joseee

I walk into the small office and knock on the door. Mr. Humfry looks at up at me.

“Hello.” He says looking back down at his work.

“Hello, I was wondering if I could go to the middle school campus to pick up something I forgot.” I say

“Sure, just be sure to be back before class starts in ten minutes.”He says

“I will thanks.”

I walk out of my principles room and through our schools small library. I pass the basketball courts and ignore the guys playing basketball. I’m walking into the stairway upstairs as Sandra appears from around the corner.

“Hey Alex, what’s up?” she says

“Nothing just going upstairs to get something.” I say

“Can I come? I never get to go upstairs.”

“Sure why not.”

We walk up the stairs and through the hallway after that in silence. We finally reach the middle of the southern wing. My folder was there in the corner. I pick it up and see a never before seen elevator.

“You think we can use that thing?” I ask Mia

“Yea I think so I don’t think we would be hurting anyone.” She answers

I press the only elevator button and the doors immediately open

“I’ve never seen an elevator downstairs in the lobby before.” I said as we walked in

“Me neither, but where else would this go?” Mia says as she presses the L button.

The elevator moves and moments later the doors open to anything else but the lobby. There was a thin hallway with boxes and school desks all along the side covered in dust. At the end was what seemed to be an expensive chair and a turn to the right. We looked at each other in amazement.

“What is this place?” I ask

“I don’t know but it looks like an attic of some sort.” Mia says

“I didn’t know we had an attic, but it’s creepy. I think we should go.” I quickly say

“No please let’s explore a bit.”

“Fine” I said

Mia opens the first box she sees. She puts her hand inside and pulls out a book wiping of the dust. It was a Serbian anatomy book with Nicholas Cage on the cover.

“What the freak is that?” I exclaim

“I don’t know but it’s funny.” She says as she puts down the book

We slowly walk on and turn the corner. This side was similar but nothing at the end, simply a turn. Mia opens a box approaching the end. It was littered with several yoyos and toys from the 90’s.

“These must have been the toys that were confiscated when this was Holy Cross!” Mia screams

“Yea probably.” I say as I walk by her.

I began to walk until I see a new object at the end of the hallway. At first I think it is lamppost until it runs the other way

“Umm, Mia did you see that?” I ask her

“Yea” She says stuttering

I begin to run for the man as Mia tried to tell me to stop. I turn the corner and stop dead in my tracks when he jumps out from behind a wardrobe and says with sane face “I would be an adventurer like you but then I got an arrow to the knee.”

I stand there befuddled until Mia catches us and says “What happened?”

“He told me-”

Mia cuts me off and says “Turn around.”

I turn around and his face meets mine right before he runs around the next corner. Mia is now in front of me and she points out the ladder the man is climbing at the end of the hallway.

We quickly arrive to the ladder that the man is climbing up. Yes, up. Mia begins to climb the ladder. The man looks down at us and screams something. Mia immediately falls of the ladder a short distance bringing me down with her.

“What was that?!” I exclaim

“Alex I think I’m hurt” Mia says groaning

“Wha-” I say as I spot the pool of blood spilling from her right knee. I almost faint.

“Don’t just stand there do something!” Mia screams

I begin to panic and see a box that seems to be glowing. I slowly open the box next to my injured friend and find two bows and two quivers full of arrows. The bows are heavily glowing blue but suddenly stop. I remove the bows and arrows to find a lantern and an adhesive bandage.

I quickly envelop Mia’s wound with the adhesive bandage as she winces. We sit there for a minute, taking in everything that happens.

“How the heck did you get that?” I ask Mia

“I don’t know all I felt was something quickly piercing my knee.”She says slowly.

A few minutes later she is able to stand with my help.

“We need to get up that ladder I have a good feeling about it.” Says Mia

“No, look at you! You can’t” I say

“We have to!” She screams as she begins to climb the ladder. I finally give in and help her up the ladder. We both get up the ladder in a few minutes. This was the same hallway except there were no boxes, and no dust. I felt rejuvenated and Mia’s wound was gone. There was music playing in the background.

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214 Reviews

Points: 14468
Reviews: 214

Sun May 31, 2015 2:40 am
artybirdy wrote a review...

I have got a question: are they in a film? I’m sorry to say this, but I was confused by the ending. I generally liked your story, but there are few things I’d like to mention.

1. I noticed some punctuation errors. You have missing periods/full stops and commas at some places, especially in the dialogues. I found it quite distracting. To tackle this problem, I’d suggest you to read it out loud or ask someone else to read it for you.

2. You gave us little to imagine. This piece lacks in descriptions of all the characters – Mr Humfry, Alex, Mia, and the mysterious man. Additionally, the story sounded choppy, stiff, and fast-paced. It ended too quickly – or I felt it did – because I didn’t gain any insight into the character’s thoughts. In most places, you only described Alex’s actions, but not his reactions. As you’re writing in first person, it’s important that you connect us to your character, so we can sympathise with them or understand their perspective/choices/decisions etc.

3. I couldn’t grasp your concept. I figured there must be a moral/lesson Alex learns after seeing “the man”, that he finds some sort of closure. Honestly, I couldn’t see a point to this story if there’s no change in Alex’s thoughts/perspective. Was the story *just* about meeting “the man”, or does it have a meaning behind it? If yes, you need to make that clearer. Does Alex change after these events occur?

Regardless of all above, this is a solid piece of work and it has potential. You’re brilliant at storytelling, but it’s mainly your plot that needs some revision.

Overall, good effort!

Well done, and keep writing!

P.S: I apologise if I sound rude or harsh. I’m just trying to help you improve. Please bear in mind that these are just my opinions. You’re not obligated to follow them if you disagree with me. Thank you for understanding!

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289 Reviews

Points: 30323
Reviews: 289

Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:19 pm
Caesar wrote a review...

Hi Josee! You should really post some more, you're looking rather ghostly >.>

Anyways, onto the review.

This piece needs a lot of work. Like, a lot of work. There's complete lack of characterization, description, everything. Where are they? Why do they go to the attic in the first place? Who the heck is the man anyways? What the fudge is going on, really? This piece makes little sense, I must say.

There's too much dialogue, not enough everything else. I really don't get it, to be honest. Just, what?

Anyways, let me nit-pick.

“Hello.” He says looking back down at his work.

It's dialogue, so there should be a comma after the full-stop. Also, who's Mr. Humfrey? The principal? If so, why is the character there in the first place? What does the office look like, apart from being small?

I’m walking into the stairway upstairs as Sandra appears from around the corner.

Isn't the friend named Mia? What's going on?

Why is there an elevator? Is this a prison or a school?

There was music playing in the background.

OHHH. They're in a bad movie! That makes total sense now.

Wait, it doesn't. I really don't know what to say.


He began to wonder why he had felt uneasy at all. It was like a man wondering in broad daylight why a dream had appeared so terrible to him at night.
— Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart