The First night, The Attic

The First night, The Attic

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Jenny ventures to the top pf the Pedersen House

Score 278

02/07/24

There was no light switch on the landing, but no smell of smoke either as she began to climb. The stairwell was not in pitch black but a muted gray, if she thought about it she would have remarked how much it was like the grey of the windows or the concrete of the walls themselves. Instead she began to wonder at how long the stairs would go, it seemed like a peculiarly long flight.  She looked up but they seemed to end in darkness beyond where she could see. A little perturbed, she trudged on, her thoughts returning with a snap to the other odd staircase she had encountered today, and that snapped her to attention.  A caregiver can't have hallucinations! Was that it?  She had a vivid imagination and always had, but that seemed so real!  What if there were some sort of gas leak?  She would have smelled the pungent odor of natural gas. Maybe radon? It had been in the news lately. But Radon would only cause hypoxia and hallucinations' as a result of lung cancer after a long term exposure. Mold seemed unlikely in a house mostly made of concrete. and besides, she wasn't hallucinating now. She looked up.  The top of the stairs were still no more visible. This shocked her because her legs were telling her she had climbed at least two stories! She looked back. It was the same flight she had seen earlier, cheap wood paneling, the door to the left, yellow light coming from under it. 

Stifling a shriek she clamped her eyes closed again, "No." she thought firmly. "That cannot be!", counted ten heartbeats and willed her heart to slow. She opened them again and found herself near the top of a pull-down attic ladder. To her right stretched an oddly tall attic space under a peaked roof. All the expected junk leaned against sagging cardboard boxes on a worn wooden floor, thick with dust. to the right was an unpainted plaster wall, set with a single makeshift door, made comically small by the slope of the roof. The attic smelled just like an attic should: a little musty with the undefinable scent of un-use - and importantly, not at all like smoke. For a few heartbeats she felt drawn to the small door, but remembering her mission and her ward downstairs, she turned and resolutely climbed down the ladder, across the upstairs hallway, to the ground floor and back to David.

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