At the far end of the attic were two large glass double doors with a triangular shaped window above. The walls, from what I could tell with the little light protruding through the glass, were mouldy green in colour. To the left of the double doors propped up against the wall was an empty wooden desk and a chair was oddly placed on its surface. To the right side of the window, empty picture frames were piled together gathering dust. In the centre of the room lay a dull grey rug, but what I found most disturbing was the bed situated next to it, caving in at the centre as if from too much use, with a worn mattress atop. Scattered around the attic were numerous candle holders covered in wax.
I felt an eerie presence as I stood by the door, when my feet decided to move and explore the depths of the attic room. My foot accidentally kicked an empty food can as I walked forward, startling me. I continued on. At the foot of the bed was a wooden chest. I opened it and inside was a children’s book and a doll wearing a green dress with a bonnet. It was clear someone lived up here once upon a time. This was a boarding school for girls, could a child have been sent to live in the attic? The thought sent shivers down my spine.
“Josy.” A voice said, making me jump out of my skin. For a moment I forgot Claudia was with me.
“This is…” I paused.
“I know.” Claudia whispered into the night. “It is eerie.”
“Why did you bring me up here?” I asked, as I clutched the doll to my chest, not sure whether I wanted to hear the answer.
“This boarding school has many secrets from its past as well as its present.” Claudia was silent, waiting for me to respond, but I couldn’t. “Maybe Mrs Jeffrey could help.”
What did she mean Mrs Jeffrey could help? Is she talking about speaking to ghosts? That can’t be possible, surely. “You want to communicate with her?” I asked, shocked at the prospect. “This is my second night here, I’ve not even seen her, I’m not even sure she exists!”
“She does Josy, I know you believe it!”
We both became silent, words apparently losing all sense in the eeriness of the attic. As I stared into the face of the doll, a whole barrel of thoughts started to tumble through my mind. Why would a girl be sent to the attic? Could it have been as a form of punishment? How long were they up here for? As the thoughts reeled through my mind, I couldn’t shake the feeling that something else was amiss in this attic, as if my eyes hadn’t yet glanced upon something of great importance. Something that was begging to be discovered. I glared around the room, absorbing as much of its atmosphere as I could, breathing in the musky smell as I tried to pinpoint where this odd sensation had stemmed from.
“What is it, Josy?” Claudia asked as she approached me slowly, sensing that I was up to something. I was drawn to the wall nearest the pile of picture frames and as I neared it, Claudia grabbed me by the arm. “We have to go, now!”
“What is it?”
“It’s time to go, she’ll be along soon. We’ll come back tomorrow night.”
I gazed at the wall once more before reluctantly turning away. Whatever mysteries lay behind that wall would have to wait for now.
As we descended the stairs I didn’t know what to make of Claudia’s suggestion at speaking to Mrs Jeffrey. Speaking to a ghost, how preposterous does that sound? We walked down the darkly lit corridor back to our separate rooms, not saying a word to each other to avoid waking the others up. I got back to my bedroom and the time was 11.43pm. Emily was sound asleep, not even aware of my temporary absence as she breathed softly and peacefully. I climbed back into bed and within moments of starting to drift to sleep, I was alerted to a cold and chilling presence once again.