They say write about what you know and I can definitely say that I've had my "Annabelle moments" over the years...
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What's In The Loft?
Annabelle had never thought about that square in the ceiling, before. It had just always been there. She didn't even know it led to anywhere.
But then, one evening, Dad had been searching all over the house for something, when eventually Mum told him she thought it was in "the loft." Annabelle had watched her dad fetch the ladder from the garage and drag it upstairs. She watched him set it up on the landing. She watched him climb the ladder and, to her surprise, she watched the square in the ceiling open up to reveal a very dark, spooky looking place beyond.
Annabelle hadn't stayed to watch any longer, after that. She'd scurried back downstairs in a bit of a panic.
Why was there a whole room in her house that she didn't know about? Why could you only get to it by climbing up a wobbly ladder? And why did it have to be so dark up there?
Days passed by, but Annabelle couldn't stop thinking about the loft. And the more she thought about it, the more she worried about what might be up there. It was dark and cold - surely the perfect place for a monster to hide?!
A thousand scary thoughts swirled around Annabelle's head.
Maybe a vampire lived in the loft? She decided to sleep with her head under the covers, just in case.
From then on, every morning, when Annabelle woke up, she'd tiptoe to her bedroom door, then glance along the corridor and up at the ceiling, to make sure that the square-shaped hatch was firmly shut. She was scared that something might jump out as she walked past, so she had to be careful.
Every night, when Annabelle went to bed, she'd do the same checks. If there was something scary in the loft, she needed to be on high alert.
Annabelle still wasn't sure what was up there, but she was certain it was scary. It had to be - the loft was too dark and creepy for anything nice to be in there! It was probably full of spiders. Or maybe bats. Even worse, it might be full of ghosts or zombies! Annabelle shuddered - there was no way she wanted to bump into a spooky ghost in the middle of the night... She wondered if her dad could put a lock on the loft hatch and keep it shut forever, to prevent any monsters from getting out.
Just in case the monsters ever did escape, Annabelle decided to sleep with her water pistol by her bed. That way, she could squirt them if they ever came into her room at night and she'd be able to run away, whilst they were still rubbing their eyes.
Eventually, with all the strange tiptoeing, the water pistol and the worried faces Annabelle was pulling, her parents began to realise something was wrong. And it wasn't long before they worked out just what was making Annabelle so scared.
"There's nothing scary in the loft," her dad chuckled. "Just a lot of old junk!"
Annabelle wasn't convinced. Junk could easily be used to make a spaceship and a loft would be a great place for scary aliens to hide...
"Honestly, you don't have to be frightened," her mum went on. "It's just where we keep bits and bobs we don't want cluttering up the rest of the house."
But Annabelle shook her head. She reckoned a dark, spider-filled loft would make an ideal home for a wicked witch...
In the end, Annabelle's dad stood up and held out his hand. "Come on," he said. "I'll take you up there and show you there's nothing to be afraid of."
Annabelle couldn't believe her ears. If she went up to the loft, the witch might turn her into a toad! Or an alien might take her away to a distant planet! Or a monster might eat her for his tea!
Annabelle shook her head, but it was no use; Mum had already gone to get the ladder. Before she knew what was going on, Annabelle was standing on the landing, at the foot of the ladder, staring up at that familiar square in the ceiling...
"I'll go up first," Dad told her. "Then mum will hold the ladder whilst you climb up. Go very slowly. I'll help you when you get to the top." He flicked a switch on a little handheld lamp. "It won't be dark, either," he promised.
Annabelle's legs shook as she climbed. She was absolutely certain she was about to be chased by a vampire, or tricked by a goblin. As she reached the top of the ladder, her dad gently lifted her into the loft and Annabelle squeezed her eyes shut, tight. She stayed like that for a while, too scared to open them again. Then, from somewhere in the corner, she heard music. Happy, jingly music. Christmas music. Annabelle opened one eye and followed the sound.
"I bumped into the box where we keep all the Christmas decorations," Dad laughed. "Set off that musical bauble your mum likes so much!"
Annabelle opened both eyes and looked around. It was a strange looking place - lots of wooden beams and the odd cobweb here and there, but no monsters. Lots of boxes, but no vampires or ghosts. There was spongy looking yellow stuff in between the wooden beams, but no zombies, or bats. It was just a bit of a cold, funny smelling, slightly pointy looking room with lots of clutter in it. Annabelle even recognised a box of her old baby toys.
"See?" Dad smiled. "Nothing to be scared of, up here."
Annabelle nodded. She managed a smile. It wasn't so creepy up there after all, but it was quite chilly and a little bit weird. She had fun looking at her old toys and baby clothes, but she was still secretly a bit pleased when Dad said it was time to go back down the ladder, again.
From then on, Annabelle wasn't scared of the loft. She knew that the only things hiding up there were toys, Christmas decorations and boxes of old clothes. The square in the ceiling went back to being something she barely noticed.
But she still slept with her water pistol by her bed.
Because you never know...