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Phantom Letters - 1. The Golden Handle

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--- PHANTOM LETTERS ---

 

 

 

 

1. The Golden Handle

 

 

 

 

 

Phantom Letters

Josh Hall

Shakespir Edition

Copyright 2015 Josh Hall

 

 

Shakespir Edition, License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Shakespir.com or your favorite retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

 

 

 

 

 

On the morning before Anniversary Day, Jake finally admitted to himself that he’d lost his mind.  It wasn’t as much of a surprise as you might expect, in fact he’d had a hunch he was going mad for a few days. On day one he had felt a little odd, sure, and on day two he certainly knew something wasn’t quite right. But it was day three, the day before the Anniversary Day parade, which really confirmed the situation. Jake had lost his mind all right, there was no other explanation.

However this story, as most others, starts at day one. Back when Jake’s life had been simple and carefree.  Before the events which follow turned his life upside-down, and his view of reality inside-out…

[* --- Shortcut --- *]

“… dismissed!” announced Miss Harp in a singsong manner, waking Jake from his mild slumber. As his eyes slowly adjusted to the blinding light, the pupils around gathered their belongings and began making their way in a disordered mess to the door.

“That’s all for today,” their teacher exclaimed warmly, raising her voice over the rustling bodies. Then, in a more stern tone, added, “And please don’t forget tomorrow is the final chance to hand in your stories for Anniversary Day!”

Jake’s heart sank. He had completely forgotten Anniversary Day was this weekend and was yet to write a single word. He hated writing stories, he had always felt rather silly sharing his thoughts to others. He hadn’t even started and didn’t have the slightest clue as to what he would write about this time.

“I’m looking forward to reading all your hard work,” Miss Harp added, dipping her head and peering straight at Jake over the top of her thick, red-rimmed glasses, as if knowing exactly what he had been thinking. Jake heaved his belongings into his backpack, slid one strap over his shoulder and joined as the last of the class funnelled their way noisily out the door.

Outside the pathway was alive with deafening children, each attempting to push and shove their way out as quickly as possible. Jake reluctantly joined the crowd and began slowly making his way to the gate, like a twig floating in a lazy river.

“Jake!” came a voice from somewhere behind. “Wait up!”

He spun around and saw Troy calling amongst the crowd. He was easy to spot as he was the tallest person at the school (not including all of the teachers, yet he was taller than some of them). Jake edged his way to the side of the horde and waited as Troy forced his way forward.

“Good sleep?” asked Troy, with a wide grin on his face. He had a big, toothy smile – sincere, yet always loaded with a hint of mischief. “I saw you nodding off towards the end there. Can’t blame you, I think Miss Harp noticed though.”

“I wasn’t sleeping,” Jake replied. This was the truth, although he had been close. He’d found it hard to conentrate over the past few weeks, especially towards the end of the day when the afternoon sun began pouring through the side windows, warming the classroom like a glasshouse. He was already much more awake now he had fetched some fresh air.

They made their way to the school gate and waited by the side of the road. When all was clear the teacher on duty, Mr Graham, announced they could cross. Together, along with a small herd of other children, they crossed the road and began making their way along the footpath.

Jake moved to the side to let three enthusiastic young girls speed past, their oversized backpacks bobbing comically in unison. “I can’t believe we have to write another stupid story for Miss Harp, how many stories does she need?!”

Troy laughed, “This isn’t for Miss Harp, it’s for Anniversary Day. They are chucking them all up in the town hall after the parade.” He pushed Jake playfully, and then added, “Anyway, stories are fun. I don’t see why you hate them so much.”

“Yeah, stories are fun when they’re written by an author, not a thirteen year old school kid. Everything good has already been written anyway.”

Troy sighed and looked at the sky. Until about a year ago they had been the same height, yet now Troy stood a good foot above Jake. They were both thirteen, however rather than looking the same age Troy was beginning to resemble an older brother, a fact Jake found rather annoying.

“Just write anything,” Troy spoke after a pause, “well, anything about Anniversary Day of course. I’m writing a story about when I was in the parade. It’s easy.”

Jake followed Troy’s gaze and read one of the various large banners which extended across the main street all the way through town – this one read ‘132nd Anniversary Parade’.

“I think I’ve grown out of Anniversary Day, Troy. I just don’t get why we celebrate a guy we haven’t even met.”

Suddenly a deep voice spoke from behind. “You should take a long hard look at yourself, Jake.”

They spun around frantically to face the tall, dark figure of Principal Longhorn. He was wearing his usual black cloak which extended all the way down to his knees, and on his feet were two impossibly shiny shoes. He was an enormously tall man, towering over anyone in the entire town, with a long face and strong jaw. His hair was thick and white and well-groomed. Jake found it hard to look away, as much as he wanted to.

“I’m sorry sir, I just don’t really know a lot about Anniversary Day I guess,” Jake replied nervously. He was well aware that the person they were celebrating was this man’s great-grandfather.

Principal Longhorn adjusted his thick glasses and breathed deeply, seeming to consider his following words carefully. After a long pause he finally spoke, “Mayor Longhorn – my father’s, father’s father – was a man unlike men you meet today, Jake. You are in debt to him, for without his endless work for this town we wouldn’t be here at all.”

The three stood in awkward silence for a few more moments. Then Longhorn seemed to lose interest completely and crossed the road to his car.

“Talk about bad timing,” chuckled Troy, “keen to hit the tracks?”

Jake shook his head. He loved going to the train tracks – he and Troy had been going to the bush-land on that side of town for as long as he could remember – but there simply wasn’t time for them to walk all the way there and back when he had a story to write. “I can’t, I don’t have enough time.”

“Sure you do! It doesn’t take long to get there,” persuaded Troy, “come on!”

“It takes ages!” Jake laughed, knowing Troy was completely aware of this. Troy sighed, and continued walking. Suddenly, his whole face lit up. “Well, I know a shortcut,” he exclaimed, “follow me!” He quickened his pace, and Jake reluctantly followed.

Troy took a right at the first of the town shops, where they would usually continue straight. This confused Jake; he knew this way would lead them down a small hill followed by a steep incline before they could reach the train tracks. However, it was a dead-end, the tracks were completely blocked by an old property at the end of the street. He had never heard of a path through – the only way he had ever made his way to the bush-land on the other side was by walking all the way through town to the road crossing, where vehicles could drive over the tracks. From there it was about a kilometre walk back along the tracks, leading to the other side of the property ahead. It was a long walk, especially as you ended up so close to where you started anyway, however it was unavoidable. Well, apparently not, according to Troy.

They continued walking leisurely along the sidewalk. It was a sunny day, warm and blue, with a slight welcoming breeze.

“If there is a shortcut then why haven’t we ever used it before?” Jake asked, but Troy ignored him and quickened his pace. “Troy I really need to work on my story.”

“Shhh”, hushed Troy, holding his hand up to Jake without looking around. He was staring up at a big, old house at the end of the street. No, big isn’t a good description – it was enormous. And it wasn’t simply old, it was ancient. The spooky property lay directly between the two boys and the bush-land. Jake had no idea how long it had been there exactly, but it had to be the oldest house in town. It looked like it had once been a creamy white colour, however now it was a dull, ashy grey. It stood two stories high, and from where they were Jake could see several heavily cobwebbed windows hung in cracked wooden frames. In front there was an uneven picket fence surrounding a cluttered, overgrown yard. He could remember being frightened by the house as a child. It looked like an evil, lunatic face – crooked windows for eyes, and a big, rickety door for a mouth.

Yet it wasn’t just the house that frightened him (and nearly every other kid in town), it was the old lady who lived there – the rumour was she was a witch. She was rarely seen, however had been spotted now and again in her yard. He had never seen her himself, but had heard all sorts of stories about her growing up. There was a story about her luring children into her yard, only to chop off their toes with hedge-clippers, which she would cook and eat as snacks. Jake was sure this couldn’t be true, however still kept a keen eye out as he followed Troy closer to the section.

“I don’t like it here,” he said quietly, however Troy took no notice and continued on until he was right up beside the fence. He crouched down behind a large, messy rosemary bush, held his finger to his lips and mouthed ‘shhh’.

Jake felt his heart-rate increase and nervously glanced around, before quickly making his way to the fence-line. He crouched down and glared angrily at Troy. “What the heck are you doing?” he whispered, tugging at his sleeve. Once again Troy took no notice, and he turned his face away from Jake. He slowly crouched up until his eyes were just peering over the fence. Jake watched him from below as he stood there for what seemed like thirty seconds.

I want to get out of here!” Jake whispered angrily. Troy slowly turned and gazed down at him for several moments, before unexpectedly flashing an enormous grin. He then took several quick steps backward, breathed deeply, and ran towards the fence. Jake had no time to comprehend as Troy leapt upwards and over, landing in the incredibly long and weedy grass on the other side.

Alarmed, Jake stood up quickly and peered into the yard. Troy was dusting himself off, and he turned to Jake with that big toothy smile. “Your turn,” he said quietly, and with that spun around and darted across the yard with both arms flailing in the air, shouting nonsense loudly as he went.

Jake looked around furiously, not believing what had just happened. Unfortunately he saw no other option than to follow, (except, of course, returning to town and taking the long way, however the thought of Troy’s smug face when he caught up with him was too unbearable to consider). No, he would follow Troy into the yard, witch or no witch.

He nervously lifted his leg onto the fence, wedging his foot awkwardly between two pickets and attempting to pull on the rosemary bush with his hands. It was no good, the wooden pickets creaked and cracked with a dry, rotten sound. There was no way they would hold his weight. He removed his foot and backed away.

He took a few deep breaths and after one last, uneasy glance up at the spooky old house, began to run towards the fence. As he got near, he leapt as high as he could and managed to clear the top of the fence. Just as a sense of pride began to wash over him however, his foot clipped the top of a picket and was sent tumbling down into the yard.

Jake rolled over and stood up quickly, heart pounding in his chest. His eyes shot around nervously, yet saw nothing of concern.

Crouching, he started to make his way towards Troy, however then realised he was shoeless – it must have come off his foot when he hit the fence. Ahead, Troy was beginning to scale the fence on the other side, which was large and wooden – about a foot taller than him.

Unexpectedly, Jake heard a noise from somewhere to the right. It was a kind of wheezy, breathing sound; however after peering around he could see nothing. Ahead, Troy turned and began to lower himself down the other side of the fence. He looked at Jake, still smiling that wide, toothy grin.

Jake spun around and spotted his shoe resting in the rosemary bush. He grabbed it and slipped it clumsily onto his foot, then crouched and started making his way cautiously across the yard. Troy was still holding onto the fence and looking at him, however he was no longer smiling that big, cheeky grin. As Jake slowly made his way closer he realised Troy now had a frightened look on his face. He continued on, and before long it was clear that Troy wasn’t simply frightened – he looked terrified. He had let go of one hand and was motioning frantically for him to hurry.

Suddenly, Jake felt white terror as he caught a glimpse of a figure in the corner of his eye, and immediately turned his head.

About five metres away to the right, an old lady was standing in the middle of the section – right where he had looked only a few moments earlier. She was wearing a tattered old dress and had puffy white hair in a mess around her crooked, wrinkled face. She had ancient eyes with tiny, dark pupils – and she was staring directly at Jake.

Jake had to bite his lip to prevent screaming in panic and began moving slowly sideways through the section, breathing quick, useless breaths. He didn’t take his eyes off the old lady and watched as she slowly bent her crooked back and reached two bony arms into the deep weeds around her ankles. An icy feeling shot through Jake’s chest as she revealed a large pair of rusted hedge-clippers and began shuffling her way towards him, much quicker than he would have expected possible for a woman of her age.

Troy was still dangling as Jake began running furiously towards the fence, gasping at the air and not allowing his eyes to return to the lady. Without meaning to, he let out a small scream as he neared the end of the section, now sprinting as fast as he could. Troy hoisted himself up so his belly was on the fence and held his arms down for Jake to grab. The old lady’s wheezy breathing grew louder and louder as he leaped towards the fence, whacking his body against it and grasping at Troy’s arms tightly. He heard the old lady shriek in a high pitch as Troy hoisted him up and over in one swift movement.

Jake felt my body skim the top of the fence and then he fell with a crash into the dark bush-land below.

He opened his eyes. The sunlight above was hidden behind a thick canopy of trees. Troy’s face peered down at him, once again smiling that big, toothy grin. “I thought your toes were goners for sure.”

—-

[* --- The Golden Handle --- *]

Jake rose and dusted himself off as Troy darted further into the woods. He could hear him yell as he ducked behind some trees: “News flash! War has erupted in Acorn Woods, the intruders are advancing – it’s every man for himself”

Jake knew where this was heading. “Not today!” he called, “I have no time, my Anniversary Day story is due tomorrow and I haven’t even…”

Before he could finish, an acorn hit him so hard it made his head spin. It had come from what seemed a completely different direction than where he’d seen Troy disappear, but he knew it was him. “I said no!” Jake called, and before he got a chance to add anything else another acorn, this one twice the size of the first, struck him hard in the back of the head.

Jake ducked for cover. He knew Troy well, they had grown up together, and unfortunately it was war whether he liked it or not. Standing in the open and trying to reason with him would only result in defeat (and probably several hundred bruises from flying acorn ‘bullets’). Negotiations would have to wait.

He hit the ground as another acorn flew by, missing his head by a few centimetres. He quickly crawled on his stomach to a nearby bush and began gathering some ammunition. The kids called this bush-land ‘Acorn Woods’ for a reason – acorns covered the ground everywhere the eye could see. Holding the front of his dirty t-shirt, Jake filled it with as many acorns as he could while his eyes darted around frantically, looking for any tell-tale signs of where Troy might be hiding.

Jake enjoyed these battles, however he would never win. For him they were games, played for fun, but for Troy it really was war. He will already be making a fort by now, Jake thought, and his acorn pile will be enormous already.

Another acorn whizzed through the air, missing him and hitting a tree about half a step to his left with a hollow ‘thock’ sound. Ducking, Jake ran further into the bush, several acorns zipping after him.

He ran deeper and deeper into the shrubbery before diving behind a tree to catch his breath. He crouched, sucking at the air for a few moments. Silence. He waited, and then cautiously peeked out the side of the trunk. Nothing. Good, he thought, he hasn’t followed me. I have some time to prepare for once.

There were endless acorns – you could hardly walk without treading on them – and he set about piling up as many as possible. He felt his forehead and found there was already a nasty bump. It annoyed him that Troy would always win – not just at this game, at everything – yet his desire to one day beat him always encouraged his participation. Jake’s problem with this game wasn’t his aim; his aim was actually very sharp (possibly sharper than Troy’s) – it was his strategy. Troy would always seem to find the best hiding spots before Jake had even gathered a single acorn, and this advantage always worked in his favour.

Where can I hide? Jake thought to himself as he gathered another pile of acorns into his shirt. Looking around, he saw nowhere that would fool Troy. He needed somewhere different, a hiding place they hadn’t used before. He spotted something ahead in the distance which gave him an idea.

Ahead amongst the shrubbery was an old, rusty fence which extended right the way through the western end of the bush area, splitting it in two. On the other side of the fence was Principal Longhorn’s estate – an area of land bigger than any property in the whole town. It had been in the Longhorn family for well over a hundred years. The sight of the old rickety fence used to scare Jake as a child, however now he found it more intriguing than anything. It was still creepy; there was no doubt about that – old rusty posts shot out of the ground about a metre a part and reached over three metres into the air. They were joined by bent, warped bars and the whole thing was covered in rust, moss and cobwebs. Ancient looking vines twisted their way around, disfiguring parts of the fence and giving it a rather psychotic appearance. It looked to Jake like old, rotting teeth. He stepped closer and felt one of the rusty posts. It was cold and had a thin vine twisting around, right to the top. On the other side of the fence was a bank about one metre wide which sat above a dark valley, about thirty metres deep.

If I can get to the other side of this fence, he thought, I can hide in that valley. He will never find me. But how?

He glanced up and down the fence line, and soon saw a way. An old tree was growing next to the fence not far from where he was standing, and about half way up a small branch twisted its way over the top of the fence. It looked almost like a finger pointing the way.

Jake heard a twig snap somewhere behind and decided to waste no more time. Letting go of his t-shirt, he allowed his ammunition to fall to the ground as he darted towards the tree and began scaling the side. It was reasonably easy work as a thick vine had conveniently twirled itself around the tree, spiralling upwards and making a ladder of sorts.

Once high enough he slowly placed a foot on the branch, desperately hoping it was strong enough to hold his weight. It bent a little yet seemed to do the trick. Slowly and carefully, Jake began inching his way across.

He heard another twig snap somewhere in the distance and turned to look, however could see nothing other than the cluttered trees above the acorn-covered ground. He remained motionless, scanning the area below, then decided to push on. He moved another inch and heard another snap – this time his heart sinking with the realisation that it wasn’t a twig in the distance, but the twig he was standing on. And now it was cracking loudly.

Jake had no time to act as the branch completely snapped with a loud ‘crunch’ sound. He plummeted down and hit the bank on the opposite side of the fence with a thud. He lay there momentarily, heart pounding, staring up at the rickety old, metal teeth. He began to stand up yet the soil around seemed to loosen, and all of a sudden gave way entirely. He tumbled down the bank, scraping and bruising his skin, until finally he hit the dark valley floor.

For a short while he simply lay there, breathing heavily and staring upwards at the thick canopy high above his head. He rose slowly to his feet, coughing up dust and dirt; his whole body stinging and aching. His jeans were torn at the knee and a small patch of bright red blood shone through the hole, however apart from that he found he was fine. Once satisfied that nothing was broken or bleeding too badly, he lifted his head and looked around. It was quieter in the valley. It felt colder too, much colder. Old, wild trees twisted upwards hauntingly from the banks above, but down in the valley it was relatively bare. The valley floor was covered in dirt. He felt uneasy. It feels dead down here, he thought with a shudder.

Jake took a few steps and allowed his eyes to dart about. He had never been down here, he didn’t know any kid who was daring enough to climb Principal Longhorn’s spooky old fence. And it was spooky down here, no doubt about it.

Out of nowhere a bird squawked loudly, almost causing him to jump out of his skin, and Jake instantly wanted nothing else than to be out of the valley. Without hesitation he began running and looking for any conceivable way out, but the bank was too steep and it looked impossible with the dirt as loose as it was. He increased his pace and started to panic, breathing quickly and shallow with every step. Finally, he saw a solution.

Ahead were the foundations of an old, uncompleted rail bridge. Once upon a time, he had been told, the railway was supposed to cross this valley and make its way through what is now Principal Longhorn’s estate. Although it had never been finished, the foundations rose on either side. It was his best option and the spooky feeling of the valley was becoming so overwhelming he picked up his pace.

Abruptly, Jake tripped and fell – once again meeting the ground with a thud, this one so hard it took his breath away. He groaned and glanced angrily in the direction of whatever twig or vine had tripped him, and then clambered to his feet, dusted himself off and continued on his way.

However after several steps, Jake felt a chill wash over him. He stopped still, staring straight ahead for a few moments, gathering his thoughts.

What was that?

He turned around slowly and looked back a few metres to where he had tripped. That wasn’t a twig, and it wasn’t a vine, either. What the heck was that?

Below him, extending slightly from the dirt was a small piece of metal. It had a rusty gold colour and it bent up like an upside-down ‘L’, no bigger than his hand. He slowly moved towards it, heart thumping, and knelt down to clear some of the dirt and leaves around it. What he saw was hard to believe.

It wasn’t a twig at all, it was a handle. A door handle.

Jake cleared more dirt and realised there was more metal beneath it. He continued to dig around carefully with his hands and slowly uncovered the outline of an entire door. It was made of steel and seemed incredibly old. He stopped doing anything and just stared.

A door. In the ground. Where the heck does it lead to?

Slowly and silently he reached out a shaky hand and wrapped it around the handle. He had to use some force yet the handle turned with an unpleasant creak. An overwhelming feeling of shock moved through him, causing his head to feel light and dizzy.

“JAKE!” shouted a voice from somewhere above. “Jake, where the heck are you?! It will be dark soon!” It was Troy.

Jake instantly began panicking. He wanted to be out of there, out of the valley and away from the door. He attempted to call out to Troy yet his breathing was so heavy he couldn’t bring himself to speak. He let go of the cold handle and started running back towards the bridge foundations.

There were missing bricks here and there making it quite easy to climb and he made it back to the bank without difficulty. Once there, he spotted a tree which had conveniently decided to grow in the middle of the fence, splitting some of the rusty posts wide enough for Jake to slip through.

Once out of the valley and on the other side of the fence Jake found he could speak and began calling to Troy. The air was warm again – it was as if a fog had been lifted. Troy came into view from behind some bushes ahead, looking worried. “Are you OK?” he asked warily, “Where were you?”

For some reason Jake didn’t tell Troy about the door. He wasn’t sure why, he just couldn’t. “I… I was hiding over there,” he responded, pointing to some bushes and avoiding direct eye contact.

Troy looked at him uneasily for a moment, in particular at his torn jeans and the bright red blood peeking through. “Are you sure?” he asked after a pause.

“Yes,” Jake replied sternly. “Let’s go home”.

—-

[* --- Sleepless --- *]

The evening was a blur. Dinner seemed no different than any normal weeknight; Jake’s father, a tall bald man, sat at the head of the table near his mother – a much smaller woman with graceful short, silver hair. His younger sister, Emily, sat beside Jake – playing with her food rather than eating it.

Jake felt like he was in a trance. All he could think about was the handle. The golden handle. The golden handle coming straight out of the ground.

What the heck was it? All of a sudden a more important thought managed to enter his already transfixed mind: Where does it lead to?

“…Jake?” asked his mother, looking at him peculiarly. “Are you listening?”

Suddenly the thought burst like a bubble and the real world returned with alarming brightness. “Sorry,” Jake replied in a rush, “what was the question?”

His mother smiled awkwardly. “It wasn’t a question, dear. I was telling you that I finally got permission to paint a mural on the new school library. Of course I imagine Mr Longhorn will have his say on what I am allowed to paint, however I’m still over the moon!”

“That’s amaaazing, mum” exclaimed Emily in a manner that could have been sarcastic, “You should paint Mr Fox!” Mr Fox was the family dog, although Emily considered it hers, and although he was a little Jack Russell she was adamant he was a fox. On many occasions Emily had corrected passers-by when they commented on what a cute dog she had.

“Congratulations,” Jake murmured in a tone more half-hearted than he intended, then decided to add in a much more enthusiastic voice, “I can’t wait to see what you come up with!”

Instantly he could see his mother suspected something was wrong (something she seemed supernaturally good at). Thankfully, Emily was good at something too – interrupting uninteresting conversations with stories from her world.

“Mr Fox is so funny!” she started, “today he was waiting for me at the bridge after school, and when he saw me coming around the corner he got so excited his tail was wagging and making a thud thud thud against the planks…” She paused her rapid speaking to take a big gulp of air, then added, “He thud his tail so much, he thudded right off the bridge and into the mud!” This was followed by a giggle so loud and sudden that it made her father reel away momentarily, quite possibly because the giggle carried a decent amount of spit with it, as Emily’s usually did.

She continued while Jake sat quietly, faking interest. His thoughts inevitably began to return to the golden handle, and soon he realised he wasn’t the only one pretending to be captivated by his sister’s long (and often somewhat untrue) stories. His mother was staring silently at Jake with a concerned look on her face. She didn’t speak when their eyes met yet simply raised her eyebrows as if to say “What is going on?”

“Nothing!” Jake blurted out before realising nobody had said anything to him. Emily stalled her story mid-sentence and glared at him with a comical frown. The table fell silent, all eyes on Jake. “I’m not really hungry,” he announced, “I think I might get an early night”.

“Fine, wuss,” Emily replied instantly, and turned to her father again with renewed enthusiasm and continued her story. Their father was a quiet and serious man, however he always seemed to enjoy Emily’s wild stories and returned his attention to her at once (he was also aware that failure to do so could result in a YOU NEVER LISTEN TO ME! shout from Emily, and these usually contained even more spit than the giggles).

Jake’s mum continued watching as he slowly rose to his feet. “Are you sure you’re OK mister?” she asked in an I-know-you-are-not-OK-mister tone.

He forced a smile. “Yeah, I’m fine. I think I’m just tired.”

His mother returned a smile, and Jake got the impression this was also forced. “Well just leave your plate there dear, I will sort it out. Go brush your teeth and get some rest; you look like you’ve seen a ghost”.

I feel like I have, he thought.

He left the kitchen and slowly climbed the creaky stairs to his room, hearing his sisters blabbering get quieter with every step.

Everything seemed automatic. He brushed his teeth. He got changed and put his clothes in the washing basket. He switched on his lamp and turned out the main light. He slid between the covers and lay down. It was his body doing all of this, as if he were a robot being controlled by a remote. He didn’t think to brush his teeth, he just did. All he could think of was the handle, the door… the handle, the door…

Jake switched out the lamp and lay still, staring up at the dim ceiling, mesmerised.

The handle. The golden handle.

He closed his eyes and tried to clear his thoughts, but it was no use. He would not sleep tonight, He knew that. He couldn’t.

A door. A door in the ground.

A door into the ground.

All of a sudden a revelation struck him with stark clarity. His eyes opened wildly and again he was staring above into the darkness.

He had a plan. He would return to the door and open it.

Tonight.

—-

To be continued in book 2: The Necklace in the Night


Phantom Letters - 1. The Golden Handle

  • Author: Josh Hall
  • Published: 2016-06-28 03:20:34
  • Words: 5695
Phantom Letters - 1. The Golden Handle Phantom Letters - 1. The Golden Handle