Attic, part 8

“OK,” Sid said, looking at Jenny and Josh. “Let’s cut to the chase. I’m a finder demon. They don’t send my class of spook into this plane just for kicks. There’s something’s gone missing, right?”

Josh and Jenny looked at each other. “Actually,” Jenny began, “it’s not exactly something missing, it’s something found.”

“Yeah kid, I know, there was a key. There’s always a key. Key leads to a scroll, scroll summons a demon, yadda yadda. It’s always the same drill. Spare me. I mean what went missing? Think back.”

Jenny was silent, lost in thought. “Does it have to be a what?”

Sid perked up. “Interesting question. What’s the angle?”

“I mean, can it be a who?”

“Yeah, sure. A who can be a what. I mean a what isn’t always a who, but a who is definitely always a what. I don’t make the rules, but I sure know what’s what. Or in this case, who’s what, if you see my drift.”

Josh felt in over his head. “Jenny, do you have any idea what he’s talking about?”

“Yes,” Jenny said, “it’s perfectly clear. He’s talking about Grandma. That’s what this is all about, isn’t it?” She looked at the demon expectantly.

Sid took his time answering. “Yeah, I’m starting to get the picture here. Old lady goes missing, manages to leave a key. Her daughter can’t do a thing, cause she hasn’t got the Power.”

“The power?” Josh asked. “what power?”

“Not power, Power. Your girlfriend’s got it.” Josh was about to correct him, but thought better of it. Sid waited him out, then continued. “Usually skips a generation. Grandma to granddaughter. Touching really. Anyway, grandma’s missing, and we’ve gotta find her fast.”

“Wait,” Jenny asked. “That box was in the attic for years. Why now?”

“Cause you found the key. That right, big boy?”

Mr. Symarian had been watching quietly. But now Sid had asked him a direct question, and they were all looking at him. “Why yes, that’s true,” he nodded. “If you found the key, it means that trouble is brewing. Keys don’t just show up — until you need them. Jenny, do you have a picture of your grandmother?”

Jenny shook her head slowly. “Mother destroyed them all. I never asked why — it was something we never talked about. Do we need one?”

“Only if you want to find Grandma,” Sid said. “Wait. I’ve got an idea. Let’s make a picture of the old broad.”

“Can we do that?” Josh asked.

“Trust me kid,” Sid grinned, “I’m a demon.”

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