Attic, part 45

In spite of the howling winds all around them, Jenny felt oddly safe. She was enfolded in the golden warmth of Charlie’s protective shield, she had her friends about her, and Josh clearly knew the way. With the rush of events, each stranger than the last, she realized that she hadn’t had time to think, to really let herself understand what was going on.

What did she really know about Grandma Amelia? The family history was vague — maybe deliberately vague. Her grandfather had loved her grandmother very much, and everyone had always thought it went both ways. But then one Sunday afternoon, when Jenny’s mother was still a girl, Grandma Amelia had just vanished. Apparently people had looked everywhere, but she was never found. The only thing they knew was that she had said, just before she’d disappeared, that she needed to go up into the attic. But if she really went up there that Sunday afternoon, she never came down.

Ever since that day, Jenny’s mother had refused to go up into the attic — ever — even after she’d inherited the family house. The mystery of Grandma Amelia’s disappearance was so central to Jenny’s family, so taken for granted all her life, that she’d hardly ever given it much thought.

Until now.

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