This is an excerpt from: ‘The Ghost in the Attic’, which was shortlisted in a Writing Magazine children’s story competition.
“It’s not fair! I’ve done the training, and all you can offer me is an attic!” George’s usually yellow complexion flushed slightly peach with indignation.
“I realise you’re disappointed,?”said the Spectral Employment Officer squinting at George over the top of his glasses.
“Isn’t there something a bit more challenging?
“You have to realise that good placements are hard to come by at the moment.”
“But I’ve spent years training at St Spooks, and passed heaps of examinations. I’ve had extra lessons in levitation, practised riding with the headless horseman, and I was top of my class in chain rattling and wailing.”
The Spectral Employment Officer ran a pale finger down the page of the musty ledger.
“Our records also say you failed the course on fading away and vanishment.”
“I can’t be good at everything,” George scowled.
“With no qualification in vanishment, and your lack of experience,” went on the Officer shaking his head, “The attic is the only thing I have available.”
“What’s it like?” George asked despondently.
“It’s a family house. The attic is spacious and drafty, fully furnished and includes a late Victorian style feather bed.” The Officer passed George a sheet of paper. “It’s sometimes used as a toy room, so there will be plenty of scope for haunting.”
George sighed. “Alright,” he said. “I’ll take it.” At least it would be a roof over his head, and he could look for something better, from the comfort of a Victorian style feather bed. He looked at the information sheet, read the address, and then grinned. Maybe his luck was about to change.
* * * * * * *
George stopped under a street lamp, put his bag down, and checked the address again. Yes, this was it. Putting all his years of training to the test, he slipped through the letterbox of number 1 Rocket Terrace, and glided up the stairs.
The living areas of the house were strictly out of bounds under the terms of his contract, so he gave a little hop skip and a jump, and levitated up and through the ceiling into the attic.
The Agency was right, the attic was spacious, with a delicious dampness in the air. All around were boxes of books and magazines, and to one side was an old Victorian feather mattress, hardly a bed, but it would do. He looked in one of the boxes, and catching sight of a magazine, quivered with excitement, little ripples from top to toe. It was ‘Railway Today’. And just underneath was a copy of ‘Steam Engines of the Past’. Eagerly he flicked through the magazines. They were fantastic! ©Gillian Brazier