by Snow Angel
Amanda stood at the bottom of the stairs
|Amanda stood at the bottom of the stairs staring up at the attic door. Holding her breath she listened for the noise that her sister had complained about when she left for work that morning. Every time they took a house sitting job, Dorie complained about something. The houses they watched were always too cold, too hot, or to drafty. If she did not complain about the house then she bitched about the weird neighbors and their pets. Amanda knew Dori hated house sitting, but they had no other choice. At least not if they wanted a decent roof over their heads.
Sighing, Amanda went into the kitchen where she started a carafe of coffee brewing. Maybe, she thought removing a small can of salmon from the pantry. I should take the morning shift and let Dorie work graveyard. At least that way I wouldn't have to spend half my day checking the house for bodies to explain Dories disembodied noises. Opening the can of fish, she dumped it into the cat dish sitting under the breakfast bar.
"Midnight," she called opening the backdoor to find only oak and cottonwood leave scattered across the back porch. "Now where did that damn cat go?" She stepped onto the back porch, "Mrs. Hannibal is going to be really pissed if we lose her favorite tom cat." She started to descend the steps that lead into the back yard, but then stopped and went back into the house. "You don't suppose he got himself shut in the attic. I guess I should check up there before I go looking for him all over the neighborhood."
She removed a small flashlight from the junk drawer and then walked through the living room to the stairs. Stopping at the foot of the stairs she looked up at the attic door. There seemed to be a haze, like an early morning fog, floating in front of the door. As she ascended the steps, the mist moved from the attic door to the top of the staircase where it spread out to cover the area between the bannister and the wall. Once she reached the top of the stairs, she paused, took a deep breath, and then stepped into the mist.
Amanda's teeth chattered. Chill bumps rose on her arms. Forcing herself to move forward, she walked out of the fog and stopped in front of the door. On a hooked next to the door a key hung. She removed the key from the hook and opened the door. "Remember," Mrs. Hannibal's voice echoed through here mind. "If you have to go to the attic to check the fuse box lock the door behind you. That door won't stay closed unless you lock it."
Switching on the flashlight, she locked the door and put the key in her slacks pocket. "Meow" reverberated from the far corner of the attic next to the painted boarded up window. "Midnight," she said going toward the cat. "How'd you get up here through a locked door?"
She heard a noise behind her. She turned to find a panther sized black cat with green eyes staring at her. She dropped the flashlight and backed toward the window. A hand came out of the darkness and covered her mouth. "Don't move," whispered a male voice. "He only attack you if you move."
Word Count: 559