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The house was very old, full of shadowy corners, quite unlike the simple two-up, two-down where Sam and his family had lived for so many years. But after Dad was gone, Mum said she wanted to move closer to Carlisle, to be near her parents and this place was all they could afford. It was stuck out in the middle of nowhere, looking like something from another time. Mum told him that she was thrilled with the place, it should have been much more expensive, but it had been on the market for so long, she’d managed to pick it up ‘for a song.’
Sam didn’t much care. With Dad no longer around, everything seemed flat and heavy and endless. It was summer, so at least he didn’t have the horror of starting a new school just yet but he couldn’t seem to work up enthusiasm for anything.
On the first day there, Mum asked him to carry some empty cardboard boxes up the attic. He was a bit surprised by this, because up until this point, he hadn’t realised the house had an attic. But he picked up the stack of boxes and went dutifully up the three flights of stairs until he found the ancient, paint-blistered door at the very end of the top landing. He turned the handle and peered cautiously inside. Then he opened his mouth and stared in absolute amazement…
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