Dragon in the Attic: An Excerpt

2012-08-11 15.56.34

This is an excerpt from my first paranormal story ever. This is what I will be reading at the library tonight.

The Door in the Tree

Part 1

Chapter 4

Sarah had one trait that often got her into trouble; curiosity. She stood up, and wiped the dirt from her clothes and hands. She’d already forgotten the sting caused by the fall. Her mind was distracted by the door in the tree. Walking toward it, she went around the tree, carefully looking up. She’d expected the door to glow from all angles, but it didn’t. It only glowed from the front.

That was odd, but then again, a glowing door in a tree was anything but normal. She’d walked in a complete circle around the tree to return to the exact spot she’d first started from.

The door was up there pretty high, but that didn’t faze her. Scrappy. That’s what her dad called her. She wasn’t quite sure what it meant, but it had to be a good thing since it came from her dad. She liked the word.

She could climb a tree pretty well. This is where being a girl in a family of men helped. Her dad had even once said to her brothers, “You guys are determined to turn her into a boy!” She’d showed up one too many times on the back step more dirt than girl.

Her dad was forever patching up her shirts and pants after she’d spent the afternoon in the backyard with her brothers. On the inside, though, Sarah was all girl, and when not trying to keep up with the boys, she liked to behave like one. It was just one of the reasons she had so many Barbies in her room.

This tree was not going to beat her. The oak had enough branches. This wouldn’t be a problem. With no one around to know if she fell, Sarah knew to move carefully and slowly as she climbed. She was scrappy, not foolish, and there was that weird door, after all.

Sarah was glad she’d worn blue jeans as she shimmied up, reaching for the first branch she came across. She felt brave. When getting into trouble with her brothers, she held her own. Yet she would feel a whole lot better if any one of them were there with her right now, just in case she needed help.

She worked her way up, taking her time as she moved. Her family wasn’t close if she fell. It might take a while before anyone would come looking for her.


It was hard not to stare at the door as she edged closer to it. The glow became brighter as the distance got smaller. Sarah stopped to rest on a branch, sitting straight up as she leaned against the tree. She was careful not to move too much. Even though the branch felt sturdy enough, she was also a little tired.

I should have gone home and told someone. They could be here with me right now. We could have brought the ladder from the garage. It would have been so much easier!

She wasn’t sure if it would be tall enough, but it would have helped. Sarah looked at her watch. It read eleven o’clock. It was too late now. Time had flown by quickly without her realizing it. How did that happen?

If she turned back now, she could climb back down, and go on home. Then again, her dad might not let her come back even if one of her brothers came along. Worse, he would probably be mad at her for attempting such a feat on her own. Two bad choices and such a big decision, but she made the only one that made sense to any eight year old girl. She would continue up. Dad would be mad at her anyway, she rationalized, so why stop now?

Her stomach made a low growling sound, reminding her of how close it was to lunchtime. She’d rushed through her morning cereal, only eating half of it in her attempt to get outside to see what the boys were up to. She should have eaten more.

The sun at this angle had broken through the leaves as it bore down on her head. Between the heat and energy she’d used to climb up this far, she was starting to sweat like a pig. She wasn’t quite sure what that meant. Sarah had never seen a live pig before, but it was a phrase her brothers used a lot whenever they came in from playing outside all day long. If it meant they stank, then she understood, for she was getting a little smelly herself. She knew she was sweating, and that was enough for her.

All of a sudden, she heard a low hum. She looked up. It appeared to be coming from the door. Without meaning to, Sarah started to hum along with the unfamiliar sound, imitating it the best she could. Even when the sound grew in volume, she did the same without even realizing what she was doing. It was automatic to her.

For the next few minutes, they sang as one. Sarah was oblivious to anything around her. The song enveloped her like a safety blanket. She would not be able to explain this if anyone asked. Yet, she felt comforted none-the-less. When the hum returned back to its low tune, it left Sarah smiling, though she didn’t know why.

Feeling rested, she went back to the task of reaching the door. It was so close. If it wasn’t for the glow, Sarah wouldn’t have given it a second glance. It spoke to her just like the hum had.

Reaching the branches that held the door captive, Sarah pulled herself up. She took a moment to rest. The glow was still present, and the hum continued, though it had become even louder at this point.

Sarah rubbed her eyes, and looked again. Nope, the light was still there. Placing one hand on the door knob, she tried to turn it. The darn thing wouldn’t budge. It was either stuck or broken. She didn’t come all this way for nothing.

Sarah spit on both her hands, rubbed them really good, and tried again. This time, using both of her hands, she wrenched the knob with all her strength. That did the trick. The knob turned, making a squeaky sound as it did so. The light grew brighter as it landed on Sarah’s face. She squinted as she opened the door completely, and stepped through.

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