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The Spirit of my Attic
“MOM! I’m going upstairs to look for some new printer paper! Be right back!” I shouted. Then I ran up the spiral staircase to the attic without waiting for a response. Because I knew that my mom would immediately object if I did. She hated whenever I mentioned it, but I couldn’t help but chuckle when I thought about how superstitious she was about the old attic. She seriously believed that spirits left with unfinished business lurked in the shadowy corners of that ancient room.
I, on the other hand, just thought of the attic as a dusty, cluttered room that we kept all our junk in. I only went up there when I absolutely had to, like now for instance, when looking for more printer paper.
After crawling through the tiny square door at the top of the stairs, I blew some dust off the top of a pile of blank papers and picked them up. But suddenly, when I was just about ready to leave, a huge gust of wind and leaves blew through the single open window and scattered the papers everywhere.
I groaned and bent over to reorganize the papers, but then, the light bulb hanging from the short ceiling began to flicker on and off. That’s when I began to freak.
“I-is anyone the-the-there?” I stammered, swallowing hard.
“As a matter of fact, there is!” And then, right before my startled eyes, a faint glow appeared out of nowhere. It got brighter and brighter until it was fully formed into a slightly transparent human shape.
I began swaying back and forth, but before I fainted, the shape reached out and balanced me. “Thanks,” I whispered.
A twinkling laugh erupted from the thing, “No problem! Now, for the real reason I’m here.” It paused, “First of all, do you know what I am?”
“A-a ghost?” I guessed.
It laughed again, “Right! Wow, for a mere mortal, you’re pretty smart!”
I gulped. What would I say next? “Um...so...how does it feel to die?” I asked her quietly. I didn’t know if she would consider that a personal question or not.
The thing was quiet for a moment, as if trying to figure out how to describe it. Finally, it said, “Well, at first, it’s a horrible sensation. At least, in my case it was. It’s like a million knives are stabbing you in every inch of your body, or you’re walking on thousands of flames, all at the same time. But then, after a while, all the pain and suffering freezes, and it’s pure bliss. Like you’re frozen in time, and floating in a bright light full of peace and happiness.”
My mouth had been hanging open the whole time, and now I closed it. This ghost was very poetic.
“But that’s not why I came here,” its voice turned stern, “I came here to tell you an important lesson you’re going to need to know later on in life.”
I gulped. What could that possibly be?
The spirit leaned closer, and I held my breath. I didn’t like a ghost being this close to me. “Remember,” it whispered, “Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away.”
And then it vanished.