The Creature in the Attic

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Story File


Bravery, overcoming irrational fears

Main Lesson

We are imprisoned by many irrational fears, which drive us to foolish acts


A coastal town


A boy, a monster, and a Norwegian fisherman

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The Creature in the Attic

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A short story to overcome irrational fears

The first anyone heard about the creature in the attic was after one of the children went up there to look for an old book. Everything was dark, but between the shadows, the boy could clearly see two eyes watching him intently from above, with a horrific expression on its face. They were big eyes, about a metre apart, giving some idea of the size of that terrible being's head. The boy yelled with every bit of air in his lungs, ran out, and locked the door, leaving the monster in the attic, growling to himself.

For the next two days the people in that village were living in terror. The growls from the attic and the beating on the attic door continued, and news of the blighter's cruel nature spread across the land. The disgraceful behaviour only got worse, but no one was brave enough to go up to that attic and confront the beast.

Before long, a Norwegian fisherman passed by. Some days earlier his whaling ship had sunk, and this fellow seemed like a formidable old sea dog; a hard character indeed. Some men in the village asked him to help them confront the awful creature. The Norwegian did not hesitate to help, in return for a little money, but when he approached the attic and heard the growls of the monster, his expression changed and he went downstairs to ask for a lot more money. He also asked for some tools, a big net, and a cart. If he was to triumph against the beast, he wanted to take it away, as a trophy.

All the village folk were gathered around, and watched as the Norwegian opened the attic door, and went inside, to be met by deep, shuddering growls. After the fisherman had been inside for a short while the noises stopped.

Never again would the villagers see the Norwegian, or hear the sounds of the beast. Neither did anyone ever dare to go up to the attic again.

Do you want to know what happened behind that door? Are you sure?

Well, when the Norwegian opened the door, he could see the eye of Olaf, his enormous and fierce helmsman. The eye was also reflected in a mirror, giving the impression of both belonging to the same head. Olaf's other eye had been covered by a patch for years. Both men continued talking in cries, in their own language, as the whaler told his imprisoned friend that the nervous villagers had given him so much money that they would be able to return and take another ship to carry on fishing.
Together they managed to find a way to escape the attic
, get to the cart, and disappear forever.

And so it was, that fear, and fear alone, impoverished that whole village and enabled the fishermen to recover.

And so it happens to this very day. Senseless fear drives us to foolishness, and often allows others to take advantage of us.

Average: 8.3 (19 votes)

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