When I was thirteen, my best friend lived in a Victorian house with an old creaking staircase and beautiful stained-glass windows. One Sunday morning, my friend left early for a shift at the café down the street. Her mom was out grocery shopping. Our families had been close for a long time, so it wasn’t unusual for me to be left alone at their house.
I was in the living room watching a movie when I heard the staircase creak. I muted the TV. Footsteps sounded overhead. I held my breath. I sat there, completely still. Finally, I worked up enough courage to tiptoe to the front of the house. At the bottom of the stairs, I looked up. “Hello?” I called. I don’t know who I thought might answer. My friend had an older sister who’d gone to a friend’s house the night before, but surely I would have heard the front door open.
The family had an old basset hound, so as I stood there, the rational side of me reasoned that it must have been the dog. I went back to the living room. My friend came home a half hour later. Her mom returned with groceries.
Later that afternoon, we realized we hadn’t seen the dog in several hours. We checked the downstairs rooms. When we didn’t find him, we went upstairs and my friend called out his name. There was a scratching on the other side of the attic door. My friend opened the lock, pushed in the door and the dog came barreling out.
We peered into the darkness of the attic before slamming the door closed and sliding the lock back into place. No one knew how long the dog had been in there, or when he’d last been seen, but I convinced myself that whatever I’d heard earlier that morning had something to do with the dog being locked inside.
That was the last time I ever slept over.
Altered will be available from Little, Brown in 2012
Synopsis: Jennifer Rush's debut ALTERED, pitched as Dollhouse meets Prison Break for teens, about a 17-year-old who finds herself on the run from her father's enigmatic Agency along with the four teen boys the Agency had been experimenting on, in a mystery of erased memories, secret identities, and genetic alteration.
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Currently not available to pre-order.
Jenn, thanks so much for telling your true scary story! It was great to have you here on the blog today. Let's be sure to visit again to celebrate the release of Altered! I know I can't wait to read it!