Dorothea pulled the trunk of the old steamer trunk open and sneezed as decades of dust was disturbed on its lid. Her friend Danya sneezed as well, and handed the other girl a dust mask.
"Here Thea, wear this, unless you want to battle dust allergy symptoms for the next three days." She handed over the mask, as she donned one herself.
"Thanks, Dani. The one little light bulb up here doesn't help much. This big old hunting flashlight of my dad's ought to help." She shone the light inside the trunk and smiled. "Here it is, just like Gran said. A real honest to goodness crystal ball."
"Well, drag it out and lets take a look at it." Danya grinned.
Dorothea pulled out the ball. Its heavy marble base made a resounding thunk as she dropped it on the floor. Although there was a layer of dust on the other items in the trunk, the crystal ball gleamed brightly, without a speck of dirt on it.
Both girls sat cross legged on the floor, with the crystal between them. Danya leaned closer, and put her hands on it, rubbing it lightly. She spoke in a lower voice, ominously.
"Beware of a tall dark stranger," she intoned.
"Well, you're tall, at least taller than me, and you have dark hair. You're kind of strange, so maybe it's you." Dorothea giggled.
Danya laughed too, and leaned forward to look into the crystal ball. Neither girl noticed the shadow advancing on them from the corner of the attic.