Now the air grows very cold, the wind howls, and the three children shiver, teeth chattering clickety-clack. It does not help that they are dripping wet and that the roof is now missing. But it is no longer raining.

"It's snowing!" Josua gasps. Flakes swirl down from the sky above, dissolving on their wet skin. This is not a welcome development, though, not only because it is mid-July, but the trio is afraid their blue lips will freeze together.

I'm --


Josua casts around the wrecked attic and pulls a moldy drop cloth from underneath a dilapidated table. Thankfully it is not wet and Josua throws it around the three of them like a giant towel. They dry themselves off and huddle in its paint-stained folds.

I don't like this grimmier-book, Kate complains.

"Grimoire," Josua corrects,  shaking with cold.

Whatever. I don't like it.

Lynne hefts the old tome into her hands and looks at the new word that has appeared.


Kate pays no attention to her sister's interruption.

I really think we should get rid of it. Make it stop doing all this stuff. I wish you'd never found it, Josua.

"You can't pretend you weren't curious!" Josua says, annoyed. "It was your idea to go poking around in the attic anyway."

Snow flakes fall with crinkly quietness onto them. Lynne pages through the book while Kate and Josua glare at each other.

Fine, concedes Kate. But I still think we should get rid of it. She looks up at the roof, or rather, lack thereof. Dad's gonna kill us, she adds dolefully.

"Let's go downstairs," Josua suggests. "We can figure out what to do with the grimoire down there."

Even Kate is agreeable to this and the threesome make their descent, down the ladder, then the stairs and into the kitchen.

Unseen, long shadows creep behind them that are not their own.

The End

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