John packs his suitcase calmly while his parents argue downstairs. The 12 year old boy had heard these disputes for as long as he can remember. Finally he’s had enough. The backhand from his father before being sent to his room was the last straw. That had made the decision easy. Tonight, John was going to rid himself of this house, this abusive family, and this downward spiraling lifestyle. John was finally going to run away.
As he scurried out his second story window, down on to the porch overhang and onto the ground he wonders where he will go and what he will do. He remembers the abandoned house 3 streets over. All of the foolish and impressionable kids younger than John say it’s haunted. That a ghost roams the halls of this house but John is smart enough to know better. There aren’t ghosts roaming the halls, only spiders. He finally reaches his destination. It’s only a temporary home, a shelter to protect him from the elements until he can figure out a long term plan. Upon opening the front door, John sees nothing but covered furniture and cobwebs. He flicks a light switch, nothing. He wanders around, guided only by the light streaming through the windows. He stumbles upon a staircase and ventures up it.
Upon arriving on the second floor John realizes that there is nothing special about this floor either. There are three bedrooms, covered in dust and cobwebs. Lamps, beds, couches, all covered with sheets and dust. In the hallway however, something else exists. After searching the rooms, John realizes there is a door on the ceiling, a door connected to a staircase that leads to the attic.
He pulls on the string and the staircase descends. He ventures upwards and realizes there is only one window in the attic. From that window there is enough light for John to realize that the attic is empty, except for one pedestal placed in the center of the room. John approaches the pedestal. There is a glimmering coin set upon it. He reaches for the coin and picks it up. There is a loud noise behind him. John spins around and realizes the staircase has collapsed. He is trapped in the attic of an abandoned house. Suddenly, smoke starts to rise up through the opening that once led to the second floor. John starts to panic. Flames start to creep into the attic and John realizes the severity of his situation. The house is burning from the ground up and he’s trapped on the top floor. He backs as far away from the opening as he can and is soon showered with glass.
“Hey kid! Jump onto the porch!” John looks out the window he has backed himself next to. Below him is a man waving his arms, trying to get his attention. He peeks over the window and sees an overhang, one similar to the one that allowed him to escape his own home earlier. He hops out of the window. “Jump! I’ll catch you!!” the man yells. John creeps towards the edge of the overhang, gathers all his courage, and leaps towards the man. He is caught, and saved from harm. The man lowers him to the ground and before John knows it they are surrounded by reporters and journalists praising the man for his courage and his heroism. John is questioned as well but after hours of interrogation they are allowed to return to their normal lives. John comes home to hugs and tears from both of his parents. He sees hope for his future in their reaction, he sees a new life, a better life, on the horizon.