Love, Anonymous xxx

A parcel arrives carrying a child's spinning top. The sender is mysterious and the top itself is... well... positively unnerving.

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2. II

But it wasn't the end, no matter how much I wished it had been afterwards.

That night I woke to the sound of an eerie whistling issuing from the kitchen. At first I couldn't place the noise and then, like being plunged in a cold barrel of icy water, I realised it must be the spinning top. I lay in bed, my heart beating very fast in my ribcage; my brain racing to find a realistic explanation for why the top could be making the noise by itself.

I heard footsteps along the hall coming toward my bedroom. My heart gave a panicked jolt but calmed once I heard Matilda calling: ''Alice?''. She crept into my room and flicked the light on, illuminating our pale, scared faces.

Trying to put a brave-big-sister-face on, I climbed out bed. ''We should go down and try to stop it.'' I said.

On our way downstairs I heard yet another pair of feet coming towards us and we turned to see Sam. His pale hair was sticking up on end and his face showed a slight touch of alarm in his widened eyes.

We made out way into the kitchen and switched the light on. As if we'd turned off a switch, the whistling stopped. Sam, Matilda and I exchanged fearful glances. Trying to be as practical as possible, Sam switched on his torch and knelt down in front of the cooker where we'd lost the top. After a few seconds of neck-craning, he sat up and looked back at us. ''It's gone,'' he whispered. ''Disappeared!''

The next night was exactly the same. The whistling started as soon as we'd gone upstairs and stopped the moment we came down again. It always seemed to be issuing from somewhere in the kitchen, but when we looked for it, and believe me, we had practically torn the whole kitchen apart by the end of the week, we never found it.

After a month and a half of this, Sam concluded that, as the spinning top was doing us no harm, we should forget it. Even though the whistling continued every night, we managed to ignore it and after a while, I forgot the little top and the small wooden box.

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