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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3. III

It wasn't until about a year later, that the spinning top came into a new focus entirely.

It was a Saturday evening and both of my siblings were busy so I had the house to myself. At about 7pm, when I was curled up on the sofa with a book, the doorbell rang. Thinking that it might be Alice, I didn't hurry to the door and was exceptionally surprised to see an old man standing on the doorstep. He was dressed in a thick black coat and looked half anxious, half excited.

''Hello,'' he said quietly, ''my name's William Johnson. Sorry for the late call but I wanted to see a member of this house''

''Sure...?''

''I sent her a parcel for a 6th birthday which was a year ago and today, on her seventh, I promised I'd visit her.''

''Sorry, maybe you got the wrong address, because there are no seven-year-olds here.''

''I think there must be a misunderstanding,'' said William voicing my own thoughts aloud, ''because there is a seven-year-old here.''

I opened my mouth to argue but the old man held up a hand. ''I'll explain,'' he said quietly. ''Four years ago a family lived here with three-year-old. They died in... tragic circumstances and I believe that the daughter is still here.'' He smiled reminiscently. ''She always loved spinning tops and so I thought I'd send her one for her sixth birthday.''

My mind was spinning, quite like the vanished top. I didn't believe in ghosts, there wasn't any such thing.

''Can I come in please? I just would like to see if she's still there.''

Wondering how mad this man was, I opened the door wider and let him follow me into the kitchen. He sat down and just looked around, smiling happily. Then, as if he'd spotted something, he stood up and walked over to the cooker and knelt down. He seemed to be looking at something. I followed, wondering whether there was a dead mouse down there, but saw nothing of interest.

Finally the man stood up. ''She says she'll go now but that she's going to hide the spinning top first.'' He smiled warmly at my stunned expression, ''she also says she's sorry for playing with it at night, but liked the noise it made.''

I nodded as if this all made sense to me.

''Thank you for your help,'' William said and he quietly left the house closing the front door behind him.

When Matilda and Sam arrived back home later that night, I told them all of what had happened. I don't think either of them believed me and I certainly did not believe myself, but from that night onwards, we never heard the spinning top again.

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