TITLE: Hamish's Heart
GENRE: Middle Grade Fantasy
Hamish found his birth certificate in a crumpled envelope, in a creased and sagging box, in a cobwebbed corner of the attic. The box attracted his attention one day because it was crushed against the farthest wall — well beyond the yellow, dusty light pouring in from two dirty windows — and it was the darkest, dirtiest place in the attic to hide. He slid himself between the box and the spiders' nests on the wall to hide from his father who was thumping up the stairs to find him.
Hamish could hear his father breathe, deep and deliberate, as he reached the top step and scanned the attic with his sharp, blue glare. Hamish held his own breath, ignoring the prickling itch creeping up his back, stifling thoughts of a million baby spiders bursting out of their nests to invade his clothing.
“Hamish, just you wait!” his mother's shrill, angry voice called up the steps. Hamish did wait. He waited until his father retraced his steps down to his cooling dinner and out the door again to the pub, until his mother's calls subsided to inaudible grumbles and dissipated into the clattering noise of dishes being washed and dried; he waited until the house was quiet and the dust motes in the attic turned gray in the fading afternoon light.
When Hamish finally stood up, his legs had been asleep for some time. Giant-stepping over the box as quietly as he could, he wobbled, catching the edge on his toe as he stepped over.