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The Kins (standard:horror, 3400 words)
Author: kiltoAdded: May 26 2002Views/Reads: 3270/2109Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Whilst in the process of moving into a new house, Jack discovers a family of abnormal outcasts living in the attic, whom he quickly befriends, much to the dismay of his long suffering wife. She soon wants to be rid of the 'freaks' living in the attic.

I first discovered the family – or the Kins, as they prefer to be called
– two days after we moved into the new house.  Jenny was at work all 
afternoon, so I decided that I should fetch the stepladder and haul 
some old boxes and packing crates up into the attic, a job which 
should, I figured, take up the bulk of the day, at least until early 

The hatch was stiff; almost stuck fast, as I practically hung from the
cord until it finally gave way with the cracking and splitting of 
ancient, dried paint and swung open almost sending me flying from the 
top rung.  I held on with unsteady ease, and peered into the darkness 

It was strange.  I thought that I had heard a noise from somewhere in
the darkness, like something moving, but I just couldn't see far enough 
inside.  The far end of the attic was bathed in a dull, dirty brown 
light, as the single window at the front of the house was covered in a 
moth - eaten, tattered rag. It looked to me like an ageing wedding 
dress, crudely nailed to the frame, and left there for god knows how 
many years. 

I stepped up a little further, and took the flashlight from my pocket. 
I firstly shone up at the rafters, just to get some perspective of the 
size of the place.  Thick dust swirled around in the beam, as I slowly 
moved around the attic, looking over old tea chests and boxes of 
various bits and pieces, until I stopped by one darkened corner of the 
room, which was hidden by a couple of old clothing rails.  One of them 
was cowering, hiding from the light.  I could see a human shape, 
partially obscured, standing timidly alone, but curious all the same.  
I tried to coax her out; saying that it was okay, that she had nothing 
to be afraid of.  Cautiously, I put down the flashlight, and heaved 
myself up through the hole, and clambered into the attic.  This time, 
when I shone the light in to the corner, I could see more of them. I 
counted five, in total. 

I could see they were different right away. 

The eldest, pa Kin, was missing his right arm.  The baby of the family –
little Joe – was missing both legs.  My heart pounded as I saw the 
makeshift contraption that whoever had consigned these poor people to a 
life in this attic had made for the boy to get around.  It was a single 
solid steel pole, protruding from his abdomen, with three wheels at the 
bottom.  His sister, whom stood proudly with one arm around him, had 
horrific facial damage the likes of which I couldn't imagine having to 
live with.  The right side of her pretty young face and skull were 
gone, and the contents of her head were on display for all to see.  I 
would later discover that, the previous owner of the house who 
eventually came to care for the Kins, had offered Mary Jane a grotesque 
steel plate to cover her own personal abomination, which could have 
been bolted into place, turning her into some sort of perverse 
Frankenstein's' monster; an unlovable beauty, but she refused. 

Over time, I must admit that I came to admire her for that. 

Ma Kin was the most normal of the family.  She was a little weather
beaten and world weary, and the strain of living in this place with her 
family, since her and pa Kin had been brought here in the late sixties, 
was beginning to tell. Years ago, the last owner of the house – Mr 
Jones – would attempt to take ma Kin away from the others, from her 
family, into a nice ‘normal' life as he put it, but she wouldn't go.  
She would never leave the ones she loved.  And, despite their 
abnormalities, they did all care for each other, like nobody on the 
outside would have. 

The final member of the family was Cousin Pete.  He was the worst.  The
only functioning limb he had was his left arm, and he spent all of his 
days propped up in an old rocking chair, not far from the window.  He 
was a quiet man, contemplative and always willing to give advice to the 
others when they were feeling down.  In time, I too would seek the 
guidance of Cousin Pete, and many the many times that I needed to 
unwind with a relaxing game of chess, or whenever I just needed a 
shoulder to cry on, he was there, willing to listen and comfort me. 

I was a little nervous when I first saw them, in all there imperfect
glory, staring at me like I was the freak intruding on their private 

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