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6 Mr. Rockweiler…

Doesn’t talk much. His face really did remind AJ of a Rotweiler. He’s tan, with cheeks droopy with age, his eyes were slightly droopy too, with dark circles under his heavy eye bags. He has a sharp nose and seemed to know where they are without even looking at them. When he did talk, it really sound as if he was barking. The dinner was a silent affair, you could hear crickets from miles away. It felt like you had dinner with your High School principal. Even Nick didn’t dare to burp and that was saying a lot. But the food was delicious, no one would disagree that Mr. Rockweiler was a mean cook. And if they do, they don’t have the guts to say it out loud. Right after dinner, Mr. Rockweiler announced that he’d like to show Kevin ‘something’. Kevin made them come along and Mr. Rockweiler didn’t seem to care if they were there or not. Howie would later whisper, on their way up to the attic, that Kevin was probably afraid of the old man too. Nick had to force himself to tag along. It was either back in their room alone or up the attic with the rest of them. Brian thought it was weird that Mr. Rockweiler would want to bring them to the attic. He even confessed that he didn’t remember this man on his days when he had been on the mountains with the Richardsons. Brian said the old man gave him the creeps. “I have two Rotweilers once…I miss them.” Nick said. Which of course, had nothing to do with anything. But the guys just nodded sadly, because they knew Nick was famous for his randomness. Howie thought the old man was just misunderstood. He reckoned if they were given a chance to sit down and have a long conversation with the old man, he might have a lot of life’s experiences to share with them. The guys just let him be, because none of them had the energy to be thoughtful when their stomachs were full and had to climb those stairs right after. The attic was a huge playground. Stacks after stacks of books, register files, locked chests and old clothes were lined as if to make a maze. The signs of heavy cobwebs hanging on the low ceilings and walls showed that it had been awhile since the attic was visited by anyone. Hardly any fresh air, the smell of old papers and rotting woods almost sent them back to the staircase. “It’s a hard job taking care of this camp site Kevin, and I’m not as strong as I used to be. The mites are eating on these records and the clothes are getting holes in them. I wanted to throw them out but I’m afraid these might be important documents.” Kevin smiled and nodded at him. Nick found it amazing that Kevin was looking straight in the old man’s eyes and even dared to smile when Mr. Rockweiler sounded as if he was annoyed by the ‘rubbish’ they had collected in the attic for years. “I understand. I’ll go through these right away.” “Good. I’m very old Kevin, these dust are killing me now. Here’s the key to the attic, when you’re done, remember to lock it up.” “Thank you.” Kevin said. The old man made his way out of the maze slowly and everyone seemed to be holding their breath. “Oh Mr. Rockweiler!” There was a distinct groan by the old man before he turned slowly. “What now boy?” “Do you have the keys to these chests?” “No, I don’t. Just break ‘em, don’t think anyone would mind.” Once Mr. Rockweiler was gone and only his fading footfalls could be heard from the attic, everyone let out a huge sigh of relief, even Howie. “You guys are too tense.” Kevin teased. “Old people have never scared me this much.” Nick said. “Are you sure he don’t live in this camp Kev? Seems like he doesn’t go out much.” AJ added. “AJ, that’s so mean.” Howie said. “I’m being honest.” “Are you sure he’s the right Mr. Rockweiler Kev? I don’t seem to recall his face or name.” Brian asked. “Yeah, for all we know, he found out about you coming to this place, know you’re a rich celebrity, killed the REAL Mr. Rockweiler and took over his place and sending us to the attic is his way to distract us while he burn the cabin down.” Everyone just stared at Nick because what do you say to someone who has too much space in his head to conjure such suspicions? “Anyway…” AJ said, shaking his head. “I can’t believe you tell that old man we’re gonna clean this mess up TONIGHT. We’ve been cleaning the cabin and don’t forget the TOILETS the entire day and I’m beat!” “I’m about to doze off already.” Brian yawned, as if to prove his point. “This place could use a little decoration.” Howie said thoughtfully. Of course it received mixed reactions within the group and Howie was so used to it that it didn’t bothered him at all. “Aside from the cleaning part and Howie’s decoration tips, I think attic is a really cool place.” Nick said. “We could find treasures hidden in here!” “Nick you need to calm down,” Kevin said as he randomly pulled a sealed box nearer. “there is no treasure here, just tons of documents I bet.” Kevin looked around for something that he could use to tear the box open. AJ passed him a penknife. “Should I ask why you have it with you?” “Hey, I came here fully equipped.” AJ defended himself. “Says he who wears khakis knowing fully well we’re climbing up the mountains.”

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