While the below really doesn’t spoil the story ‘Christmas Eve 2226’, it does reveal some of the decription/background of the story.
When 8 year old Denise Angwin (the future Raven of Iskandar) returns home finally after trudging through the snow, we find out about the door from her room into the storage room that was ‘totally dark until you found the single light and even then there were creepy shadows all around you’. You also find out that there was a hatch or door in the ceiling of the storage room where her brothers said that an old recluse named ‘Three Fingers’ lived and played with knives.
In short, this was a bit of local lore from my childhood neighborhood. This neighborhood was in the north end of New Haven, CT, very close to the Hamden border. Just a couple of blocks north from my house, on State Street, used to be an abandoned mansion. It was set up on a rise and backed up to the eastern-most part of East Rock Park. Before you go trying to look for it, it is no longer there. I had passed by that area a number of years ago and saw that it had been leveled and nothing remained.
The house was in the ornate style you would have seen in the late 1800’s. The last time I snuck in that house, with a few friends, was a few weeks after some other kids had set a fire in it. As we strolled around the house, we had to walk around charred holes in the floor.
The pertinant point to this remembrance is that the rumor was that a old ‘bum’ lived up in the abandoned mansion’s attic, which was only accessible via a fire escape ladder (obviously a late addition as it was metal) that led from a second floor window up to an attic window. Of course, as the story went, the old ‘bum’ was ‘Three Fingers’.
I was to find out later that several kids had taken the climb up to the attic and as you would have guessed, found nothing.
So where did the ‘played with knives’ come from? Once we went to the ‘haunted’ mansion with two girls (names will be withheld mainly because I can’t remember them) who ‘borrowed’ steak knives from their moms, just in case. As normally happened in those encounters, something spooked everybody and both girls threw the knives in random directions. One of the ‘more experienced’ of us mentioned that the girls had thrown the knives ‘high enough for Three Fingers to see’.
So I guess there is a place for any kind of random kid memories.