July 18, 2012
This week's prompt from FlashFictionFriday was to write about attic treasure.
F3 - Cycle 88 - Attic Treasure
This week explore the recesses of the thing we take for granted, the home, and tell about the treasure you find. What does that treasure mean, is it really a treasure? Perhaps it’s a burden? Or maybe it’s a truth you wish you never found? Find it and tell the story of Attic Treasures.
Prompt: Tell us a story of lost treasure found in your own house. Is it luck or a curse? Fortune or failure? Heart warming or heart wrenching?
Genre: Any Word limit: 1414 Due Date: Wednesday, July 18th at 9:00 p.m.
Submission Instructions: Please post the name of your story and a link to it in the comments of this post.
I got it to about 800 words, was another fun prompt.
Pat was hot, and bored. Everyone else had gone off to the mall, leaving her home and alone at grandpa's. Maybe when she was a teenager she'd like spending hours in stores, but for now she was fine all summer in cutoffs, a t-shirt, and sneakers. She was wondering, though, if she should have gone with them after all. At least it would have been air conditioned there.
She suddenly sat up, with a smile. While they were away this was her chance to finally see what was in the attic. She'd asked grandpa about it, but he'd just changed the subject, so there must be some good secrets up there.
She rushed upstairs and checked the door- still locked. She felt along the top of the door for a key. There was nothing there, but a piece of the moulding seemed a little loose. She carefully moved it aside and reached in - there it was! She wiggled the key in the lock, and opened the door, the hinges stiff and creaking. She flicked the light switch inside the door - nothing. She headed up anyway, one hand sliding along the wall, as she was determined to find out why this was hidden from her. A single window, covered with dust and cobwebs, lit one end with a dim light, but the rest of the attic was shrouded in shadows, and even hotter than downstairs. She felt dizzy with the heat, and wished she'd brought a water bottle. Close to the window were some boxes and a trunk- possibly interesting but she'd save them for later. She headed into the shadows, then froze- there was someone there! Tall, with smaller people at its feet, watching her. Even worse, he was also headless. As she looked, afraid to breath, the shape seemed to shift, then resolved itself into a dress maker's form, with some dolls scattered beneath it. She laughed nervously and walked further in. She thought briefly of going back for her little key-chain flashlight, but didn't know how much time she had before everyone got back. This might be her only chance up here.
She took a few more steps, then froze again - there were eyes watching her. Close together, near the ground - maybe raccoons she thought. She stomped a foot and yelled "shoo!" but they didn't move. They didn't even blink. She took two more slow steps and the shapes changed into a beaver and a rabbit, stuffed, with little glass eyes. Behind them, on top of some boxes, stood a tall shape, covered with a dusty cloth. She grabbed a corner of the sheet and gave it a tug. As it slithered to the floor, she stepped back in surprise. Jeez, it was ugly. It looked to be some kind of vulture, with a nasty hooked beak, scabby red skin on its face, glistening eyes, dusky wings wrapped around it like a shroud, and bare yellow feet clutching a perch. The cloth must have caught on something, because it suddenly tipped forward, seeming to lunge at her. Panicked, she turned and ran, right into the corner. She could hear the whoosh of its wings and smell the carrion breath. She felt its wet hiss at her neck, and was braced for the beak to strike, when she heard a shout.
"Hey Patsy, we're back, we have ice cream!"
It was her grandpa. All was quiet behind her now. She turned and saw the vulture, still there, on the floor right behind her, but obviously dead, its wings spread awkwardly as it lay at her feet. It must have hit hard, as she could see where the cruel beak had torn some splinters out of the floor.
She sidled past it carefully, gave it a little kick, then ran down the stairs, pushing the door shut behind her.
"Are you ok?" said her mom. "You look all flushed."
"Just hot," she said. "Where's that ice cream?"
Later that night, after everyone had gone to be, she lay in bed, listening. She thought she could hear noises up in the attic, just above her bedroom. Maybe a raccoon. They stopped for a minute, then she heard the creak of a door opening down the hall. down the hall. Silence for a bit, then clicks, like claws, in the hallway.
She'd thrown off the sheet to try to cool down, but now she carefully and slowly pulled it back over her, right up to her chin. The steps were at her open door now, she could smell the putrid breath, hear the rustle of feathers as it spread its wings.
She slowly pulled the sheet over her head, and tried not to scream.
Great job! As a small kid I remember hiding under the covers like that when my imagination got the best of me.
Posted by: Beach Bum | July 20, 2012 at 12:26 AM
This is fantastic! It brings back memories of those forbidden adventures that, looking back, really weren't quite as earth-shaking as they seemed at the time. It was a wondrous time though, when we let our imagination and dreams guide us. Wondrous indeed. Thanks so much for this.
Posted by: Joyce Juzwik | July 23, 2012 at 11:55 AM