500 Word Short Story
The Attic
Scott A. Gese

500 Word Short Story

The stairs to the attic were steep.

They creaked and groaned their disapproval at anyone who dared to enter their domain, this sanctuary, this room of distant memories. They expressed their unhappiness toward a young girl who's curiosity had been directed toward the door at the end of the hall. An unused door that stood behind a small and easily moved end table.

A peek through the keyhole revealed nothing. The door was unlocked. A turn of the ornate handle and a slight tug revealed much more. The door squeaked as it swung open. A dim light at the end of the long hallway was enough for her to see the bottom of the staircase.

The young girls imagination took hold as she sheepishly peered up the stairs into the darkness.

She was old enough to know an attic when she saw one, and curious enough to enter.

She cautiously took the first few steps, stopped to let her eyes adjust to the darkness. Then a few more, waited, then further up until she was swallowed by the darkness.

When her eyes reached the level of the attic floor, she slowly peeked above it. A small unwashed window bathed the room in a dim glow of afternoon sunlight. It was enough to give her a shallow glimpse of its long held secrets. To the young girl, attic's were rooms where long held memories from a distant past were tucked away in old wooden trunks and dusty cardboard boxes strewn across a pinewood floor. Forgotten gifts left for others to discover. Today, the “others” were her.

She continued up the stairs, smiling. The attic would not disappoint her.

She slowly walked amongst the items. A steamer trunk, old floor lamps, a dozen or more boxes and an old dress form. She stopped to admire the ornate trunk. She ran her fingers through the thick dust then walked to the window and looked at the street far below.

Suddenly, the old stairs were talking again. She turned to see a figure just as the room went bright. The young girls grandmother stood at the top of the stairs. “Cassie, what are you doing up here?” She asked.

“Just looking,” she replied.

“Can I look with you?” She asked.

The two spent hours going through old clothes and faded memories. Cassie noticed a door leading to a small room. “What's in there, Grandma?” She asked.

That was your grandpas room,” she replied. “This is where he came when he wanted time to himself.”

She opened the door and they went inside. Light from another small window revealed an old rocking chair next to a small table with a pipe stand, a book and small lamp on it. Across the room was a bookcase full of old books.

“When I couldn't find him in the house, I always knew where to look.”

Cassie sat in the rocker and picked the book up from the table. She knew exactly how he felt.

© Copyright 2018 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.