The Lady in the Attic

by Vicki Klinedinst

THE LADY IN THE ATTIC

Silently tip toeing back the long hallway, Alice thought of her Mom working in the kitchen. She turned the corner and ahead of her was a doorway that led to two small rooms. These rooms were full of things that belong to Dad.

The only light in the hallway was coming from a small window on the right. To the left was the attic door. Behind the door the stairs were wide leading into a single room, the attic. The windows in the attic were small and the curtains were very worn and frayed, turning yellow with time. Spider webs clung to the ceilings and corners and dust lay everywhere. A single light hanging from the center rafter threw shadows on the walls. Remembering a large trunk with dresses, hats, and shoes Alice thought, I could play dress up. I am not afraid of the attic and besides no one else is home and Mom will never know.

Turning the knob and pulling the door open slowly Alice raised her foot to the first step.

Looking up she saw a lady standing at the top of the steps wearing a long black dress that almost

touched the floor. The dress had long sleeves and over the dress she wore a white apron. The lady wore a black bonnet with the ties hanging loosely about her shoulders. The lady looked down and smiled at her.

Stumbling from the doorway, Alice ran to the stairs that led to the kitchen. The stairs

were narrow and dark with a hand rail running down the left side. The bottom landing looked so far away. Jumping from the top step she sailed through the air like she was flying. The

door opened from the kitchen and suddenly Mom was there on the landing.

Catching her, Mom asked, "Alice, what are you doing?"

"How did you know I was here? How did you know to catch me?"

"I didn't know you were here. I came to see what you were doing."

"Mom, there is a lady in the attic. She looks like a Pilgrim. She was standing at the top

of the steps."

"There is no one in the attic and what were you doing in the attic? You know you are not

supposed to be in the attic."

"I just opened the door and there she was."

Her Mom took her by the hand and led her up the stairs and back the hallway to the attic door. "Come on, I will show you." Mom opened the door and looked, nothing.

Hiding behind her mother and pointing up the steps, "I saw her she was standing right

there."

Mom climbed the steps to the attic. Slowly following her mother Alice watched her push clothes bags aside searching for the lady. Her Mom shoved a large box back against the wall and looked in the trunk with the dresses. "Alice there is no one up here. You must be seeing things. Look, do you see my foot prints on the floor?"

Looking down and seeing a layer of dust on the floor, Alice could only see the footprints

she made and the ones her Mom had just made and quietly replied, "Yes."

"There are no other foot prints except ours."

"Mom, do you believe in ghosts?"

"No, I do not," chasing Alice down the steps of the attic. "Now, I don't want you up there. You have toys in your bedroom and if you don't want to play you can help me bake cookies."

Forgetting about what she saw and looking up at Mom she asked, "What kind of cookies?"

"Chocolate chip."

"Cookies!"

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