The lady in the window..

When I was a child I spent most of my time at my great grandmother's Victorian mansion.  The house was divided into different sections.  Half of the massive downstairs was a dress shop owned and operated by my great grandmother, Nannie.  The other half was closed off to the public and was where she actually lived with my grandmother, Mimi (the undercover prodigy).  There was a scary basement that I dared not to venture.  The second story was filled with empty rooms except for my dad's office.  The empty rooms had been let out as apartments off and on in the many decades my great grandmother owned the house.  There was an attic which mostly housed old keepsakes or supplies for the dress shop.  In the corner of the attic there was a thin door leading up a small but steep flight of stairs.  The stairs were to a turret which was the highest point of the house.

Often, I hung around the shop and conversed with the ladies who ran the shop when my great grandmother was absent.  After a while, I felt that I was distracting them too much from work and decided to go to the part where they lived.  Mimi would usually be back there on a chez lounge chain-smoking while watching whatever inane thing was on television.  Bored, I ventured upstairs and begin to play in the empty rooms.  That entertained me for a while until I came across the steps to the attic.  My dad caught me just before I started to climb them.

"You can't go up there." he said.

When I asked why, he dismissed me by saying, "No on goes up there, not even Mimi or Nannie.  It's dangerous."

As I opened my mouth to pound him with more questions, he got agitated.  "Just don't go up there, okay!"

I pondered for a few days about what could make the attic so dangerous.  Why didn't anyone go up there?  Was it not structurally sound?  Where there spiders the size of footballs?  Was it so poorly lit no one could see up there and trip and fall all over the place?  Although I was normally a very complaint child, solving the attic mystery was too great a pull for me to resist.

When my dad was out of his office was the time to sneak up there.  No one but him and I even came on the second floor and I would have uninterrupted time in the attic.  The next time he was out for the afternoon, I climbed the attic stairs with great excitement.  I was disappointed to find nothing at all scary or mysterious up there, just a jew boxes and racks of clothes.  The stale air and dust agitated my allergies so I decided to go back down, seeing there was nothing for me there.  I caught a glimpse of a door out of my eye and stopped in my tracks.  After taking a deep breath, I opened the door which led to stairs.  Where did the stairs go?  Perhaps a hidden room?

I climbed the stairs with great trepidation and slowly peaked into the room atop them.  Upon a cursory glance the room was empty except for a large cardboard box.  I approached the box to find tons of Archie comics from when my dad was young.  Excitedly, I grabbed an armload of the dusty comics until I noticed a shadow on the ground next to the box. 

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