(Small Fry Chapter 3)
I carried the box up the staircase to put it on the floor, in the small upstairs hallway. Next, I reached up and pulled the chord hanging from the ceiling, which opened the hatch to the attic. The fold-up ladder which was attached, unfolded before me.
Using one hand to carry the box, I climbed the small ladder up into the dark, dusty attic.
Immediately, I sneezed from the cold and dust! Then I had to engage my glowing eyes for the night-vision, so I could find the light switch. My hand found the long chord which hung from the ceiling, and I gave it a gentle tug.
As soon as the light came on, my glowing turquoise eyes dulled back to their dark blue colour. I looked about the disorganized, dusty, dim attic. Many a cobweb hung from the rafters, or even connected a couple of the boxes which were piled high. I was looking on three hundred years of memorabilia.
We haven’t been up here in years! Oh hang on, maybe Declan has… my eyes settled on the least dustiest of the items, my two suitcases. So that’s what he did with them! I suppose I should be relieved he didn’t burn them, like he threatened to.
I started to examine the different labels on the cardboard boxes. Once upon a time, this attic was clean and organized. When we started to accumulate keepsakes from family members who’d passed on, we wrote on the boxes what was in them.
My hand removed some the dust, so I could see the descriptions properly. I read his writing on boxes which read as ‘Mom’s Stuff’, or ‘Derik’s Stuff’ or ‘Blanche and Michael’s Stuff’. They had been Declan’s human mother, brother, nephew and niece. His family’s things were stacked neatly against one of the attic walls.
My family’s things however, weren’t as tidy as Declan’s. Boxes such as ‘Vincent’s Things,’ or ‘Mum and Dad’s Things’, or ‘Gran and Grandfather’s Things’; were all sitting willy-nilly about the confined space. Over the many years, I’d open them upon occasion when I needed to find something, like a photo album. But his boxes were untouched, as I couldn’t recall him ever looking, perhaps because the memories were still too painful?
I picked up the box which Walt had given me and carried it over to the box full of ‘Gran and Grandfather’s Things’. I wanted my paternal grandparents memorabilia to sit beside my maternal grandparents. I’d have to come back with tape and seal it, before labelling it.
Unconsciously, I began to stroke the box as I reminisced on my parents and my grandparents. With my ‘bundle of joy’, I’d have loved to share this with my family. I never did make my Mum and Dad grandparents however, Aunt Susan enjoyed this delight through Derik.