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The Lady in the Attic (standard:drama, 1286 words)
Author: GothicGirlAdded: Sep 18 2000Views/Reads: 3606/1506Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A story about a girl and her family secret, hidden in the attic in the grandmothers house.

Her name was Anne and she was my aunt. She was tall and dark like my
mother in the pictures that I was showed of her. She was a swimmer in 
her youth. But, that was not the aunt I knew, to me she was always sick 
and feeble. She lived in my grandmotherís attic and never left the hard 
bed that she would lay on. She was blind and unable to walk, her legs 
limp as worms under the yellow sheets. She had two children, my 
cousins, Maria and Mary. Her husband had left her when she became ill, 
I was told by my grandmother years after her death. 

Her room in my grandmotherís house was in the attic. It was dark and
musty. There were no windows, so no light or fresh air ever came in. 
The room was hot as a brick oven in the summer and cold as a ice block 
in the winter. The walls were made of wood that had lost itís glow and 
had nails coming through it like spears through impaled bodies. Once 
when I was little I climbed up to the attic and saw the nails coming 
through the walls, it gave me nightmares for months. The attic was a 
scary place that drained away any feelings of warmth, safety. The 
second time that I got the courage to go up to the attic I was about 
four years old. I made it all the way to the foot of the bed, then my 
grandmother picked me up and took me back down stairs. As she lifted me 
up I saw aunt Anneís legs lame and useless under the yellow sheet and 
the shadow of her head danced with the candle flame against the nail 
studded wall. That trip made the attic seem like an evil place to me. I 
never went up there voluntarily after that during Anneís life. 

My room was across the hall from the attic entrance. Every night I could
hear her moaning coming from upstairs. I could also smell the jelly 
filled capsules and stale water. The putrid yellow smell drifted down 
the stairs to my room. The moaning gave me nightmares of torture and 
death. I often sat up in bed and rocked back and fourth to comfort 
myself after waking from a horrible nightmare. 

When I turned eight I got my first chore. My chore was to feed aunt
Anne. The first time my grandmother led me upstairs to the attic with a 
tray of mush. She explained to me that I had to feed aunt Anne in the 
morning and at night. I was horrified the first time that I had to feed 
her alone. Her mouth would open and I would shove in the mush, she 
would swallow it in gulps as if she had not eaten for days. She would 
call out ďhello! hello!Ē in a weak voice when you walked up the attic 
stairs. I hated to give her water. I had to hold up her head and let 
her sip it form the cup beside the bed, the water smelled like the 
bottom of a pond. I kept this loathed chore till she died. 

Feeding aunt Anne was very difficult for me. She looked like a corpse
that was rotting. She smelled like an infected wound that has been 
bandaged and turned gangrenous. When you spoke to her she never looked 
at you. Her smell and looks placed a powerful curse on the attic. Even 
to this day the still reminds me of her, it is her. The smell still 
lies in the walls, and when I feel loathsome about something it seems 
to come out of the walls, like an old man remembering a piece of a 
memory. Her visage is still visible if you look closely at the nail 
covered walls. On windy nights her voice still echoes in the attic. 

One of the first few times that I fed her she acknowledged that a person
was there. I guess that she wanted to know who was feeding her. She 
reached up towards my face with her hands. Her bony, emaciated, long 
fingers touched my cheek. I drooped the tray of mush on to her and ran 
downstairs in terror. My grand mother gave me no sympathy for my fear; 
instead, she made me clean up the mess that I had made by dropping the 
tray. This was the beginning of my wishing for aunt Anneís death. 

As I got older I began to hate the chore of feeding my aunt almost as
much as I hated my aunt. I blamed her for her sickness. I blamed her 
for all of the nights that I wanted to be with my friends, but had to 
come home and feed her. I hated her. I donít think that she knew that I 
hated her, I never showed any emotion when I fed her. When she got 
sicker the attic began to become worse too. The roof now leaked. The 
nails that impaled the wall rusted more and the smell got so strong 
that it choked you each time you entered the attic. 

They tried to improve the attic, to make it more like home for aunt
Anne. They put in a window, but the window only cast dark shadows that 
looked like daggers against the nail, studded walls. My grandmother 
added a radio, but it was never played. They also put in an old writing 
desk that was wobbly and gave you splinters if you ran your hand across 

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