Monday, April 02, 2007
New Beginning 250
Wet, moody gusts of wind tore against the brick walls outside as he crept down the stairway, brushing a cobweb from his face. It was such a steep passage most people would have stumbled and fallen in the near total darkness; but not him. He knew each step by heart, which ones creaked, where they creaked, and which steps would remain silent beneath his feet.
No one else knew this stairway existed. It was his secret pleasure in this ancient building with its warren of rooms and hallways. Rooms and hallways people loved for the yesteryear scent of wood and age as much, or nearly as much as he, and this pleased him. Some people still cared about the past, still held vestiges of days gone by, and this is what gave him hope. This allowed him to smile. This was his sanctuary, this storehouse of memories.
Nearing the bottom of the stairs, he ducked to avoid banging his head on a low ceiling. Once, after solidly knocking his head, his moan of pain had nearly given him away. Fortunately, it had been so long ago that most people had forgotten the tales regarding the “ghost of Gideon’s attic.”
He stepped off the last stair and followed the path, keeping close to the outside wall. He squeezed through the place where the passageway narrowed to barely wider than his body and stepped over the familiar hump in the floor. Now, he could hear voices. Voices? Down here, in the attic?
The passage took a sharp turn to the right and he could see light ahead. He held back in the shadows and listened.
“I’m sorry, Professor, it’s just not working out. That little bugger has been wandering around in there for three days and still hasn’t found the cheese. Your theory doesn’t hold water. I’m going to have to transfer the funding to Herpetology. And this little chap’s going to be python food.”
Gideon emerged into the light, wide-eyed, and stared up at the huge, orb-like faces peering down at him. “Did somebody mention cheese?” he said.
Opening: Lori Lapekes.....Continuation: Anonymous