The Attic Rats

The Attic Rats

A Poem by David Lewis Paget

‘There were noises up in the attic

When I arose today, Maureen,

Have you been storing your batik

Up on the shelves, for the shelves aren’t clean!

I said you shouldn’t go prying there,

There is nothing up there to see,

Just things I cast from a hazy past

Before your marriage to me.’

 

‘I keep all my art and craft downstairs

In the cupboard, next to the door,

You’ve watched me folding my batik there

So what would you ask me for?’

‘I only wondered,’ her husband said,

‘Those scrabbles, they could have been rats,

More reason never to venture there…’

‘I’ll bring in the neighbours cats!’

 

She smiled, and blew him a kiss just then,

They hadn’t been married long,

They’d worked together for six long months

When she only knew him as John.

But after the office party, and

That cupboard, under the stairs,

A half a jug of Bacardi, and

They knew, the future was theirs.

 

She heard the scrabbling overhead

On a Sunday, lying in,

And what seemed like a rattle of chains

Though she thought, it couldn’t have been.

John Dean was out at the supermart

So she scrambled out of bed,

Pulled down the ladder and mounted it

To the attic, overhead.

 

The hatch slid back from a faulty catch

And she peered, up into the gloom,

There were spiders webs and rusty beds,

And dust, in that grim old room,

She saw what looked like a cabin trunk,

Padlocked, and covered in chain,

And another trunk with an open lid…

She climbed down the ladder again.

 

At lunch, she mentioned the sounds she’d heard

And she watched her husband’s face,

He seemed quite distant, then perturbed,

Got up and began to pace.

‘You haven’t been up in the loft, Maureen,

That attic is out of bounds!’

‘Well listen to you, the stern John Dean!

How do you think that sounds?’

 

They didn’t talk for another day

But her anger was aroused,

While he went up to the attic twice,

Mad at the scene he’d caused.

‘I didn’t mean it like that,’ he said,

It’s just that it’s full of dirt.’

But she shrugged off his excuses, she

Was playing at being hurt.

 

She searched the house for the padlock key

That had locked the trunk in chain,

Then finally found it on his ring,

And slipped it off again.

She waited until the coast was clear

With John Dean not around,

Climbed the ladder and opened the trunk

With the key that she had found.

 

Just as she went to raise the lid

His head appeared in the hatch,

‘Sorry it’s come to this, our kid,

You’re about to meet your match.’

The lid went up and she looked aghast

At the woman, speared with a knife,

‘Maureen, please meet Deborah Dean,

She was my former wife.’

 

She pulled the knife from the woman’s throat

And she pointed the blade at him,

‘Don’t think you’ll ever do that to me,’

Her voice was dour and grim.

‘That open trunk is your future home,’

He said as he locked the hatch,

‘You’ll jump right in and you’ll close the lid

When you hear the giant rats!’

 

David Lewis Paget

© 2014 David Lewis Paget


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Featured Review

Oh my God! This was amazing! I can safely say this is one of the best poems I've ever read, and that includes published works. Simple and uncomplicated at the beginning, arousing a feeling of safety and homely coziness in the reader, only to have it shattered by the end of the poem, replaced by a feeling of eerie danger that culminates terrifyingly into the final stanza. The imagery is amazing and very realistic. I could literally see the scenes you described here playing out before my eyes. I really enjoyed it! Thank you.

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

A grim story - and giant rats - perhaps not all are fuzzy but instead walk on two legs and have no tails. Well done.

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

What a story of hidden secrets. It was believable in its narration that send shiver down your spine you come to know about the ex wife. Almost each one of your work is an extravaganza.

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

another dark and deadly tale this man has to be apprehended before to rids the world of lasses and 'trunks' haha, well written David as always your talent for such stories knows no bounds and the rhyme's as always perfect :)

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

you set the pace nicely. you build suspence in your excellent verse and WHAM!
never saw that one coming. but then, when have I ever seen it coming?

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I grew up in an old Victorian home that had one of those dark, ghostly attics. That particular end of the hallway was always cold, and I swear that I saw a dark shadow leaning over the banister looking at me one day. The gargoyle chandelier and the dirt floor multi-roomed basement didn't help matters any. One of the things I fear most is a rat, particularly after watching the old film, "Food of the Gods."

Your narratives are so timeless. I always feel as if I could have picked up an old volume in an old Victorian house, blown the dust off the cover, and sat down to read. Every one of your poems speaks of a distant time and place. Somehow, they all seem familiar.

Love!

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This is a scary poem to me, because I once lived in a house with an attic, and there were rats in it. I heard them scrabbling constantly. I can't recall that they did any damage, but hearing them all the time was nerve wracking.

I remember opening a desk drawer nce and having one pop out at me...

You probably heard me screaming in Australia...

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Oh my God! This was amazing! I can safely say this is one of the best poems I've ever read, and that includes published works. Simple and uncomplicated at the beginning, arousing a feeling of safety and homely coziness in the reader, only to have it shattered by the end of the poem, replaced by a feeling of eerie danger that culminates terrifyingly into the final stanza. The imagery is amazing and very realistic. I could literally see the scenes you described here playing out before my eyes. I really enjoyed it! Thank you.

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

As always -- you never disappoint -- a very creepy tale. I must say, I'd like to see lines telling us she turned the tables upon him with her own dark bent.

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

An indent verse that creates a sense of safety in the reader, well done, good read.

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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9 Reviews
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Added on October 20, 2014
Last Updated on October 20, 2014
Tags: batik, Bacardi, chains, ladder

Author

David Lewis Paget
David Lewis Paget

Moonta, South Australia, Australia



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