The Attic

The Attic

A Story by Sesame

The Attic

There are these moments, although moments is not the right word, for they are not determined as much by time as they are by location and emotion. But then, even moment plus location plus emotion would not equal what I am trying to describe. Maybe memories is a better word. Memories so vivid that you get drowsy when you relive them. Your eyes become clouded and on those clouds a noisy old projector throws these images, scents and feelings. I have one of these memories about the attic in my parental home.

As a child, I often couldn't find the right way to vent the frustration that arose from boredom or from the realization that I wasn’t capable of performing some specific task, something that for me is still rather difficult to accept.I got angry and was unable to talk about it and be happy again. I think at times I was what parents call‘a difficult child'. In effect I would start either yelling or first lying, getting caught and then yelling. When the row  that followed�" usually with my mother - reached its peak I would swing the door to the hallway open, throw it to with a loud bang and stamp my way up two stairs. I wasn't merely bending my legs to push my body up another step, no I was thrusting my feet down as hard as I could to produce an ongoing rattle of discontentment for my mother to hear. I kept pounding my forefeet onto the wooden steps until I reached the attic landing.

In front of me the door to the attic itself was closed as always. On my left cardboard boxes were stacked and my right was filled with the monotonous hum of the washing machine. From under the door a golden glow greeted me. I watched it for a moment, heaving. Clouds heavy with confusion and anger throbbed in my head. Then I carefully opened the door and the warm glow became ominous. I was blinded and wrapped in a warm cloak of sunlight that came in through two large turning windows in the diagonal roof. When my eyes got used to the light I saw innumerable dust particles dancing around. I always thought of the time when a teacher thought us that there are more starts and planets in the universe then there is dust in a classroom and this notion always made me feel really tiny. I tried to turn the tables, hold my hand up and catch a planet, but they always seemed to slip away.


Then as the stars lost my interest, I saw this unlikely yet completely logical collection of stuff. A wooden desk supporting an old disconnected computer, stacks of paper and books. Its drawer hung open like a protruded lower lip. In it were plastic paper fasteners, nails, an ink pad and a magnifying glass. In the bookcase: dusty encyclopedias, comic book albums, records, a stamp collection, an old tuner and a lost bottle of gin. In the corner of the attic stood a rarely used home trainer, around it plastic crates full of toys and board games. In cardboard boxes a wooden nativity scene rested with baubles wrapped in newspaper. Others contained china, party outfits and garlands. The carpeted floor between them was strewn with objects that either didn’t fit in a box or were taken out a long time ago when something was searched for to the bottom in vain. Tailor made wooden panels hid knickknacks and even larger monstrosities in the very nooks of the attic. All this stuff, once bought with a smile, now discarded, just laid there. It laid very still. More still than any of the stuff on the ground floor and even the stuff in the bedrooms on the first floor.


Whenever I was up there by myself, it seemed as if the air in the attic was clogged, heavy and slow. As ifits denseness made it impossible for someone to come in there and pick these things up, stow them away properly or throw them away for good. It was like they were glued into place. And as I looked at all these objects unequaled in there stillness, my heart beat calmed down. It was as if their heaviness sucked away all the excess energy from my body. The stuff was so intensely still, it made me still too.


But not only the visual aspect of the stillness is relevant here, as I’ve told you, these memories I talk about are extremely vivid. The sound is very important too and so is the smell. That stuffed, warm,joyless smell. When I came to the attic and realized that its stillness was what I had come for, and when I had established that the stillness was still pure and definite, that nothing had changed, I would lie down, close my eyes and listen for my pulse.

 

Badoom...badoom…………BaaDoom….……………………BAAaaDOOM.

 

Ever more slowly and more powerful. In that vacuum of concrete air only the sound of the washing machine was a constant back drop. The onerous hum that went around in endless circles, washed away my anger. It washed clean my empty skull with each rinsing spin. Slowly my brow unfurled and rapidly a fresh clean brain branched out in my head. Thoughts emerged and reason advocated for and against my own behavior and that of my mother. But the verdict was always the same: of course she was right.Before long guilt moved into the holes where anger had housed, especially in my stomach. It hurt. And I knew I had hurt too.


When I paid close attention I noticed that there were tiny cracks in the concrete air around me. Through them seeped subdued sounds from below: a vacuum cleaner, the dishes in the sink. Time to make amends, to say I am sorry. Time to get up from the floor and leave the attic. Time to have another go at ground level life.

© 2016 Sesame


Author's Note

Sesame
be thorough, be harsh, please

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Featured Review

The first paragraph is tedious. The second is better. After that the information dump dominates the piece.

How would you summarize the story in a few words? What information is important? What information just covers up the white space? What is the action of the story? What is the resolution? Is the resolution discovered by the reader or revealed by the writer?



Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

I would agree with Delmar. The first paragraph could have been crafted better.
The write-up had me remembering the favorite place I would run to whenever conflicts of childhood would need some lonesome space to be resolved.
However, by the end of the write-up. I was still confused whether this was a couple of musings or a nostalgic piece. But I likes your style of writing though.
Looking forward to a short story from you.
Also Stars: 'Starts'
Ifits is clubbed together. Please fix this

Posted 2 Years Ago


The first paragraph is tedious. The second is better. After that the information dump dominates the piece.

How would you summarize the story in a few words? What information is important? What information just covers up the white space? What is the action of the story? What is the resolution? Is the resolution discovered by the reader or revealed by the writer?



Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on April 8, 2016
Last Updated on April 8, 2016

Author

Sesame
Sesame

About
I am an author of a novel, (short) stories and flash fiction. Also I am editor of literary magazine Black Flock. Read issue #1 for free: http://online.fliphtml5.com/vzsl/yacp/#p=1 I am looking for .. more..

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