Eileen was hesitant to open the door leading up to the attic because she was afraid when she got up there she might find herself besieged by a battalion of reanimated memories. She had worked hard to banish the past from her present, but still she kept her guard up. It was her opinion that the more forgetful she became, the better off she was.
Yet her boyfriend had smiled so sweetly and told her to look up here. It was just like him to hide a gift in a silly place; he didn’t know how she felt about the attic because Eileen had never told him. He was such a sunny guy, and she didn’t want their beautiful new relationship tainted by a conversation about ugly days gone by.
It’s just a room, she told herself, eager to see the gift, and stepped inside. Immediately, the zipper to a garment bag hanging from the rafters rattled down with a whoosh. A swirl of rancid, dusty air enveloped Eileen’s face and she erupted into a coughing fit. As she tried to catch her breath, she felt her grip on reality slipping. All her diligence had been for naught as the present began turning pages back to the past.
Oh, there were flowers all right, dead roses, and a small, moldy jewelry box… all gathered in the putrid arms of a decaying skeleton. His suit was in tatters and his obscene grin was dark and cavernous. No, she whispered, and tried to run, but her feet wouldn’t move.
“Come on, Eileen,” he growled in a voice from the grave. “You won’t leave me at the altar again, will you? Everyone would be so disappointed, especially my cousin waiting for us downstairs. He just became ordained, did you know? Let’s do it right, this time. Look what I have for you…”
That’s when she began screaming.
It was Valentine’s Day, and the gift she received was not the one she was expecting.
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.