The Room In The Attic


Come little child

Let’s go explore

The treasures and stories

Just beyond this door.

So the child latched on

To her hand of many years

And together they climbed 

Up to the attic floor.


They found boxes and books

Scattered all across the room

Some jewelry and trinkets

And her special Heirloom.

Her old voice called her near

‘Please, come sit down

I have something to show you

And not a moment too soon.’


Together they sat

With a big ole book

Bound by leather ties

Wearing an old leathered look.

Running her hand over top

She turned to the first page

Reading the inscription

Her voice audibly shook.


Down the generations

We hope this book finds

Your home full of peace

And soundness of mind.

With the good Lord willing

You’ll continue to share

The roots of your ancestors

Written in kind.


Then page by page

She handed it down

The story of their past

Like the passing of a crown.

Then she came to a page

That was void of ink

She reached for her pen

And wrote ‘Anna Mae Browne’


She finally cleared her throat

A smile of pride on her face

You have been added

You now have your place

Into this precious book

Which I am passing to you

Of our family, our heritage,

All for you to embrace.

The child looked up

Into her Grandmother’s eyes

Please don’t be sad

I don’t want you to cry.

It’s okay dear child

Granny’s not sad

These are happy tears

It’s okay they’re not dry.


One day when you’re older

And you are in your prime

It will be your turn to share this book

And the history of your time.

I hope you will remember

The stories Granny shared with you

Up in this old attic room

Near the end of her lifetime.


room in the atticWritten for: BFF #238, The Room in the Attic.  Come join the blogging fun!

Written by: The ShortStoryGal © 2012.  All rights reserved.

Too Late to Apologize?

Today is Day #14 of BlogFEST 2012.  Our host for today is Sylvie Branch of  Her topic today is


I am also writing this for the GBE2 topic Exploring POV for Week #72.  I’m a bit behind in that group—I’ll never catch up—but I wanted to explore it here :)


It had been years since he looked her up.  It wasn’t that he had forgotten her or that she wasn’t important enough, it was just that he was busy. Busy with his job, busy fighting a war, busy doing anything but making time for her.

And for this he was sorry.  He was sorry he let life get in the way, that he made excuses, and that he had forgotten his promises.  He had regrets.  Regrets about their last conversation, the last letter he wrote her, the way he knew he had broken her heart.  It wasn’t easy for him to do any of that.  He thought he was looking out for her, putting her best interests first.  Hindsight is always 20/20.  He knew he had to reach out.  It would be the only way.

He needed to man up.

He looked again at the number on the screen.  He picked up his cell phone and stared at it for a long while.  Then he took a deep breath and he called the number

One ring…

Two rings…

Three rings…

Four ---- “Hello?”

It was her voice.  His heart thumped, his mouth went dry, and he fumbled for words—any word—at all to come out of his mouth

“Hello is anyone there?” he heard her voice again.

“Uhm, Yes.  Shelly?” his voice cracked.  At least she should remember him then.

“Yes, this is Michelle.” her voice was inquisitive and yet she seemed so distracted.  A lot of background noise he couldn’t quite decipher.

“Is this a good time or should I call back?” he asked without introducing himself.

“Who is this?” she almost demanded, in a preoccupied way.

“Sorry, Shelly.  This is Denny Gordon.” he paused almost wondering if the name would jog her memory.

“Denny Gordon?” her voice sounded almost irritated until something clicked. “You mean Denny Gordon from Forest Hills High?”

Yes. You remember?” he asked almost relieved.

“Of course I do.” she said with an even more confused tone.  “Wow. I think you’re the last person I expected a call from.”

He engaged her for a few minutes of idle chit chat.  She was doing great.  Really surprised to hear from him. She inquired about how he was doing—if he was still serving the military.  He caught her up briefly—the short version of his life.

But he had to know for sure.  If she was really okay…if he could make amends in any way.  He lowered his voice, and softly approached, “So tell me Shelly, how are you, really?”

Her answer didn’t come immediately. He knew she knew what he meant.  Yet, all he could hear was a long minute, maybe two of silence.  Those were painful moments.  He was prepared for anything – or so he thought.

“You know, all things considered, life has turned out pretty good. I have a wonderful family now, I have three great kids, I have a decent part–time job. Looking back, I have no regrets and I carry none going forward.” 

Again she paused for a quick moment and spun it back around to him, “And you Denny?  How are you, really?”

Denny let the question hang.  Her voice echoed in his head ((family)) ((kids)) ((regrets)) ((none)).  Not what he thought he’d hear, but he could hear the honesty and sincerity in her words.

“Denny, you still there?” she seemed to wonder aloud.

“Yeah, I’m really good.  You know life has its twists and turns but its all good.”

The conversation ended a few minutes later after a few shallow exchanges of niceties. Denny hung up the phone.

It would be their last conversation—ever.

He wanted a do-over, but there were no do-overs in life. He wasn’t able to find the right moment to say he was sorry.  Would she have ever understood why he was so sorry?

She was happy—she was living her life on her terms.  Maybe his moment to apologize had come and gone a long time ago. 

Maybe it was just too late to apologize.


The dishes were piled up.  There was more laundry than she could remember to be folded. The kids were in the living room- Nick Jr. on full blast—singing some happy clues song, while her kids were arguing over some toy that she didn’t remember buying last Christmas or last birthday or maybe Aunt Corrie bought it.  

And that is when the phone rang.

Across the room she sprinted…praying it wasn’t another bill collector.  Hadn’t she had enough of them lately?  She made it to the kitchen—only to realize the portable wasn’t on the hook.  It was – over by the laundry machine.  Another sprint and she had it--

“Hello?” she answered trying to sound all put together.

She didn’t hear a reply—but she could tell someone was there. Getting slightly irritated she quipped, “Hello, is anybody there?”

“Uhm yes, Shelly?” The voice sounded familiar, yet she couldn’t place it.  Besides, whoever it was, he forgot that no one called her Shelly anymore.

“Yes, this is Michelle.” she corrected, but then her youngest started screaming for her binky and she grabbed one off the kitchen floor, wiped it on her pants and hoped she had gotten all the germs off of it.  Handed it to her to quiet her down and then motioned her back to the living room.

“Is this a good time or should I call back?”

There it was, that vaguely familiar voice. She should just hang up, but she had to know.  So she decided to force the issue, “Who is this?”

“Sorry, Shelly. This is Denny Gordon.” followed by silence. 

Denny-freaking-Gordon.  Wow—there was a name from the past.  A name that she hadn’t thought much of in a very long time.  The boy from her past—and if she thought too much about him—emotions would easily flood her.  She didn’t have time for that.  Not today. 

She turned and saw her reflection in the mirror across the dining room.  Touching her hair—to make sure she still looked half way decent even though she knew he couldn’t see her.  He always had that effect on her.

“Denny Gordon?” she repeated without invoking emotion at first.  Then gave him the a-ha moment, “You mean Denny Gordon from Forest Hills High?”

Yes. You remember?” his voice seemed to carry a tinge of regret,  Was that what this call was about?

“Of course I do!” how could she not, really. And for old time sake, she had to be honest with him, “Wow. I think you’re the last person I expected a call from.”

She listened as they both told each other the answers to some very surface type questions.  It seemed so surreal  to her.  What was she supposed to say after 15 years? I had to move on because you left me no choice?  No she could say that.  She just listened for a few minutes and gave some stock answers. 

Then he lowered his voice tone—the way he used to do all those years ago, when he could read her like a book—and he wanted her to level with him, “So tell me Shelly, how are you, really?”

She felt invaded.

She took in a deep breathe.  Really?? He could still do that to her??  After all this time?  Just like that?  Questions flooded her mind.  Why now?  Why even bother?  She let out that breathe and took another. And with the most honest and sincere heart she gave him her standard reply:

“You know, all things considered, life has turned out pretty good. I have a wonderful family now, I have three great kids, I have a decent part–time job. Looking back, I have no regrets and I carry none going forward.”

The emotions started to evade her.  How dare he interrupt her happily-ever-after-him, after all of this time—but she held back.  And she tried in her nicest way possible to mock his question back at him. It wasn’t that she didn’t care—it was she was had moved on. He needed to know that. He needed to feel that.  She didn’t live in the past. Not even for him.

“And you Denny? How are you, really?”

Maybe she had gone too far…because he didn’t answer.  She wasn’t sure what this conversation was all about—or why it even happened today of all days.

“Denny, you still there?” she was getting irritated—but trying hard not to let it show.

Finally, the question seemed to register and he answered, “Yeah, I’m really good. You know life has its twists and turns but its all good.”

She thought knew he was lying.  It may have been forever since they last spoke,  but she knew when he wasn’t being honest.

She had to make the conversation short.  Her oldest had a taken the markers to her family room wall behind the toy box and her youngest was falling asleep upside down on the couch.  She hung up the phone and she shook her head.  

She had no regrets about the past—and none going forward.  She was honest about that much. She didn’t completely understand the reason for his call.  Maybe she never would.  It didn’t matter because life happened—and right now she had to attend to it.

**This is a fictional story—if you like what you’ve read—please feel free to check out my other work on this site.  Comments welcomed and most appreciated.


The Shadows of Death

This post is written for BlogFEST 2012—and our host today is Leigh Young Isles of Views of an Optimist.  Be sure to check out her post as she gives us the topic of “Shadows”

ol blind manThe scenes that once played before him, so vivid and clear had yielded to movements shaded in gray, formless, and unsensical.

At least he still had them—for whatever time he had left.  His sight fading and his hearing not what it once was—he seemed silenced into a life of memories.

Memories of his youth—a young boy who adored his father.

Memories of his teenage years—becoming a man and going off to war.

Memories of meeting his Jean—falling in love and marrying her.

Memories of their family—his children-all 4 of them—definitely his pride.

Memories of his only son—going off to war a young boy—and coming home in a box.

Memories of his grandchildren—playing catch with their Granddad.

Memories of his Jean—losing her battle with cancer.

Memories of his first great grandchild being born—and holding that life in his weakened arms.

Memories of a life—well lived.

But his memories—once so vivid and clear—becoming like the world around him—grey, formless, and unsensical.  How he wanted to hold onto his memories—but they were fading…giving way to the shadows of death.


This is a fictional piece…written for BlogFEST 2012.  The host of the day is Daphne Palmer Romero of My Distant Husband.  It is a picture prompt—picture is shown below. 

I awoke on a brisk fall morning—to find that the waters, although calm, had turned dark.  It was a sign that fall was receding and winter was starting to seep in.  I poured myself a cup of hot tea and I sat down with my laptop near my favorite window over looking the beach.

I could not concentrate, so I shut the laptop and took in a sip trying to rid myself of the undeniable chill that seemed to cling to my skin.  I pulled the throw over my legs and looked out again.  To my surprise, their stood an apparition with his back turned toward me.

boy looking out to the ocean

He could not have been much more than 11 or 12. Although he was small in stature his presence was strong. He gazed out onto the sea, and  I could see the waves kiss the sand through his form.  

I pinched myself to make sure I was not dreaming—and indeed I was awake.  I sat and I stared for quite some time wondering: Why he was there? What did he want? And a part of me had wondered: If he knew?

As if a channel had been bored into my head, I was immediately surrounded by the sounds of his affliction, “You don’t play fair!”

Betrayal.  Hurt.  Sadness

“I thought you were my friend?” 


The sea reached toward him in response–this time chopping at the sand in front of him—making an effort for amends. In his state of anguish, the boy did not budge, unmoved by the ocean’s pleas for forgiveness. 

Stubbornly, the boy stood motionless-although his presence was starting to wane. I couldn’t help but wonder why he was so angry at the sea? And as the thought lingered in my mind—it seemed to float out there—and it was answered almost immediately.

The sea was relentless in its pursuit—what once begged forgiveness now demanded to be reckoned with.  The boy shrieked out from his soul and the sea waves started to pound on the shore. 


His shoulders slumped and slowly the sea made its way to where he stood.


The ocean unleashed and his form was swallowed up in one strike.  In an instant, the boy was no more. 


The sea settled; the waters dark.  The air still carried a chill.  Another autumn slipping past to make way for a brutal winter.