• Vol. 03
  • Chapter 04
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The Attic

The stranger makes his way back to his car. He holds his phone up to his ear as he walks. The way his shoulders slump, and the anxious way he keeps glancing back at the old couple seem to communicate his defeat. Still the old couple stand, seemingly ready to defend their simple home from what little threat the stranger could muster.

"I don' like it, father. This is the third time he's a come askin'," Mother whispers leaning towards him.

Father is silent, as always. Father watches as always.

Mother waits until the car fades from view before glancing back at the attic window. The faded gray curtains, broken only by the now cream-colored sun worn dots, remains still.

"He stares too hard for my likin'. She knows a better than ta raise a fit when company is by. Do ya think she was at the window?"

Father turned his stare to the window. He watched, and listened.

Mother nodded after a moment.

"Ya righ' Father. She know betta, and if she had shown her pretty face I'm sure we woulda seen it in that stranger's eyes..."

Father began to walk towards the house. Mother knew he was upset, but it was no use trying to reason with him. That stranger had been by three times now, he must of known something.

"Now father, you know she hae so little to spare these days. You only go takin' what she can give you now."

Father put down his pitchfork and went inside.


The Attic

Mother followed behind as he entered the kitchen.

"Take the small one Father. I think she learns better."

Father, quiet as always, opened a drawer in the kitchen. He drew from it a small paring knife. The well worn handle fit perfectly in his weathered hand. The blade, through constant sharpening, had lost its original shine but still held a brilliant edge.

Father made his way out of the kitchen and Mother listened. She counted every slow step as Father made his way up the stairs. Mother heard crying, but it wasn't Father. Father was always silent.

The door opened, the slow footsteps entered, and Father's work began. Mother hummed a quiet tune to drown out the screams. She put a pan on the stove. Father would be bringing down their supper soon, and she was getting night hungry.