05 September 2011

Skeleton in the Attic

The door swung open and I jumped at the sight of a skeleton whose vacant eyes stared back at me in solemn, empty eternity.  Laughter broke out in gales behind me.  What?!  Is this some kind of macabre joke?  Indeed it was and the joke was on me.  The family skeleton had been in the attic for an eternity.  Only those hardy enough to befriend it were admitted into the family fold.

It’s been years since first meeting the fine French maiden whose remains haunt the peaked timbers of the attic.  She is a remnant of days gone by when those studying medicine supplied the skeletons and cadavers used in their study.

What was her life like?  How did she end up as a specimen to be studied?  It makes me wish her ghost would visit so we could share a cup of tea while sitting on dusty carriage trunks – the air redolent with the smell of coal, aging fabric and faint rose water.  Like the boxes and photos and lace, I know that it is time for her to leave.

Hours later, I take one last look at the now empty attic, departing just as the door swung shut.

I had promised to tell the tale about the skeleton in the attic and Bob's First Campaigner Challenge entry, provided the inspiration - thanks Bob!  The First Campaigner Challenge is:  Write a short story/flash fiction story in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, including a poem. Begin the story with the words, “The door swung open” These four words will be included in the word count.  If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional), use the same beginning words and end with the words: "the door swung shut." (also included in the word count).  For those who want an even greater challenge, make your story 200 words EXACTLY!

 Exactly 200 words with the correct beginning and ending!


  1. I often wondered if people thought about the skeletons used for science. Great post!

  2. This could be macabre but it isn't really. I love the truth to it. Great take on the 200 words. Pretty blog. I'm following. D

  3. nice family you got there...

  4. Interesting as the second idea I had for my post related to the contents of an attic.
    I thought for a moment you were going to write about a ghost. Great post.

  5. I like it. You don't get a lot of upbeat skeleton stories. Well done. Mine is #72

  6. I really liked what you did with this challenge. You have a very nice writing voice

    ...one tiny thing that bothered me... a skeleton would have vacant eye sockets, not vacant eyes...

  7. 1000th.monkey, ;) Yes, that bothered me some too. But somehow eye sockets didn't quite have the ring to it. Somehow those eye sockets seem to take on a life of their own.

    Thanks for the comment! Hope to read all the posts tonight.

  8. great story! listening to a ghost tell stories would be awesome!

  9. How all writers of scary tales would love to have a skeleton in the closet. Great story.

  10. Great piece. I'd want to know the skeleton's secrets, too. Maybe not have tea with her, though. ;)

  11. Oh, what a neat image! I'd love to see this fleshed out in a short story.

    By the way, you've been shortlisted for Round Two!

  12. Thanks Deniz - Wow! Round 2! A short story would be fun or, perhaps, just letting her hang around the blog ....

  13. Hello fellow Campaigner! *waves hello* I'm trying to get around to everyone I don't know and say hello and follow their blogs. So, HI! :)

    I really enjoyed your flash piece. (everyone had such unique takes on the prompt, they've been fun to read.) I love how this piece worked with your (gorgeous) header/blog. Well done.

    I hope you're having a lovely weekend.

  14. I am slowly making the rounds to read everyones entries and to get to know a bit about everyone.
    Attics are right up there with very scary for me..of course skeletins are even scarier:( Good job!


Comments welcome!