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!