This story for the "Finish The Story" Collaboration is based on a prompt from Asha Seth (https://bookinton.wordpress.com/)
Prompt: “As soon as Alicia stepped on to the second landing, the lights went out and a hand grapped her into the all-consuming darkness.”
Alicia turned the key in the massive front door. This was the first time she had been here since her grandmother’s funeral. She could still feel her grandmother everywhere – some vacant houses felt void of all energy. This house vibrated with her grandmother’s will and determination, with her joy in life, with her artist’s eye.
Putting her purse and keys on the table in the foyer, Alicia moved towards the stairs. Her grandmother had been coming to her in her dreams, pulling her towards the locked room. She knew that the room contained something from her grandmother’s history, something that she shared with no one. She knew that she had to visit that room. She had the key to the room with her – her grandmother had given it to her several months ago.
Alicia walked slowly up the stairs, taking in the ambiance of the house. As she came to the second landing, the lights suddenly went out, and she felt herself being grabbed. Those hands were real, not ghostly. She pulled back, ready to protect herself. The hands suddenly let her go, and raced down the stairs in the darkness. The front door opened, then closed. Alicia grabbed the rail, and followed the stairs up to the next floor. She felt for the light switch, and turned it on.
She knew what she had to do. She walked purposefully towards the locked room. Slight scratches on the lock indicated that someone had been trying to open the door. Someone who knew the house well, and was able to run down the stairs in the dark. Alicia took her key out of her pocket, and opened the door. This is where her answers were to be found.
Clearly the room had been her grandfather’s study. His law books lined the walls, his desk and chair faced the windows. His favorite paintings were hung on the walls. The room was in pristine condition. Following her grandmothers verbal instructions, Alicia walked over to the fireplace, and pushed inward on one of the bricks. The wall paneling slid back, revealing locked cabinets, and a safe. She would study the contents of the cabinets later. She knew that what she needed was to be found in the safe. She opened it carefully, having memorized the combination to the lock.
Alicia pulled out three envelopes – two were addressed to her, one from her grandmother, the other from her grandfather. The third envelope was the proof – proof that she needed to exonerate her grandfather, and bring her uncle to justice. He had used the war years to profit, and blackmailed her grandfather to keep the secret.
She closed the safe, and put the envelopes in the briefcase that sat atop her grandfather’s desk. She mentally said a prayer of protection, and started down the stairs. She had no fear. She was mentally and physically strong. She had also left instructions on what to do were she not to return from the house.
It was over.
The "Finish The Story" collaboration was organized by Tanmay Jain (Tanmay_Jain@Bookinton).
© November 2018 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.