The Locket – Prologue
“I’ll take care of her” a fragile old hand wrapped around her pink fingers. The big people smiled sadly at one another and then departed still looking and whispering. She hated the whispering, not like she didn’t know what they where whispering about. All their breath fogging in the cold air around them curling like ear muffs around other people’s ears.
Looking up at the older woman with her pale almost blue skin and proud chignon, she believed that this woman was an angel in disguise. The elderly lady bent over her in a protective manner, filling the space between them with a smell of mints and lavender combined. Taking out a handkerchief from her pocket her grandmother dabbed at her puffy eyes. Her hand was bumpy with age and her veins stood out of the skin, but they were kind and gentle on the tender skin around her eyes which seemed to have been leaking all day.
“Are mum and dad with angels now nanny?”
She managed between stifled sobs, very acutely aware that she was to try to be as brave as she possibly could.
“Yes dear. See that man dressed all in black with the one white bit around his neck? He’s the one who blessed your mother and father and sent them all the way to heaven.”
Katie stared at the hole in the snow covered ground, and the thousands of feet gathered at the gaping void. She nodded at her grandma. Turning her head around, she saw a young boy not much older than herself looking at her with the same glum expression. The boy dressed in black from head to toe, was staring at her with blank eyes, but she knew that he must have had a great loss too. She wanted to ask him what his story was. He winked at her and half smiled, turning on his heel to run away.
She tugged at her grandmother’s hand.
“Who is he nanny?” she sniffed.
Perplexed the elderly lady followed the stare of her granddaughter, seemingly unable to see anyone, but understanding that the stress of the situation must be too much to handle on seven year old shoulders.
“I can’t see anyone child, maybe we should go home and get some cocoa to warm you up eh? It’s too cold for you to be standing out here for long, you must be perishing.”
Katie tried to smile bravely. She had to be brave, and a big girl for her grandmother. They only had each other now. As they walked back to the car, she replayed the accident in her head. How quickly everything had happened, the argument, the dark gap being eaten by the headlights of the truck, the screams of the tyres which drowned out the more human screams from inside the car, and how it had ended up with a hole in the ground and a big old oak coffin. She wondered if her parents felt the cold, and if they were happy in that big forever bed as her grandmother called it, together.
Before getting in the car, he was there again, watching her, the poor haunted little boy.
“Who is he nanna?”
“Poor mite, you must be half starved” as the old lady took a final scout around the cemetery, she saw no one her grand daughter could be referring to, the girl had had more than enough to deal with on one day seeing her parents laid to rest. It must be a hallucination of an addled and over tired mind, she thought.
“Lets get you home shall we?”
She closed the car door on the little girl with the plastered arm, breathing a heavy sigh for the daughter she had lost and buried that day.
Katie sat in the musky attic room, the golden autumn sunshine streaming in through the Velux window, throwing the particles into a firefly dance before her eyes. She’d never been in the attic before, but this is what her nan had left her. Covered in dust sheets, and probably useless to a nineteen year old. There had always been a strict warning that she was never to come up here to play while she was growing up. Her grandmother had been quite liberal and easy going really for a woman in her 70’s, but this place had always been off limits. Until her grandmother had passed a few days earlier she had adhered to that one wish of hers. Always a private person and not knowing much of the family history, Katie wondered what on earth she would find.
Closing her eyes and slumping to her knees in the dust dance, she hugged herself tightly and breathed in the musky smell which was much stronger here than in the other parts of the house. The smell that she had grown accustomed to around her grandmother. Letting the tears pool behind her closed lids, feeling them plop wetly onto her plump cheeks. She’d lost the last person in the world who gave a flying fuck about her, and as a grief counsellor had told her many moons previously, she was allowed to cry. She was allowed to let her emotions out. It seemed she had inherited the facility to bury the past from her mother’s side of the family. She hardly known a thing about them, which made her even more depressed. Wishing in hindsight she’d have asked more questions when her grandmother was here, it seemed so unfair that everyone had been taken away from her.
A shuffling noise from the corner of the lofty space made her re-focus sharply.
Nothing but silence.
She wiped away the tears with the sleeve of her jumper and squinted her eyes at the corner, there seemed to be a fresh pile of dust rising up from there as if something had moved.
Ludicrous-she was the only one in the attic. In the whole big old creepy house, hell she was probably the only person within a mile radius who was living and breathing.
For those of you who enjoy a little more 😀 I’ve been suffering from writers block of late and trying to inspire myself to write a little more. Hope you enjoy! I’m very proud to have this blog featured on Mummascribbles, A moment with Franca and Tots 100 this last week! Onwards and upwards! More soon, let me know what you think below!