Grandma's House

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: The Imaginarium


A short story inspired by the third Picture Prompt from the Imaginarium House for March 2018.

Submitted: March 21, 2018

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Submitted: March 21, 2018

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Grandma’s House

Beth offered to do it, to go over and clear out her Grandma’s house. It had been two months since the funeral, but her mother had still not got over the shock, was still deeply grieving. The council wanted the house emptied of anything they wanted to keep. There was a long waiting list and could no longer leave the house vacant.

She’d spoken to her brother and her Dad. They would pop round for some of the larger items while she was there, hiring a van for the removals. They would not take much though, not of the furniture. It was the more personal items that mattered most and they were leaving that to Beth.

She set off early, with white plastic bags for the things she thought they should keep, and black ones that should go to the charity shop. It was not the first time that Beth had been back to the house since her grandmother’s death but this day was different. It would be the last time she’d be setting foot through the door. She found that her hand was shaking and she fumbled to get the key into the lock.

Shutting the door, she stood for a second in the hallway, eyes closed. The lingering scents had all faded now but she still half-expected to here her grandmother call out a greeting.

Damn it, she would not get tearful! Angrily she wiped at her eyes, tears stinging but she’d not let them fall. She was here to do a job and it was up to her to get it done.

Beth worked away downstairs, picking up items and sorting them into the bags. There were some fragile bits though, ornaments and decorative plates, so she searched out a few boxes for these. Before midday she had finished sorting out the downstairs rooms. There wasn’t that much really; her grandmother had never been one for lots of possessions.

Upstairs, Beth tackled the bathroom, the spare room, and finally could put off the bedroom no longer. This was bound to be the most painful, she thought; not only because it was the most personal of rooms but also because of that doll!

When she entered the room she was automatically pulling the door closed behind herself; she felt those eyes upon her and left it open. ‘Ignore it,’ she told herself, and she tried not to look as she searched through the drawers and the wardrobe.

She had always hated it. This china doll with it’s too red lips sensed it, or so it seemed. It’s cold eyes bored into her whenever she was in the same room, haunting her mind and bringing her nightmares. Ugly; that’s what it was. And yet the old woman had seemed to cherish it.

Would her mother want it? She’d never spoken of it, perhaps giving it no thought whatsoever. On the other hand, it had been so important to her own mother.....What should she do?

She heard her brother and her father downstairs. It was time for her to make her mind up and stop dithering. Beth slowly let her eyes move towards the doll, shuddering as it came fully in to focus. It sat there gloating in victory, back to torment her thoughts and invade her dreams.

No, enough, she’d leave it there. Let the ‘new tenants’ have it. If her mother asked, it was a casualty; she was sorry but she had dropped it and it had smashed. Should she? Could she really bring herself to?

Quickly she whirled around, picking up the bags and calling down the stairs; “Wait up, you two! You can give me a hand!” Unable to bring herself to smash the doll, she shut the door on it and left it to it’s uncertain future.

 

 


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