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Where It All Began
Where It All Began…
I climbed the attic steps, hoard and hoards of boxes meeting my gaze. They were staked in columns, letting only shafts of light leek through the small window. I could see dust, floating, and as a thin layer on the boxes. The Leef’s were the kind of people who saved everything, from Grandma’s collection of rocks to a second grade report card, and they stored it all up here.
I scanned the boxes, immediately finding the one titled “Goodwill”, in big capital letters.
Seeing as the light was less than adequate for climbing through an extremely crowded space, it was no wonder that I tripped over something; after all, I didn’t have that good of luck to begin with.
My arms went sprawling, clutching at anything near to save myself from the hard dirty wood floor that I so desperately didn’t want to come into contact with. Who knew what was living on it.
I caught a box and drug it down with me, spilling its contents in the process. Hundreds of photos spilled out, their smiling faces almost seemed mocking.
Pushing myself up from the ball position I had gotten into (to protect myself from the hundreds of boxes I imagined crashing down on myself, of course) I quickly assessed the situation. Well, it’s not that bad, I told myself, as a consoling fact. The photos hadn’t been in any sort of order, so there wasn’t any harm. But the whole photos covering the entire floor thing got me a little down in the dumps again. It would take at least a half and hour to pick up, a half an hour I did not have. I still had homework to do, a test to study for, and Castle was on.
“Oh well,” I murmured to myself, hunkering down with the box in my lap.
As I started picking up the photos I noticed how different each one was. Some were current in color, printed on glossy paper. Others looked to be portraits of people of long ago. A few were black and white, with that distinct fuzziness that came with photos of that time.
I examined a black and white photo of an extremely hansom man, his gorgeous wife, and two charming sons, who looked alike enough to be twins. They were dressed in big extravagant clothing, clothing I guessed was from the early 1800’s. I could tell the resemblance of the family to the Leefs. They both had those high cheekbones, big eyes, square jaws, and look of elegance. Come to think I studied, squinting to get a better view, this family had a little too much resemblance.
I had looked through my family’s photo albums many times (I went through a phase were I thought I was adopted), and had hardly seen one feature that linked us together. My family looks nothing alike, nothing. In this photo, it almost looked like the Leef family reproduced.
I started to get a cold chill, and believe me; it really wasn’t cool in the Leef’s attic.
The Leef family that lived here today consisted of a man, a woman, and their two twin boys, the same exact arrangement of the black and white photograph.
Okay, this was starting to get a little freaky. No need to panic, I told myself, taking deep dusty breaths. It’s just a coincidence, I mean, of course family patterns are repeated a couple of times in the coarse of history, it’s only natural. I mean, hello genetics.
I randomly picked up another, closing my eyes and feeling around the pile. This one appeared to be a portrait of some kind. It was on ruff paper, and left an oily residue on my hands, almost like oil pastels.
I couldn’t tell what time era this picture was from, but I knew it was old. Too old for the same people from the black and white photograph to be in this photo, even though that was exactly what it looked like. The portrait painted a man, a woman, and two twin boys.
Now I was really starting to get scared. I searched the shadows of the attic, expecting something big and scary to come bursting out and start asking questions about what I was doing. The fact that I was discovering something juicy wasn’t enough to sway me from the fact that I was searching through my nice neighbors box of scary pictures. It was wrong. All I was asked to do was come up here and get the box of old cloths that the Leefs were donating to my mother’s charity drive, not go through their attic, invade their privacy.
Okay, I told myself, just pick up the pictures, don’t look at them, just put them in the box. But saying your going to do something is a lot different than doing it. I just couldn’t not look at the pictures; I just had to see. It was almost as if it wasn’t me looking at the photos, but some snoopy suspicious girl, searching for a mystery. I mean, that was what I was doing, searching for something bad. It wasn’t as if I just wanted to look at some people I didn’t know, who were long gone, what good would that be.
It was almost as if my subconscious wanted me to find something bad. Like my little life in a small town was too perfect. That I needed to have some sense of the evil that went on in daily life to be fully developed.
But did it really think I was going to find it in the Leef’s attic?