Grandmother's attic was a mystery to me.
I wanted to venture up those steep steps to reach the sky.
But the stories I heard made my mind boggle.
The place dark because there wasn't any light.
Spiders lived in the attic.
Their webs strung everywhere.
The silken threads stuck to you like glue.
Large monsters with long hairy legs.
The monsters guarded the olden treasures hidden inside.
On the night of the full moon was the worst time of all to enter the attic.
The moonbeams lit up the room.
Hungry spiders came out to play.
Those stories kept me at bay.
I'd sneak up the squeaky steps in the hope the sound didn't waken the huge spiders.
I'd sit on the top step to look beneath the closed door.
No spiders did I ever see.
The smell coming from the room was awful.
You can believe me.
How anything lived in there puzzled me.
With a handkerchief covering my nose, I slid on my bottom down the steps to escape outside to the sunshine to take deep breaths of fresh air.
Today those memories returned to me.
I needed a disguise.
I crept up the steps to the attic door.
How brave I would be.
I'd face the demons of long ago.
Opening the door I entered the room.
I carried with me my trusty broom.
No spider was going to eat me.
They wouldn't stand a chance.
Armed and ready I'd fight for my life.
The hinges squeaked when I slowly pushed open the door.
The broom held high ready to swipe at the cobwebs.
To my surprise there wasn't a spider to be seen.
I felt like such a fool.
The room was bathed in bright sunlight from the skylight.
My task made easier with no spiders to fight.
I lifted the lid of the trunks to scrounge for clothes of long past.
The stinky smell lingered.
Mothballs were the cause of the smell when they tumbled from among the clothes.
I grabbed some clothes.
I scampered from the room.
The cloying smell too strong for me.
I slammed the door behind me.
I rushed down the steps with my booty.
The would come in handy for what she had planned.
On went the woolen stockings followed by the pantaloons.
Perfume needed to clear the smell of mothballs from the room.
I splashed my body with 4711 to cover the residual odor.
On went the dress which didn't fit very well.
I needed some padding.
A cushion would do.
I had forgotten my grandmother had had a hunched back.
I sure did look a fright.
The bustle didn't want to sit right.
Needed some more padding for the boobs.
Who ever designed this dress couldn't see.
The dress had been made back to front.
Some cotton wool might do the trick.
My hair I pinned up tight.
Placed the hat on my head.
Made up my face to look older.
Pulled the tulle of the hat down over my face.
I was ready for my adventure.
Picking up the walking stick, and my bag, I was set to leave the house.
I walked through the doorway of the building.
My walking stick thumped on the floor as I hobbled toward the lift.
The hump on my back felt out of place.
The smell of the mothballs, and perfume, were making my head funny.
I entered the lift.
There stood a Father in all his regalia.
He moved to the far side of the lift.
The doors were slowly closing when in ran a bandit waving a gun.
“My son. What have you done?”
“Nothing. Yet. If you stay where you are.”
“But, my son. Think before you do something foolish. Talk to me. Maybe be I can help you.”
The bandit smiled at the Father. “Sure. You can help me. Grab the old dame's bag. You can be my bag man when I rob the bank.”
“Think carefully about what you intend to do. You might be killed. Or go to jail.”
“I won't. What was that. What happened?”
“The lift has stopped. We're stuck between floors,” I told them. “We might be here for some time.”
The bandit looked at his watch. “I can't be stuck in here. I'll be given a parking ticket.”
“In my experience...” I began to tell them.
“Oh, shut up. You stink. I don't want to be locked in here with you.”
“That the pot calling the kettle black. Your life must stink if you have to rob a bank.”
“What would you know, you old cow.” The face of the bandit changed to a ghostly shade of white. He pointed to my hat.
“What's the problem with him,” I asked the Father.
“There's a spider on you had, madam. Is it real?”
I snatched the hat from my head to find the spider seated on the crown.
“So there is. I wonder where it came from.”
I held the hat away from my body closer to the bandit my fingers shaking.
“You're a man,” I said. “Do something. Kill it.”
“Take it away from me. I hate spiders.”
The bandit backed into the corner of the lift out of reach of the spider.
“You scared of spiders, Father,” I asked.
“No, madam. Would you like me to kill it?”
“Here. You can hold the hat. I'll kill the culprit.” I handed over the hat. “Hold out the hat. I'll use my walking stick to kill it.”
Raising the stick above my head I moved in to kill the spider.
With my eyes on the gun, I brought the walking stick down on the hand holding it.
I moved quickly.
No one knew what I planned to do until the deed was open.
When the doors finally opened, I was seated on the bandit holding him to the floor.
The Father, with his beads between his fingers, prayed for salvation.
A squashed spider lay on the floor beside the gun.
The security guards stood with guns drawn staring at the scene before them.
I smiled at the puzzled looked on their face.
How had an old lady saved the day.
“She broke my arm,” complained the bandit.
“I'd say you were lucky,” said a guard. “You might have been squashed like the spider.”
“Would you like some help to stand, madam?”
“Yes, please, young man. I need to find the little girl's room.” I headed for the restroom. A short time later, I strolled from the room dressed in my leotard sure I'd be given the part of playing an old lady in the play.