“WE’RE GOING IN ALICE STEP ASIDE THIS MAN MUST SEE MOTHER’S THINGS AND ADVISE ME YOU KNOW IT MUST CHANGE NOW YOUR TOO OLD TO LIVE HERE ANYMORE YOU’RE THE LAST ONES AND THERE ISN’T EVEN A TOILET HERE”
“TOILET!” hissed Alice. “THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A TOILET HERE. EVER. AND EVERY BLOOD EVER HAS DIED HERE. RIGHT IN OUR HOUSE. EVER. EVERY SINGLE BLOOD DIED HERE AND I WILL TOO!”
By this point I had stepped back and was reflecting on this-is-not-a-good-idea self directives. Margaret ignored Alice, stepped forward past her. Alice looked at me, ignored me and stepped behind Margaret following her up into the house. I cautiously followed both of them. Margaret walk straight to the right into a front room, through that, into the front hall and ascended the front stairs. Alice stopped at the bottom of the stairs. I, having followed, hesitated a moment and then catching Margaret’s over shoulder look directly at me followed by “COME UP”, stepped around Alice and followed up the stairs. At the top landing… that I vaguely took in as a… full Maine Federal staircase to upper landing with a long neglected plaster cast decorated ceiling far above… Margaret opened one of two doors and stepped into darkness. I followed. It wasn’t actually dark for a whole battery of windows, on three walls, lighted the room showing numerous mounds of objects and, at the center, a very large and fully exposed brick chimney rising through the floor to display two modest fireplaces and then condense to a perfect square as it shot straight up to a roof sixteen feet above. What we actually stepped into was a natural lighted, all natural wood , very dry and very old attic dusty large space that was the reported unfinished second floor that also included an intended garret space above that, too, was never completed.
I blinked my eyes and stood still as Margaret spoke “SHE WON’T BOTHER ANY MORE. THESE ARE MOTHER’S THINGS OVER HERE”. She had walked to a modest mound in the back right corner by the windows. I walked over to her and the pile. I looked around at the whole space.. “THAT’S ALL ALICE’S RUBBISH” she said. “TELL ME WHAT TO DO WITH MOTHER’S RUBBISH. DO YOU WANT THIS?” she said slicing the air with her right hand. “THIS! THIS OVER HERE. THIS HERE. ALL THAT THERE. ALONG THE WALL THERE. THAT. THE BOOKS THERE. THAT RUBBISH THERE AND SO ON AND SO FORTH OVER TO THE CORNER THERE”.
I did… “want this”. I wanted ALL of it for my antiquarian impulse grasped ATTIC GOLD before me everywhere. I stood in the center of a very large very old very abundantly piled full attic that had “never been touched” … or even seen by ANY antiquarian. Dark, dirty, dusty GOLD … EVERYWHERE. “Yes I want it” I said stepping boldly to the final “so forth over to the corner there” and plunging a hand into a mound touching the “corner there” and extracting an 18th century wooden noggin type tankard that set upon a small and fine… tea table.
“NOT THAT” corrected Margaret. “THAT’S THE OLD CAPTAIN’S THERE. ALL THAT DOWN OFF THERE. MOTHER’S IS RIGHT UP TO HERE. THE CAPTAIN CLAIMS SHE INCROACHES THERE. SHE DOES IF YOU ASK ME. DOES SO ON PURPOSE. I KNOW MOTHER. CAPTURES TERRITORY AND THE THINGS IN THAT TERRITORY. MORE RUBBISH. SELLS IT OFF. CARRIES IT OFF AND SELLS IT. VERY CRAFTY MOTHER WAS. THE CAPTAIN KNOWS IT. WE CANNOT GO PAST MOTHER’S RUBBISH TODAY. WE WILL CLEAR OUT THE BLOOD RUBBISH SOON ENOUGH”. I stood with my back to Margaret looking into the dark mound beyond the borderline. I slowly put the tankard back down on the table making sure that it was EXACTLY where I found it. I surveyed the borderline. The mother’s rubbish clearly was newer than the… rubbish… in the mound beyond the border.
I turned back toward Margaret, walked past her to the other far end of the gestured “mother’s rubbish”. At that end I denoted a similar yet to be declared borderline bumping into a dense corner mound of very old “rubbish”. This older rubbish mound continued into the dark and around to the …windowless wooden wall that held the COMPLETELY BLOCKED second door… leading to the door we came in. Approaching the first “we entered” door this old dark rubbish mound changed style and became rather current (late 20th Century) in make up. A white plastic bucket rested on the top.