Ms. Grey's Attic

My mom told me that ol' Ms. Grey was around even when she was a girl but everytime I ask her how old she reckons Ms. Grey is, she just goes, "a lady never tells her true age, Angie" and leaves it at that. Plently of the ladies in town say that and I decided long ago that I'm always going to tell my age. Right now I'm eleven. When I'm thirty, I'm going to say thirty and when I'm a hundred, I'll say a hundred. I always wondered why people are so embarassed of their age - I feel like it is a trophy to be displayed.

I figure no one probably knows how old Ms. Grey is because they didn't require birth certificates back then. Every Sunday I walk to Church and I see her sitting on her porch, a sneer on her face, "Angie, DON'T EVEN LOOK AT MY FLOWERS" or "ANGIE, you're walking TOO CLOSE to my house." I couldn't help but stare when I walked by. Ms. Grey had a remarkable three story house and on the very top of the third story was another story with a small window that had a pink curtain on it. This always caught me off gaurd because Ms. Grey's other curtains were black as night - just like the dress she always wore. The house was all a mass of grey stones and navy blue wooden trims. It was the kind of house a big family should live in but Ms. Grey just lived alone - in all her bitterness.

My mom cashiered at the Smart Shop in town and she said when Ms. Grey came in, it was like a cloak fell over the store. She would complain about everything and if nothing was wrong, she would make something go wrong just so she could complain.

Now that you know all that - you can imagine my horror Wednesday, as riding my bicycle to school, I hit a rock and landed right in Ms. Grey's yellow mums. However old she was, she was ever so fast and she jumped right out of her creaking rocking chair on that dusty old porch and started screaming, "ANGIE! DONT YOU DARE MOVE!" My heart was skipping beats and my palms sweating. I'm pretty sure I cut my my knee because it had a stinging sensation. A shadow fell over me.

"Ah, Ms Angie - what a terrible, terrible day you've made for me" grumbled Ms. Grey, "I won't let this go. You will work off the mess you made in my attic - I have plently to clean for you. Be here at 3pm sharp, TODAY" and she walked back onto the rickity old porch.

I was stunned for a moment, that I just laid among the mums, wishing they belonged to anyone else. Then I slowly got up and back on my bike. When I got to my school, I saw Sophia and I instantly cried to her.

"I can't go to that house alone - come with me! Please!" I went on and on.

Sophia looked around and then back at me, "I'm sorry but from what I heard, going to Ms. Grey's is a oneway trip. Kids go in and they don't come back."

I mulled over this in English with Mrs. Babbie. Mrs. Babbie was smart, she always solved those word puzzles that no one else can imagine getting to the end of. I told Mrs. Babbie my story, not missing a detail and being sure to make it as detailed as possible. English teachers love details - that's why they like those long novels that spend 20 pages describing a tree in the wind or whatever.

Mrs. Babbie started laughing. "Why, ol' Ms. Grey? She couldn't hurt a soul - it'll do you good to take care of her attic for her" and with that, she sent me off to math class with Mr. Pooloc.