This bit won the reading competition at writing club's NaNo writing sprints tonight. ...Given that I'm President and I keep winning, I should probably stop competing. Though I can't complain - I needed the chocolate.
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The darkness in the attic of Martin’s house was filled with cobwebs. And possibly angry spiders, but Martin sincerely hoped not. He’d been moving boxes for the last half an hour, and they were filled with dust and mildew. If he hadn’t known how long it had been since any of the boxes were cleaned out, he would have been highly annoyed that the task had fallen to him.
But since the last time those boxes had moved he’d just watched a more permanent box close forever, he hadn’t complained to his mother yet. He’d just been trying not to think of it.
Unfortunately, his mother wasn’t helping.
“That one there,” she said, “the one with ‘dishes’ written on it in red marker and then crossed out.”
Martin shifted a box until he could see the word ‘dishes’ next to the word ‘books’ both scratched out, in the light of the single bulb. “This one?” he asked, just to be sure.
“Yes, I think that’s the one with your father’s old clothes,” she said. There was a second where the only sound in the room was the rain on the roof above. “We’re going to have to go through them and see what fits you and what we need to donate.”
There was an uncomfortable dusty knot in Martin’s throat at the thought of wearing his father’s clothes, of taking them out of that box and letting the dark pills of mothballs fall from the knees and the cuffs of the soap-smelling shirts that never had smelled like that before, not like dust and soap, but like ashes and oil, machine and fire smells that seemed to follow his dad everywhere.
He met his mother’s eyes, misty in the uncertain light of the dusty bulb and the cobwebs.
His mother turned about, staring under the eaves as if she could have missed something. The boxes were piled up to the rafters and the other debris of the years was strewn across the floor. Martin saw his old rocking horse in a corner, and under the shadow of the shelves, there was the faded outline of his old toy fire truck. He turned from it and stared at the dim lightbulb until the red and purple behind his eyes made it impossible to see.