To join and / or meet the wizard behind this challenge click below:
- 1000 wordsmax
- fictionaltale (or true if you really want)
- PG(no more than PG-13) Content – let’s keep this family friendly!
- Your story must contain the word(s) from the theme and/or be centered aroundthe theme in a way that shows it is clearly related
- Go for the entertainmentvalue!
- State the Genre of your storyat the top of your post.
- Post your story on Tuesday, by 11:59 PM PST
- Use the hashtag #BlogBattle when tweeting your story, put a link back to your #BlogBattle Short Story in the comments section of this page, and/or include a link to this page in your own blog post(it creates a “ping-back” which will alert me and our friends to your #BlogBattle post)
- Have fun!
Each winner will receive the awesome #BlogBattle Winner Badge to display with their winning story on their webpage.
Along Came Polly
Grace rolled up her sleeves. Where to start? The attic had twenty years of dust hugging every surface. The deep footprints she made reminded her of an old horror movie with no idea which one. She knotted a kerchief over short, auburn hair. Even this slight movement stirred a cloud of fine powder. A roaring sneeze shattered the spooky silence. Eyes stinging from the force of the unexpected eruption, she covered her face. No point putting off the inevitable anymore. She’d put the job off for weeks already. Moving day loomed large. So much to do in six short weeks. Grace uncovered her face and sneezed again. “Maybe I should vacuum first.”
The Kirby, too heavy to lug up and down the ladder, she loaded the old canister model into an orange plastic leaf bag, heaved it over her shoulder and mounted the ladder again. Good idea, but was there a plug? The low-watt, naked bulb hanging on a cord wasn’t much help. She scrambled down the rungs again for a better bulb and flashlight.
No matter how careful, she stirred gagging clouds in her path. The bulb, too hot to change, Grace flicked on the flashlight and ground her teeth. More slow work. Feathery cobwebs clung in clumps in the corners, undulating as she passed the light in columns over the wall surface. No plug on the first wall, nor the second. She stamped her foot, realizing too late what she’d done, and choked on particles of stirred up dirt, again. Shoulders slumped she wanted to give up. “Work with me,” she said with clenched teeth to the watching shadows. A distant sound from downstairs caught her attention. Head cocked she froze to listen. The muffled dong of her doorbell called to her. “I’m coming,” she said aloud though no one heard and grinned to herself. A reprieve. Down the ladder, she plunged fast as her throbbing legs carried her.
“I’m coming.” She wrenched open the door. “Polly—what a surprise. Come in. Come in.” Her sister, a fuchsia overnight bag at her feet, smiled wide, and threw open her arms. Grace blinked, chin tucked over her sister’s shoulder. “Your timing couldn’t be better. I finally made it to the attic but haven’t accomplished a thing today.”
“Isn’t that the reason you invited me?”
Grace stood back. Squinting, she studied the face before her. “I did? When?”
“A month or so—I think. I wondered what you’d find after all these years… If my missing diary might be in one of the boxes.”
Grace chuckled. The back of her hand erased the frown lines from her forehead. “I remember. Funny, I finally made it up there the day you decide to come. How long can you stay?”
Polly clutched her purse and luggage. “As long as you like. Phew. You smell like dust and mouse droppings. Tea first.” She dropped the small bag by the closet door and kicked off her sneakers. “Traffic was brutal. Seems the whole world is either going to the beach, cottage, or a driving vacation.” She swooped down the hall to the kitchen as if she lived there. “Supposed to be high eighties by the weekend.”
Grace already had cups out and the kettle on. The kitchen smelled like a bakery. A batch of cranberry bran muffins cooled on the counter from earlier that morning. “Guess we better put a dent into the junk upstairs before the heat hits. Muffin?”
“How’s it up there today?” Polly ran a hand through her mud-brown hair. “Like the cut?” She turned her head this way and that.
“Lovely.” Grace reached over to stroke the springy curls. “Dark and dusty. I found a plug up there for the vacuum. Hope it works.”
* * *
The plug worked fine. The women vacuumed and wiped down every surface with a dampened cloth. Polly wasted no time digging around inside boxes. “Why don’t we take some of the more interesting ones downstairs to poke through at our leisure?”
They worked in silence, the howl of the vacuum between them. Polly whooped over the noise. Grace switched off the power. “What?” Her eyes grew enormous.
Polly approached her sister. In each hand, she clutched two golf ball-size balls, all striped red, white and blue. “Remember these? Indian rubber, right? How many could you juggle? Three—no—four at a time.”
“Four. I must have been about nine? You wanted to sell tickets for a show starring yours truly. Already a wheeler-dealer at six.” A faraway look in her eye, Grace grabbed two balls, tossed one to the floor and snatched it as it sprang past her shoulder.
“Wheeler-dealer me. I wonder could you still do it?”
Grace shrugged. “Tennis balls were better for juggling off a wall, though. These babies kept punching me in the face until I acquired the proper feel for them.”
Polly giggled. “Remember the night Mom thought you’d been in a fight when you showed up with a black eye? She didn’t believe you blinked and slam!”
“It hurt like… Hey we’re done here.” Grace dropped their find into her apron pocket. “Pick a box. I’m curious what we’ll find—maybe even lovesick Polly’s teenage diary. Come on.”
To be continued…
© 2015 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles