Excerpt from “Home Sweet Home” (Patrick Winters, “11 Steps”)

Danny didn’t dislike his grandmother because she was mean to him or unfair; on the contrary, she was a caring old woman who relished her grandson’s company and would cater to the boy in almost any way. She baked delicious chocolate chip cookies for him and always had a nice supply of his favorite toys at the ready when he arrived. However, it was the ever-constant and powerful displays of her attention that always made him cringe at the thought of going to her house. She never left him alone, always keeping him in her sights.

            His irritation with this constant attention just increased whenever he thought of his grandmother’s attic.

            Grandma Joan had very few rules when it came to what Danny could or couldn’t do when he was at her house. There was one rule she had, however, that was never to be bent or broken: he was not to go up into the attic.

            Never. Never ever.

            Whenever Danny had brought up the subject or pushed the issue, Grandma Joan’s cheery, smiling face wavered and fell. She would become quite serious, and the soft lilt in her voice would give way to a somewhat foreboding tone. Something hid behind the shine of her eyes. To Danny, it looked like a shimmering secret.

            “Danny, dear, I don’t want you going up into the attic,” she always said. “It’s not a place for you.”

-From “11 Steps” by Patrick Winters.

Find out why Danny’s grandmother doesn’t want him going into the attic in “Home Sweet Home”

Get yours here: Home Sweet Home – A Millhaven Anthology

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