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Sunday, August 20, 2017

30 Day Writing Challenge- Grandma Gone

Challenge Day One

The sound of the spider crunching under my boot was both satisfying and gross. I had a rule, no spiders in the house. Outside I didn't care about them, but on the floor next to the front door? Nope, Nada, No. Spiders, freaky as fuck. Something dad and I had in common. Not that it mattered anymore.

"Mom I'm home!" I called out into the warmth that invaded the hall way. As per usual the lights were not on, so the only light came from the dust filled streams sneaking in through the blinds.

There was no answer, again, not unusual. Mom didn't talk much now that dad was gone for good.

I accidentally stabbed my toe on the old oak table next to the door. It hurt, but I shook it off and put my keys on the little silver dish that lived on the table.

I made my way further into the house. It looked the way it always did of late; green, grey, and gloomy.

As expected mom was in the kitchen, sitting at the counter. What was unexpected was the weird old woman who stood next to her.

"Ummm, Hi?"

"Oh, hey sweetie, I didn't hear you come in," Mom said. Her smile was strained and her red hair looked like she hadn't even bothered brushing it this morning.

"That's ok. I thought we should heat up that lasagna for dinner." I walked around them both on my way to the freezer. Apparently we were ignoring the woman? She was thin and short with stark white hair and bottle lens glasses that didn't hide her milky gaze.  Her skin looked almost see through and her blue veins made me queasy.

"Sounds like a plan, I totally forgot about dinner."

"Did you job search today?" It was our every day after school conversation.

"Oh...I meant to but the day got away from me. I did take some lovely pictures at the park," Mom said. The woman standing next to her snickered and her mouth curved into a some what sinister grin.

What the fuck?

"Did you make a new friend?" I asked. I couldn't take it anymore, the moth eaten smell coming from the old woman's clothes was killing my appetite.

"What? Oh," Mom said, eyes finally drifting back over to the stranger, "That is Frannie."

Well I guess that explained things then, not really.

"And Frannie is who?"

Not sure if mom ignored me or didn't hear me.

 Mom just hadn't been mom since she got the divorce papers. Dad couldn't even be bothered to bring them in person. Good to know 20 years of marriage meant nothing compared to the young blonde teenager he ran off with.

Frannie moved towards the doorway that led to the living room and the rest of the house. She stood there, in the shadows, watching us.

"Can you heat up the oven for me?" I asked, keeping an eye on the woman, her long fingers were stroking the dirty white paint of the door frame. She wouldn't meet my gaze, but the creepy little smile on her face stayed.

Frannie moved from the doorway and went into the living room. I really wanted to go after her, what the hell was she doing in our house and who was she?

"Mom, come on, what's up?" I finally asked as I watched mom mess with the oven temperature.

"Huh?" Mom turned to face me.

"That lady, who is she, what is she doing here?" As I said it, we both heard the very audible sound of the front door shutting. I ran from the kitchen to the living room window. Pushing back the heavy worn green curtain I tried to see where she'd gone. Frannie was no where to be seen and the window I stood at had a great view of the drive way, front yard and most of the street.

I know she left, I heard the door. Maybe she didn't leave? Our house wasn't that big. I went to all the rooms and checked to make sure she wasn't hiding anywhere.

Why she'd be hiding in a closet, who knew? I just wanted to be sure that all she'd left behind was her moldy scent.

I was checking the living room closet when mom came to find me.

"What are you doing?"  Mom placed a hand on my shoulder, her fingernails had chipped pink paint on them.

"Making sure that woman left. What's up mom, come on, tell me who the hell that was."

"Language." But her warning was simply the remembrance of another time, when she cared if I swore or not.

I put my hand on my hip and gave her my best enough-with-that-crap look.

"That was your father's mother, she came for his ring."

"You pawned your wedding ring."

"Not my ring, yours," She sighed and it was a long and haggard sound.

Anger and sick pooled in my belly, my ring? The one he gave me for my 16th birthday? The fact that the creepy freak was related to me wasn't nearly as important as her taking my ring.

"You let her steal my ring!" I screeched. I kept it in an old box on my dresser, the gold and emerald ring wasn't meant for school days.

"She didn't steal it. It belonged to her."

"Mom, it was a birthday present. I can't believe you let her take it and I can't believe you didn't tell me she was alive. I thought dad's mom was dead." Walking over I sat, heavily, on our brown couch, a bit of dust poofed into the air at my weight.

"She is."