Local man kills girlfriend, self

The attic was clean and tidy. There were neat stacks of storage bins, labeled. Furniture enrobed in sheets, stood virgil in front of the tiny windows. Miranda turned in slow circles taking it all in. She had never been in Grammy’s attic. Even though she stayed here all summer and most weekends. Grammy had shown her the rope dangling from the ceiling of the linen closet. Every holiday Miranda watched Grammy pull the rope loop like a baby noose and slid the hidden staircase into place. She waited while her grandmother brought down Christmas balls or old Easter baskets. But she could never go up. Grammy said it was dangerous.
It was a quiet Sunday. Some sundays were people crowded, cousins romping and rolling, aunts and uncles on the porch with red solo cups. This weekend it was just Grammy and Miranda. PawPaw and Uncle Mike were deer hunting and Aunt Miracle was having “me time.” These quiet Sundays were the best.
Miranda paused at the attic opening listening taut as a bow string. The church station was still blaring in the doorstair parlor. Grammy had her bible, her bible highlighters, her knitting basket, a big glass of sweet tea. Miranda had time. She began opening bins. Miranda was systematic. There was china and quilts, ornaments and decorations. One bin was radium glass carefully separated with tight bundles of newspaper. She was tempted to take out a piece and hold it up to the bright brings from the tiny quarter moon windows. There was one electric green glass pitcher Grammy kept in the parlor. She had told Miranda it was a gift from her one true love. Fighting temptation Miranda covered the bin and continued searching.
Something pulled at her mind. Miranda put one of her long braids into her mouth to chew think. She reopened the plastic bin of glass. Purples, oranges, and greens the glass pieces winked at her. Gently she removed slender vases and squat candy dishes. Beneath the glassware under thick white paper Miranda found what she was looking for.
There were photos of her daddy. No one had to tell her. They had the same smile. All the photos that had be removed from the family albums, all the prints that had once been framed. There was a baby’s bracelet, a letter to Santa, a ribbon from a science fair, a wolverine comic. There was a yearbook. Miranda went through until she found her mother’s photo. The face was scribbled out but the hair was curly like Miranda’s. All of her mother’s photo were scratched out. Her daddy still smiled back at her from his football uniform. Miranda set down the yearbook to think about that.
Next were the newspaper clippings. The headlines screamed. Young Mother Remembered, Bizarre Murder/Suicide. A long story of young love, arguments, and fights; breakups, make ups, and running away; slap, punch, knife. Miranda hugged her knees reading and re-reading. With each page she knew more and understood less.
“Told you, it was dangerous.”
Miranda jumped knocking over a glass chicken dish. Grammy was on the attic stairs. Her grandmother climbed up. Quietly they put away clippings and the photos. As they returned the glass Miranda saw the beak on the glass chicken was cracked. She kissed it and began to sob. Grammy walked Miranda down and lay her across her own bed to weep it out. Grammy returned to the attic putting away all that remained, slipping a too small bracelet in her pocket and heading back to tend the grandbaby.

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