We called her ‘ever upwards’. She didn’t frighten us, and perhaps she should have, but when we first saw her we were about her age.
Thing is, we were eleven or so years old then, and now we’re adults, but she’s still eleven. And we left her alone years go, but to hear the local kids she’s still around, old ‘ever upwards’.
Just a girl on the stairs of the old Wilson property. No-one’s lived there for years except her. Family tragedy they said, no-one want to live there they said, something about families and murders and suicides they said. Whispers over the campfire or boisterous tales in the local pub. No-one really knew.
Back then we’d ry to talk to her. We’d call out “Hey Ever Upwards, why not come down the stairs?”
Then she’d seem to do that, though we weren’t really sure how. One minute she’d be at the top of those damn stars, then she’d sort of frizzle and frazzle like our old tv used to do when it was on the blink, and she’d be right down at the bottom of them again, just going back up.
“Hey Ever Upwards” we’d call out, always to no avail. “Why not come and play with us?”
I’d fancy we’d hear her cry just little bit when we said that. She never replied, but we kind of knew anyway. She couldn’t come play. All she could ever do was go up those dreadful stairs, all alone. We were sad for her, but we’d get bored and leave her alone for another day. Old Ever Upwards.
Now years later I think about her and suppose she’s still there. I have a story in my head about her which may not be true, but feels like it is. I think she was the last of the family to meet her murderous father, and he called her up the stairs. And after that, who’d want to know what happened, even her? I think she made herself forget what happened next, so her spirit got stuck, always going up those old stairs.
I might go back one day, just to visit. Maybe she’s lonely. Maybe she’d like that. or maybe she never even knew we were there. Maybe you can’t when you are stuck like that, in another time, anther action, and another thing you are making yourself forget. You just keep going upwards, ever upwards, because next…next..you fall.
(c) Helen M Valentina 2017