The Landlady

Photo by Andreea Ch on

There empty rooms in the attic for rent,

the stairs are sound, the floor is sound the roof is sound too

one of the rooms in furnished

that’s the room my Aunt used to live in before…before didn’t have use for it anymore.

It’s still furnished because I don’t have the heart to empty it.


If you don’t like what’s there, well. I hope your do. If you don’t you’ll have to pack it up

yourself- is that okay?

Good. Good. Splendid.

It is charming as it is, isn’t it?


Yes, everything is clean- no dust, no mold, Mr. Price takes care of this floor. He’s the

gardener but as you can see, it’s all about maintenance and not so much about


Still, he does keep the woodwork  polished, he plumps the cushions. He vacuums and

sweeps and opens the windows daily when the weather allows.


No. No rats, no mice, a few spiders now and then but they keep to themselves.


Now here are the rooms that are empty- as you can see they have been well


They’re aired out and dusted, the windows are polished on schedule. Yes it is very

bright in all of the empty rooms. My Aunt was a painter and a sculpture so she insisted

on those windows always being  cared for. Old habits die hard, don’t they?


Well. I suppose I don’t mind telling you.

My Aunt is no longer with us- she, we had a tragedy and she died. It’s been six years- six

years on November 1st, as a matter of fact.

She passed in the hallway. We think she was going into the studio here at the time.


Please go on in, take a look around. It is the biggest room up here and you can certainly

it for anything you-


What’s that?  Here, let me take a look.

It looks like a bottle, perhaps it was one of my Aunt’s medicine bottles. Yes it is

strange.  It’s empty too. Perhaps she was going to store something in it, maybe she was

going to throw it away. I honestly couldn’t say.


I understand, you have a few other places to look at today.

Well. Of course please do think about it and get back to me when you can.


The Landlady  heard the door at the bottom of the stairs open, the potential tenant was making

small talk with the housekeeper and then she heard the attic  door shut.


She was still holding the empty medicine bottle in her hand, she thought about not 

putting back on the windowsill, but it wouldn’t matter where she put it.  It would turn

up again, like it always has since the night her Aunt swallowed everything that was

inside of it and died looking out the window to the grounds below.


It’s a shame, she thought.

They are a lovely set of rooms and at night when the moon is shining it lights them up

and the shadows from the trees dance on the walls and her Aunt dances with them the way

she did before she died.


Old habits, as I mentioned earlier

die hard- some though never die at all.