The Floorboards


My Aunt’s name is Roanna Giddings and she likes to collect cat figurines and she plays songs like ” Pineapple Princess ” on her Ukulele.

My Aunt she told me that when she was a kid she wanted to be Annette Funicello who was a Mousketeer from the original Micky Mouse Club and I think Pineapple Princess was one of  her songs.

She’s had the same haircut  ( my Aunt, not Annette who died awhile back) for the last 35 years and when it snows she won’t shovel the sidewalk in front of her house because she likes to watch people slide across the walkway to either side of her house where her more rule abiding  neighbors with salted and shoveled sidewalks live.

Those little peculiarities aside, my Aunt likes to take walks with her dog just after dinner, she goes to Vegas twice a year and most of the time she breaks even and sometimes she wins. And she has bowls full of those tiny little lollipops that you get from the bank or from people on Halloween night who buy the biggest cheapest bag of candy they can find.

Funny FYI, you can find those big rolls of economy pack toilet paper packs in the same aisle at most of your supermarkets.

So that’s my Aunt, a little odd, slightly but not so odd she would stand out in a crowd.

Then that thing that happened at her house a few months ago that has left me to re-think my views on my Aunt.

My Aunt invited me, my Dad and a neighbor  over for pizza night and being that we all liked Mushroom an Pepperoni  pizza with thick crust and Key Lime Pie we all accepted her invite.

We ate Pizza and listened to her favorite radio program- its a series about a guy who has a cable tv show that explores the paranormal. You did read that right, its a radio show about a tv show.

Like peanut butter on a bacon cheddar cheeseburger, it just works.

So after dessert and the show ended I watched my Aunt get up from her chair, she walked around the table and as she passed my Dad she reminded him to take Grandma to they eye doctor the next morning, she told her neighbor that there was a Wasps nest in the tree that sat on their property line and that they should probably do something about it because it was as big as a horse’s head. I watched her walk into her bedroom that was across the hall from the dining room.

She turned the light on, I heard the floor boards next to her bed creak as she walked towards the window, I heard the window close and then -nothing.

She never came out of that room and nobody ever saw her again.

Of course the police were involved and there were stories in the news about the lady who wandered off from a family dinner and disapeared.

Most people assumed she had mental health issues and old people did things like that. They foget  who they are and where they are going. Only my Aunt wasn’t old and she never forgot anything.

My Aunt’s disapearence was one of those things in life that put’s the hairs on the back of your neck up  and you try to tell yourself there’s a chill in the air that why those little hairs popped up but it’s a  skin blistering  summer day at high noon. So instead of figuring out what is wrong you just ignore it because it seem to be better just let that creepy feeling creep away.

Most people who dealt with her disaperance felt that way.


Sometimes when the lights are on I play it over in my mind- did my aunt walk out of her room, through the dinning room and out the front door in the living room in a blink of the eye and that’s why we didn’t see her leave?

Was my Aunt  a ghost and me and Dad and her neighbor all blessed ( or cursed ) with the second sight and made it a habit to eat pizza with her on radio night?

Or is the answer much more simple- maybe we never understood who or what my Aunt was.


I live in my Aunt’s house now. I even sleep in her old room,  I painted it yellow and took down the curtains and put up blinds

And sometimes when I go into the bedroom I  hop up and down on the  the floorboards next to the bed and make them creek.

I find that noise reassuring.


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