A dark cloud rolled across the skies and a parade of kettle drums accompanied the march. of wind and rain. At the inn droplets formed and competed with dust on warped glass windows.
“Molly, be ye goin’ to the faire?” Mary O’Connell stood at the bottom of the stairs and looked into the darkened passage expecting an immediate answer. None came. “Molly O’Connell, aire ya listn’ girl? Her demand was yet to reach the fever pitch of her red hair. Mary pulled a dancing lock from her eyes and shouted up the stairs. “Molly!”
The return greeting of silence both frustrated Mary and worried her. Molly was a typical teenager, who often got engrossed in the latest novel or teenage magazine. Mary regarded the stairs, she was already tired from scrubbing floors, and to climb the stairs one more time was more than she was truly willing to do, however, with her outburst drawing no attention she elected to submit to the incline and track down the stray Molly O’Connell. Molly liked to play in the attic; Mary knew that even her loudest voice would not carry to the third floor.
Mary reached the second floor landing and looked for a light in the teenager’s room, however, no hint of light emitted beneath the door. She glanced toward the lavatory, again no light was seen. Finally, she saw a shaft of light coming from the attic stairway. “Molly!” She demanded.
Suddenly, the door burst open and down the stairs bounded a scantily clad teenage girl. Her short yellow skirt bounced above her waist when she hopped to the landing floor.
“Look at yaself girl, you’d covered in cobwebs and dust. Molly, what were you doing up there?”
“Nothing mum, twas looking through some old trunks.” She began brushing off her arms and dress. “Mum, I need few quid for the faire.”
“You’ll not be goin out like that. Put some clothes on, it’s raining you know, you’ll catch your death you will. Anyway, I thought ye be goin wid your bother today. I put ten pound note on the bureau for both ye.”
“Oh, no mum, Danny, Charlotte, and Liam will be by presently, Liam owes me a quid, I’ll make’m pay.”
“Mind ye their mums don’t let em out without proper clothes.” Mary’s voice trailed off. She didn't have the heart to force babysitting off on Molly on a rainy day.
Molly hopped into her room and closed the door. Although Mary had not finished her motherly lecture, she elected to save the bulk of it for later. In front of her loomed the attic pull down stairs. I wonder what that scamp was into.
Mary pulled herself up the attic stairs and peered into the darkness. Somewhere her hand found the cotton pull cord of the attic light. “If I find a leprechaun up here I will scream bloody murder I will.” She was used to talking to herself; her teenage children rarely gave her more than a short audience.
She discovered an old chair and rested herself. It had been a year since she was in the attic. Usually, one of the men of the house hauled boxes and trunks up and down the steep attic stairs. “What could interest me Molly so much up here?”
Although hidden in the shadow, a trunk was open on her right. Mary reached over to an attic window and pulled off the dirty brown cloth covering. The room suddenly filled with a gray light. “Rain gonna wash us all away. Whisht, will you. Lookie there.”
Mary spied the open trunk and scattered clothes around an old Bible. The pages were turned to Psalms, and a verse marker was indicating the 135th Psalm. “Mercy.” Mary looked around the trunk then saw the two clean splotches in the dust. Both spots were directly in front of the trunk.
Tears immediately began to run down Mary’s face. “She ad to be kneeln’ here. I shoulda knowed’ it.”
Outside the house laughing voices broke the foreboding silence of the attic. Mary stood to look out the window. Four youngsters were walking in the street. Rain splashed off their plastic rain slickers. From the attic Mary could see the short yellow skirt of her daughter bouncing along under a short rain cape.
“Surely, dear Lord, sometimes it must rain for a mum to know her daughter.”
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