The Left-Behind Cauldron
Alinisha hadn’t been warned only once to stay out of the dusty old attic. Mother had warned her of the giant fanged rats that loomed in the darkest corners. Aunt Marie Olean had warned Alinisha in her most frightening tone, “You go in, you may not come out.” Aunt Marie Olean had smiled, her rotting teeth seeming to glare at Alinisha with their own little dirty faces.
“Muma,” she had asked, just before her entrance into the forbidden attic space, “Are there really rats in Gran’s storage?” Her curious, eight-year-old eyes bore into her mother’s dark and cloudy eyes.
“Don’t bother me now, Alinisha,” she had whispered with a wave of her hand. “I am busy, she added, raising the novel that she had been reading to hide her face.
“Yes, Muma,” the young girl had said, although she knew that she was about to disobey.
Within minutes, she had climbed the creaking stairs in the back of the old house that her grandfather had built. She stood at the threshold of the forbidden room, staring at the large black thing that blocked the only window. A small beam of the noon sun reached past the dark black thing and touched the toe of Alinisha’s shiny, black shoe.
She approached the thing and touched it bravely, although her hand was shaking. A couldron. It was only a large couldron like the one that hung in the fireplace in the kitchen. Mother, Aunt Marie Olean, and Aunt Marie Carry only used it once a year to prepare their mother’s great soup that was supposed to give them peace and luck. Alinisha knew that there were many secrets about Gran, but she had een patient, for although her mother and the smelly Aunt Marie Olean dismissed and ignored her questions, Aunt Marie Carry had promised to tell her everything when she was older.
“But when will that be?” Alinisha had asked.
“I will know when you are ready,” her favorite aunt had said.
But Alinisha could wait no longer. She wanted to know, and more so now that she had discovered the giant couldron.
“Didn’t you know?” said an eerie, rasp voice from behind her. “Curiosity killed the cat.”