Aphelion Issue 274, Volume 26
July 2022
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
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The Guest In the Attic

by John Grey

Something is hid away in an attic while parents
parade photographs of a happy baby, cherubic
face framed by golden locks.

Books of fairy tales are tossed in the fire.
No more ogres, witches, wicked stepmothers.
No more pretty princesses held captive in a tower.

A bilious green paint conceals the writing
on the wall. The crib is sold in a yard sale.
Broken doll pieces are tossed in the trash.

But still the parents shudder at the
guttural ranting, spit-laden gnashing, from above.
And where’s the cat? And where’s the plumber?

A plate of food is left outside an attic door
three times a day. But, unfortunately,
the one inside is hungry four times a day.

© 2009 John Grey

John Grey has been published recently in the Georgetown Review, The Pinch, South Carolina Review and The Pedestal, with work upcoming in Alimentum and Big Muddy.

Find more by John Grey in the Author Index.

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