hat in God's name are you doing?!" Shirley's voice echoed harshly in the tiny space.
"Do you know how old this building is? You could have fallen through the ceiling!"
The clandestine pair was speechless. This is the kind of response Leslie expected from her father. She always thought of Shirley as very easy-going. Her reaction took them completely by surprise.
"Get down here, the both of you."
Silently they descended. Leslie still clutched the thin volume.
"I cannot believe that the two of you did that! I cannot believe it! First off, where do you get off going in to my attic without my permission? You are staying here with me as my guests. I sleep on the damn couch! You might treat me with a little more respect! Secondly, this building is extremely old. The ceiling could have collapsed, the ladder could have broken, any number of things could have happened! You lit a candle! What if you'd started a fire! You could have started a fire! I don't own a fire extinguisher!"
This was a side of Shirley Leslie had never seen before.
"What if the door had gotten stuck? You might have been trapped in there!"
Leslie noticed her father was trying not to smile.
"You brought food up there? Now I'll have rats!"
They were both giggling now. Shirley, who seemed to be working up a good head of steam, didn't notice.
"You broke into that trunk? I can't believe you broke into that trunk! You don't know what was in that trunk. You don't have the vaguest idea what was in that trunk, yet you opened it anyway! For all you know, it's where I keep my old knickers!"
She paused, as a new thought occurred to her. Eyeing the pair she said "You got that trunk open, didn't you?" They didn't respond.
"I could never get it open. There was no key."
Still no response. Shirley sighed.
"So, what was in the trunk?"
©1995 Hyperbole Studios Inc.