Killian McCoy had been combing through and cleaning out her late grandmother’s attic for two days straight. The musty smell continued to make her nose wrinkle and sneeze when each movement inevitably disturbed the decades’ worth of dust and dirt that seemed to cover every possible surface within the surprisingly roomy space.
She’d already sorted through two steamer trunks worth of moth eaten clothing, encountered a bureau with aged and long-worn coats marking the eras it had witnessed, and moved boxes and boxes filled with things, including books, newspaper clippings, musical records, albums, old papers, sewing materials from the turn of the century onward, knick-knacks and more. Killian was in awe of the sheer number of things she found filling and spilling over the seemingly endless number of boxes and furniture still littering the attic.
The floorboards creak as Killian meanders through the path she’s carved into piles of furniture and stuff over the past couple of days. She can see her boot prints have disturbed the various layers of dust collected on the floor, the deepest layer still mostly undisturbed by her tracks.
Killian’s fingers absentmindedly reach out to brush against a worn velvet coat that’s still draped over a wingback chair with a large gash in the seat. She’d stopped asking herself why her grandmother had left so many broken, worn, and useless things to waste away in the room at the top of her house; it only made Killian miss her grandmother more, vainly wishing she’d asked while she had the chance.
She half-heartedly rummages through a box before the large mahogany chifforobe tucked into the farthest corner catches her eye once again. It wasn’t until late the previous night that Killian had finally moved the last pile of items that had been obstructing the doors and had kept her from peeking inside.
Her curiosity ignites the moment her gaze takes in the stately wooden armoire. The longer she stares, the stronger the pull on her fingers to reach out and pull open the doors. She doesn’t notice that she’s holding her breath until her hand hesitates on the handle and her head begins to spin from lack of oxygen.
Without knowing why, Killian is filled with a sense of exhilaration and wonder; she feels like a child at the top of a large hill about to take that first roll through the deliciously fresh cut grass.
The hinges shriek as Killian pulls open the doors in a breathless rush, the stale air greeting her in a whoosh. It takes a moment for her eyes to focus, but her gaze is immediately drawn to the floor of the wardrobe where a typewriter waits expectantly.
Killian stares at it for a moment before reaching in and lifting out the aging machine as if it had been her intention to find it all along. She is surprised and oddly comforted by the weight of the nearly ancient machine as she casts furtive glances around the dimly lit room for somewhere to place her newly found treasure.
When no such space is forthcoming on any of the aging furniture in sight, she decides the floor will do just fine and gingerly sets the typewriter on the dust strewn attic floorboards. Killian takes a moment and stares at the aged instrument, her fingers hovering over the expectant keys, drinking in the elegant craftsmanship.
Though there is no paper and she is relatively certain the typewriter must be much too old and rusted to function as it once did, Killian cannot resist the vibrating beneath her skin and heeds her impulse to stroke the keys with her fingertips.
The moment she makes contact, Killian is filled with a sense of warmth and inspiration; without thought, pause, or paper she begins typing. She hardly knows what she’s typing, only that it is now a compulsion that cannot be restrained. Her fingers fly over the keys as the typewriter begins to hum beneath Killian’s hands.
Her fingers move so deftly and swiftly that Killian can no longer see them as they blur from frenzied movements. Light begins to emit from the flashing keys at the heart of the typewriter, growing in heat and intensity as Killian continues to type, unable to slow or stop.
Killian closes her eyes as she imagines the world her fingers are inexplicably weaving on the long forgotten typewriter. Envisioning a welcoming forest floor, with grass that sways in the soft breeze of the darkening evening, lights dancing through the leaves as laughter rings through the trees.
A rush of air greets Killian’s face, but instead of the stale and dusty smell of the attic, the sweet scent of honeysuckle and the earthy aroma of nature fills her nostrils. She opens her eyes and gasps at finding herself no longer sequestered in the lonely attic, but on the forest floor she had been forming with her fingers, imagination, and heart.
Overcome with fascination and surprise, Killian unthinkingly removes her hands from the whirring, glimmering machine. The forest around her lasts for a moment or two before fading away and becoming the gray and grimy attic space.
After a hurried glance around the room, Killian’s gaze returns to the typewriter sitting inconspicuously in front of her. Her heart is still fluttering within her chest, excitement and wonder filling Killian’s mind as she replaces her hands on the keys.
She is breathless and licks her lips, almost able to taste the anticipation as she feels the surge of inspiration, the pull of the vibrating typewriter hungry for sustenance. Her touch is the ignition spark and from mind, to fingers, to typewriter, the magic of creation comes to life once more.