It was a Saturday and I remember going to visit some old aunt of Mothers'. As a child I dreaded things like this, having to sit quietly and amuse myself with a music box while the adults talked in muffled voices. Mother was proud that she could take me anywhere and I'd behave. 'Better to be seen and not heard," she'd say. If she only knew the thoughts in my mind or where imagination could take me. The house itself was old, and Victorian. The ceilings soared high above and there was a grand staircase that seemed endless at it rose up countless flights. Maybe I'll count the stairs, and see where they lead too? I ventured out into the huge foyer and approached the stairs. Suddenly the air was different, sparkling dust motes spinning as if in a crystal ball and each stair I counted seem to lead me further still from the conversation in the drawing room. I counted fifty and still the stairs seemed endless soaring ever higher. There were paintings of sneering people no one smiled except for a child in a black and white photograph who seemed to beckon to me. I circled the landing below the planet Saturn which hung high above, its rings in perpetual motion. My legs were tiring as I reached 110 and I thought I might need to sit down, but an end was in sight, just three more and finally this was the last flight. All the floors beneath this one led to rooms with beds and heirlooms and such, nothing much to stir a child's imagination. Reaching the top at last I donned the conical hat that seemed reward for achieving my endeavor. The landing took me straight to a ladder that led to a trap door in the ceiling. Cautious but curious too, I scrambled up and was amazed at the sight of a huge attic. Dazzling light poured through a ceiling of stars. Amazing things were everywhere; A stuffed wolf baring his teeth, I could almost hear him howl, an Indian totem with carved faces some of animals some of men. Dusty sheets covered huge areas of the room and the items I could see were dated and odd as if collected and then forgotten. This was treasure beyond my wildest dreams. I happened upon an orange rock, I liked the warmth that emanated from it as I held it in my hand. My mother hated my perchance for collecting rocks, smelly horrid things she called them and made me put them in the flower bed outdoors. She couldn't understand that I preferred them to dolls yet they seemed to speak to me in a language of their own telling me of earths' beginning. I heard voices below and not wanting to be discovered, made ready to descend. There on the floor in front of me lay a letter, an echinacea root, and what appeared to be a wand. The voices seemed louder then floated away as I opened the parchment paper, so fragile and thin. The letter was written in a code or foreign language of some sort, I had seen something similar in the museum where Grandpapa loved to visit. It was there that I learned ours wasn't the only or the original alphabet and this one resembled one Grandpapa called Theban. Strange characters danced across the page like hands and noses. I loved the squiggly odd shapes the backward 9, all of them making me giggle. I so wished I could decipher this message and learn where it came from. I lifted the wand and waved it across the page, it couldn't hurt and just maybe it was magic. Astounded now I watched the letter change as if decoded. My eyes huge as saucers, my mind trying to keep up with the transformation. At last it was there before me, in simple English to read. "Patty get your **** down from the attic, auntie and I are having our tea." I gasped astounded at what was before me. I ran helter skelter down the ladder, down the 113 stairs. Breathless and a bit untidy I stood before Mother and Auntie. They didn't seem to notice me much, just handed me a little plate with a tiny sandwich, and a sweet and a lovely china cup with milky tea. 'Umphhm" I said, not wanting to interrupt their conversation. "How did you know?" I asked. "Know what Patty," they both said. That I was in the attic and how did you manage to leave me that coded letter? They both looked at me, mouths agape, you're talking gibberish child, we passed you moments ago asleep in the armchair with the music box in your lap. Now my heart was thumping wildly. I managed to swallow some tea, and a bit of sandwich, but my mind was reeling. As soon as possible I ran to the staircase, flying up the stairs counting, Yes, 113. But there was nothing there. No ladder, no trapdoor in the ceiling. It was just a dead end.