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Stairway To Heaven?

Updated: Feb 20, 2021

By, Wendiann Alfieri Part One: Graphite

The Maneras Mansion was impressive in how squeaky clean it was. It almost sparkled. A woman named Marina was in the middle of it, standing in awe. But not at the decor, or the piano that was just standing there. Just looking up at the huge ceiling was enough to make her eyes widen.

Marina had eyes like a hawk. Her mother had always joked about how Marina would find “ Waldo” in a crowd of identical people. She had good senses and as sharp as her eyes were, so was her sense of smell

Everything and everyone had a sort of aura around them

Marina couldn’t tell what this woman’s aura was

But her nose smelled a smell of ash

“ I will give you a thousand dollars” the woman said.

Marina’s mouth almost dropped to the floor

Whatever was wrong could wait

“ Just clean the kitchen and set up for the dinner party, clean the bathroom downs the hall, the indoor swimming pool please just make sure the temperature is kept? whatever you do don’t touch the stairs they are old just don’t go up them please? I need a whole new one a lot of the steps creak and god the other day I almost hurt myself when the one stair caved in...” she trailed off. But Marina instantly felt the need to go on the staircase specifically because she wasn’t able to. The woman showed her around and soon she left to watch a play with her friends, and come back to a meal Marina would cook and serve. The woman was wearing a red dress with a black goofy shawl. As the door closed Marina went to work.

Cleaning the bathrooms was like walking into a bedroom

The table was set and the chicken was being cooked

The indoor pool was fine, and Marina wanted to jump in it. She loved being in water and letting herself just float. But soon Marina was done, and a quick check from her watch said that she still had an hour and a half till the woman’s party came home. And she looked at the staircase

They were Almost like just plain old stairs.

Nothing special

They looked incredibly worn like many people had rushed up them

Many times

But it was also mesmerizing. Because as Marina approached it to look up it seemed like the staircase went on forever

Something was wrong

But something captivated Marina. She wanted to see where they led too, her sense of having her guard up dissolved a little as she took a step toward it. The woman of the house wasn’t there

Maybe she wouldn’t care

For god sakes it’s a staircaseMarina was always so impulsive. When someone said “ no” Marina would feel the need to make it a yes, took it as a challenge.

Marina was just a sixteen year old who cooked amazingly. She did a bunch of her fellow classmates parents’ dinner parties with her mom as she went to a school where parents just did that. Helped pay tuition.

Tonight she was on her own but there were only to be a few people and Marina wanted the practice. But as her eyes, blue and wide, were not aware of anything till she was on the second step of these worn down stairs she shouldn’t give a damn about normally.

Her foot was in sneakers, a little warm.

As her foot went to the second step, everything disappeared and the world melted around her.

She was walking up these stairs as a child. Barefoot and paint all over her three year old self. Holding a spoon, moms special sauce spoon. It was covered in paint and Marina heard the mother call her name. And Marina dropped the spoon and as her moms voice grew closer, Marina ran farther up. Marina’s thoughts were confused as she vaguely went on.

The woman is now running up following Marina. Her mother yells. She’s a blonde, about thirty years old. She runs up the stairs to her child, covered in paint. The mother sighs and just lets her kid go after picking up the sauce spoon and hurrying back down.. And Marina’s legs grow to be the legs of a six year old as the world melted. She was jumping on the stairs playing catch with a handball now. She hears distant fighting. Her parents were fighting loudly and Marina didn’t know why. Dad was growing distant and her mother was stressed out all the time and Marina had to get up to her room as quickly as she could. As an angry father bustles up the stairs he looks down up at Marina, frozen, with a look of pain and tears. He sits down next to Marina and hugs her close, crying. “ I will miss you Beatrice,” he says. Marina pictures all the fun in the snow her and her dad had the day before, sledding down the hill in the backyard laughing when building snowmen that looked like shapeless beings from another world. Her father took her to a carnival this past summer and Marina rode all the family riders with her, her dad, and her mother.

Her father, the one who always was spilling things in the kitchen by accident. Her father who helped her brush her teeth. He ran up past her and Marina’s mom stood at the bottom crying loudly and pleading as she ran past Marina to see her husband and they hugged. They were both crying with each other. Marina drops the handball as it pit-pats down the steps. Her father sees her. Her mother does too. “ What’s wrong mommy?” Marina asked. “ Daddy, daddy has to, to leave,” her mother stuttered. “ Why?” Marina asked. “ He has to help our country, he’s got to be a hero” the mom said. “ Daddy’s already a super hero!” She screamed. She ran past her parents, to get to her room before the world melts. She is ten now, and Mom was making pancakes for dads special day home today. And Marina was running up the steps to wake her father for breakfast. Now that he was home, her mom and her and him hung out everyday. She was so happy it was her birthday and he was there, and gave her a huge teddy bear.There was no way Marina understood anything to a full extent. She just knew he was home and the smell of pancakes rose to the ceiling. Her dad soon rushed down, grabbing her and picking her up and she was laughing and and...

Her sixteen year old self was stumbling up the stairs her head pounding. She had been at school when everyone was whispering about how her dad was a hero.


But he was still alive, Marina knew.

Until her best friend tried to tell her different

Marina had punched her best friend and she didn’t punch back

But someone else stepped in and pushed Marina down and Marina hit the ground hit her head hard

And now Marina was crying as her mom sat on the step with her holding her head she had a headache that wouldn’t go away

Marina knew then what her mom didn’t have to

Her dad...

Marina snapped out of it. She was on the second step and soon backed down looking up at the story she just experienced. It wasn’t her story tho. Her dad had left her mother when she was two. She never knew him. Her mom was always busy and running the company that debt was trying so hard to swallow. And here was this story.

None of it made any logical sense

So Marina began to think more

Thinking about how her father had contacted her from jail yesterday. Asking for help. How much he loved her. But it was all a ruse

She knew his games even while not knowing him.

He hurt her mom before he left

He was never a hero

And now he was to sit in a cell

And he should stay there

But Marina felt her heart yearn

To have a dad at all

Tonight the pay would be great. She still didn’t know why she was being paid so much money.

It felt fishy

But she needed to bail him out

Her heart aches and knew she was going to do the wrong thing

But it didn’t stop her

As the door burst open and in walked a girl.

She saw Marina by the steps and looked at her straight in the eyes

Marina saw