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THE GRAND HOTELPart three of three


HEIDI (indignant): “My turn Hank. Well, Hank pretended he didn’t even hear me! We continued up the never ending creaky steps. The stale air was constant and made us almost choke. We passed through several more old doors. None were locked we wondered how far up we were in the hotel. We thought we must be near the attic. Another door appeared through the cobwebs and dust and it had something written on it. We blew the dust away and saw what looked like words, “Off Limits” in old-fashioned fancy letters.”


“Now what?! I kept saying in a low voice, ‘Hank, let’s go back’.” He was so revved up nothing was going to stop him. It was pitch black and only our flashlight pierced the dusty air. The door opened easily and we shined the flashlight upward to see what appeared to be the end of the stairs.”


“The foul air increased which blew the cobwebs to and from. All of a sudden we heard what sounded like someone opening a creaky door up ahead. We froze in our tracks, huddled together and said nothing. Soon we faintly heard something like heavy plodding footsteps. Then all was quiet.”


HANK (interrupting): At that point I got brave and aimed the flashlight to the top of the stairs. What we saw made us gasp out loud! There, at the top of the stairs through the dust and the cobwebs, was the shape of a man! By now, we couldn’t breathe or move. Every now and then the silhouette moved slightly, making us both all the more jittery. I don’t know how long we stood there petrified and shaking. It seemed like an eternity. Out of deadly silence the shape continued to move ever so slightly. There were no footstep sounds, no doors were opened or closed. I became brave again and shined the flashlight a bit above the top of the stairs.”


HEIDI (quickly interrupted in a loud whisper): “Wait a minute, Hank! I thought the shape looked like an old fashioned woman’s floor length dress gently swinging.”


HANK: “We gathered our courage and slowly crept toward the top. The closer we came to the shape, it indeed resembled an old fashioned woman’s dress. When we finally stopped on the last step, we noticed the dress was at the front of twelve to fifteen other ones. They were all hanging on a wooden rack. All of them were late 19th century expensive formal dresses that had never been seen. Nearby, we could see fancy hats with big feathers and long white gloves. Everything was covered with dust and cobwebs.”


HEIDI (enthusiastically): “You should have seen the other tuff. One old trunk contained jewelry, others with shoes, and lots of dresses. There were many lamps, furniture and fantastic watches! Some of the antiques made us laugh out loud. They were so funny looking.”


“A heavy-looking metal box was locked but Hank unlocked it with his wire. To our surprise, it was jam packed with money and coins, from the late 19th century we guessed. By now, we realized this was all very valuable. We figured probably the clothing was used as late 19th century ball gowns for formal occasions, locked up at one time and abandoned for some reason. We realized we needed to tell our parents. Quickly we descended the stairway, closed the door, padlocked it and put the boards back in place and raced home.”


HANK: “It was now totally dark outside when we arrived home. We tried to sneak quietly into the house but Mom saw us.”


MRS. HOWARD: “Where have YOU been?”


HANK: “Well, we could hardly speak, out of breath and scared.”


MR. HOWARD: “What is it, you guys? Dad chimed in.”


HANK: “After a long pause, we related the story of the attic. Our parents were shocked. Dad almost read us the riot act but under the circumstances, he couldn’t. We had to wait until the next morning. Bright and early we went to the Chairman of the Hotel. He was amazed. He dispatched two security officers to the scene.”

HEIDI: “They had to take us with them. They couldn’t open the door. Tee Hee! After an inventory was taken, the report showed the items in the attic were worth over $1,000,000! We were instantly famous. We were featured on the nationwide news and television. Mr. Ray Randall, the Chairman of the Grand Hotel, awarded us both with a cash gift of $1,000! It turned out the items were things stored away for a future gala event. No one knew where the clothes, shoes, capes, top hats, and money had been stored. Years went by and it was all but forgotten.”


TV INTERVIEWER: “WOW! What an exciting story. You had me spellbound. Thanks for this delightful interview. We will now return to our scheduled programming. I’m Trevor Tate for Channel 52 Detroit reporting on the porch of the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.”

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Hal Vizino

A resident of Winterset Neighborhood Association, he is excellent artist & story teller. Hal author's a children's column in the newspaper. He became interested in writing children's stories and dedicating them to his four granddaughters. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer