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[personal profile] puffy_wuffy
[2010.11.17][1652][28468]
In the attic, Rold and Harold were hard at work going through old, forgotten things.  Tiny, drifting motes of dust diffused the small amounts of light which seeped in the attic’s two windows, making the world seem brighter and softer amidst the bric-a-brac which had built up over the years.  Harold sat behind a set of banker boxes, sifting through papers and notebooks.  
Taking a breather, Rold stood next to the one window which looked out onto the street.  “A tiny model world.”  he said in amazement.  He held his hands up such that with his perspective it appeared that he was crushing a far away house.
“Different moving in it, right?  Walking around in it.”  Harold interjected while staring at a scribble on a yellowed piece of paper.  “Not model at all.”
Guiltily, Rold did not reply immediately.  He came to stand near Harold with his hands in his pockets.  Looking around for a second, Rold kept his voice low.  “I’ve left the house a couple of times before without permission.”
“I know.”  Harold shrugged.  “I figured all of you had gone against my wishes by now.  A week, maybe, fine.  But years?”
“Yeah, that would be kind of dumb.”  Rold smiled and scratched his head.
“I’d have to be completely dumb not to know that you guys were in and out of the house.”  Harold dusted the cover of a notebook with his hands.  “You were always back before I got home.  I thought that was good enough.  I wanted all of you to be safe.  I mean, what would happen if any of you got hurt?”  Harold flipped through the notebook idly.  “Anyway, Harry told me a long time ago, but he wanted me to not tell on either you or Rold.  He figured things were bad enough.”
“They were.”  Rold sneezed then rubbed his nose with the back of a hand.  “Couldn’t do anything really, not that I wanted to.”  Spotting a set of untouched boxes, he strode gently towards them, taking care not to make the floorboards creak too much.  Each of them had been treating the house with care ever since the sale had been finalized and all of the contracts signed.  They were no longer living in their own house, they were living in someone else’s place.
Tossing the notebook into the box for trash, Harold waggled his index finger.  “See, that’s what I told him:  I didn’t want to be outside when I was a kid.  In fact, I was kind of afraid of other people.  Not that any of you are me.  Not that I want any of you to be me.  Although, would it be so bad?”
“Point driven home with a stake.  You’re forgiven.  I’m forgiven, all is well with the world.”  Rold kicked a box.  “This one says ‘Taxes.’  Keep or toss?”
“Shred.  Make a new pile.”  Harold commanded.
Rold carried the heavy bits of tax information and placed it next to the trash set.  He gazed at Harold, hard at work diving into papers and notebooks.  “Should we shred every box that has taxes written on it?”
Harold stretched his arms upward and bent over at the waist.  “We’re rebels now.  Lawbreakers.”  He grinned.  “I’ll never keep another box that has taxes written on it ever again.”
“Plus, we can do it online now, grampa.  Welcome to the new milleniumm.”  Rold groaned, spotting a few more offending tax boxes.  “I’ll get to those later.”  Scanning the large store of remaining objects, he espied an interesting bit.  “A-ha!  A lamp that looks like it saw better days during the Reagan administration.”
“Red lampshade?”  Harold glanced up.  “No bulb, right?”
“Yeah.”  Rold held the lamp as if it was a microphone stand.  “Vintage!”  A bit of dust flew up and he coughed, stepping away.  “We can’t even sell this stuff online.”
Harold chuckled.  “That’s why we’re tossing most of it.  That . . . toss.  Its a little too messed up to donate.”
“We can’t take it with us.”  Smiling, Rold placed the lamp near the boxes of stuff to toss.  “Hold on.  We’re taking your paper stuff out of decrepit boxes, looking at them and sticking them in boxes,”  Rold took a breath.  “Then, we stick them in other boxes or leave them in their . . . packages and carry them downstairs?”
Harold gnawed on his upper lip in thought.  “Yes, that sounds about right.”
“Doesn’t this seem backwards to you? There’s got to be a better way.”
Harold shook his head in disagreement.  He picked up a smelly wad of papers which were stuck together.  Instead of looking through the offending papers one by one, he shook them hard as a body.  When nothing fell out or off of the wad, he tossed it into the trash box on the growing heap.
“Ugh, disgusting.”  Rold stuck his tongue out.  “We could save a lot of time if we tossed all this crap out the window.”  At Harold’s look, Rold remarked, “Sorry, all of your old person crap out the window.”  With not much else left to do, he started the process of carrying the various tax boxes to the trash boxes.  Dragging his feet, he elongated the task.  He shuffled while singing, “We could toss these out the windoooow.”
Sternly, Harold stated, “I think Misses Turner really likes the grass.”
“Whoop di do.”  Rold snarked.  “She did pay full price,”  he admitted.  
“There you go.  Isn’t it nice that we’re doing something at all?”  Harold finished up with his box, then carried the remains of the box over to the growing pile of cast offs.  “If I have to hear Harry and Hare argue about what we absolutely have to have, I think I’ll have a fit.”
Mocking Harry, Rold intoned, “Go absolutely mad?  Why I shall go absolutely mad without my tea.  Blimey.”
“He’s not British.  Really not British.”
“I think he’s doing it for fun at this point.  To annoy us.  At least he’s just ‘taking the piss,’ I think Hare really is serious about bringing every single tool that we have.” Kicking at another box, Rold declared, “This one has nothing written on it.”

Harold rushed to it and knelt.  Lifting the flaps carefully, he raised a black lab notebook out of the container.  Reverently, he opened the dusty tome, not even pausing to wipe away dust.  Turning the first page, his face became enraptured.
“I guess we’re not tossing this one, then.”  Rold left Harold to it.
Turning the pages slowly, Harold interacted with what was written there.  His face lit up occasionally and he let out a hearty guffaw once or twice.  After Harold fell over laughing, Rold finally wanted to know what was going on.
“What’s special about this one?”
“It’s . . . my idea book.”  Harold closed the notebook with a thump.  “I had a million ideas in my thirties, and I couldn’t wait to do them all.  I’d just been hired and I was full of fire and vinegar.”
“In regular speech?”
“I was inspired.”  He grinned, placing his hands on the notebook.  “I wrote down all of my crazy experiment ideas in this.  Things that wouldn’t work normally.  Before I figured out how the organization worked, and how to hire other scientists.  Then once I started really working everything took longer than I thought they would.  I had almost forgotten that I had bought these.”
“These?  Plural?”
Indicating the opened package, Harold lifted an identical lab notebook.  “I bought all of these, figuring that I’d fill them all.  Something like fifty in a pack.  Not a crateload, but still, quite a few.”
Rold opened the identical book.  “Its empty.”
“I never found time to fill them.  I had to sign timesheets, or clean a machine’s flow, or go to a lecture series or a convention.”  Holding his idea book aloft, Harold opined.  “Its a useless piece of junk.  I’ll never have enough time or resources to do any of these now.  Might as well recycle it.”
“Does it have us in there?”  Rold pointed to the scribbled on pages.
“Actually, yes.”  Flitting through, Harold came to a stop midway through the book.  “Here.”
Rold squinted.  “It doesn’t really make sense.  Something about parameters, what does that equation mean?”
“No, but you see, that’s where the idea began.”  Harold explained.  “I was wrong, several thousand times.  That’s where I started, though.”
Rold stared at it, then closed the book, holding it idly at his side.  “I’ll keep it.”  Rold picked up an identical empty book.  “And one clean book.  If you can fill one, old man, I can fill one.  I know Hare’s not into science and Harry, he’s trying to make it from one day to the next.”  Rold shrugged.  “Me?  I don’t know, maybe I will.”
“Maybe you will,”  Harold agreed.  He watched Rold handle his old idea book with care.  Shifting away from Rold, Harold decided to go through the random tchotchkes dotting the landscape, particularly the ceramic ones, which all were holiday themed, hence why they were up in the attic in the first place.  Placing the cheery decorations in the donate pile, he noted that Rold kept on glancing through the various pages of garble.  Eventually, Rold gave up all pretense of organizing the attic and its mess:  he focused on the idea book.  Harold continued to poke his way through the figurines, even as the light from the outside waned.  The sun had not yet set when the streetlight outside flickered on, bathing one side of the attic in orange light.
“Almost dinnertime”  Harry called up through the access panel.  “You two all right in there?”
“Coming down.”  Turning to exit, Harold yelled back.  “Are you coming?” he said to Rold.
“No.  You know, I’m gonna clean for a little bit more.  Call me when the food’s on the table”  Sitting cross-legged over Harold’s idea book, Rold turned a page. 

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