Glass Staircase Homecoming 










Grunting with the effort, I lifted the heavy suitcase out of the back of the taxi and waved at the driver (standing to the side, not helping with any of the bags). He nodded at me and walked forward to slam down the boot, hopping back into the front seat and quickly peeling out of the driveway.

         ‘Charming,’ I muttered to myself. I leant down and grabbed the handle of the suitcase, dragging it to where my wife was standing in front of the door, tapping her foot impatiently.

         ‘Hurry up,’ she said, almost jumping up and down. ‘It’s been a week since we’ve seen them!’

         ‘It’s not the eighteen-forties,’ I said, rolling my eyes. ‘You spoke to them this morning – we know they’re alive. Worst case we’ll just need to phone that glass repair company near Melbourne and fix a window or two.’

         ‘You mean there might be shattered glass in there?’ she gasped, horrified. ‘Do you have the keys?!’

         I let a look of mock horror cross my face, dropping the suitcase dramatically so I could slap my pockets. I hooked her for a moment, a look of shared fear flashing through her eyes for the microsecond before she realised I was making fun of her.

         ‘Not. Funny,’ she growled. Chuckling, I pulled the house key from my shirt pocket and tossed it to her. She snatched it out of the air and spun around, smoothly slotting it into the lock.

         I raised an eyebrow, impressed at the display, then got back to the pile of luggage.

         The door swung open, and my wife rushed forward, looking expectantly around the entryway.

         ‘Maggie?’ she called out. ‘Jason?’

         Neither child immediately replied. She rushed to the glass stair balustrade and placed a single shoe on the staircase.

         ‘Jason?’ she repeated. ‘Maggie? We’re home!’

         Still no response. Seeing the panic starting to bubble up within her, I laughed and pointed upstairs.

         ‘Do you hear that?’ I asked, directing her to the muffled boy band and the blaring video game soundtrack. ‘They’re here – they just can’t hear you.’

         ‘Is that so,’ she hissed, eyes narrowing.