I was in grade school when my family first moved to Ohio. I was a country girl who was now living in a much more urban space. Our house was in a suburb nestled into a nice community, but I felt out of place and far from everything I knew. People made fun of my accent — even my teachers. I learned very quickly how to change my speech and my dialogue to fit in.
My dad worked in a steel mill in a very industrial part of town. He discovered an unclaimed freight store and our family often went there on Saturdays. To be honest, I am not sure what they were looking for because I am not sure I remember them ever buying anything. Maybe they bought a carpet remnant at one time. Perhaps it was a way to just pass the time.
I have written about this before. For me, the unclaimed freight store was a place my imagination ran wild. There were often suitcases, locked with no key, waiting for someone to buy them. I begged my parents to buy a suitcase, but of course they never did. Such a shame really, because I am sure they were filled with mystery and intrigue.
I was sure that a mysterious woman had boarded a train in the early morning hours. She was running away from someone, or perhaps to someone. Unfortunately, she met a tragic death on the rails, trying to move from one car to another, running from something…or someone. Inside her suitcase or her travel bag were clues that would give away her identity and answer the questions about where she was going and why. Did she murder her felonious husband? Or had she boarded the train with money she had stolen from the wealthy banker for whom she served as a low paid laundress?
I was never to find the answers to the mysteries I conjured up in my head. Suitcases and trunks, often abandoned, show up frequently in my writing. I guess there are some childhood thoughts we never quite outgrow.