Prompt from Toasted Cheese.
He sank into the leather chair, closing his eyes as he clutched the small, rusted tin tightly in one hand. He used to come up here often as a boy, but he’d long since forgotten the treasures he’d discovered at that age. The attic still smelled heavily of dust and mildew, something he’d never minded as a boy, but something that brought tears to his eyes now. Neglect. The place would be all the better for a good cleaning, he thought, and if he could get the grime off the ancient windows he might even get enough light in here, turn it into a spare bedroom or office space. Still, he remained in the chair, oddly comfortable despite the torn leather beneath him. He turned the tin over, barely able to make out the maker’s logo printed on the outside, yet knowing it by heart: Mark’s Candies. He could walk the route in his mind; three streets over, take a shortcut through the park, past the duck pond where his ten-year-old self would make faces at the ducks, his father laughing and encouraging him to jump in every puddle, until at last they reached the shoppe and purchased a nickle’s worth of the coveted sweets. The shop was long gone; he’d passed by the empty storefront on his way back from the funeral home where his father was laid out, awaiting burial.
Gently, he opened the tin. Inside, it still smelled of peppermints.