Day 16 – The Chest – Short Story

She sits in the attic and stares at the large dusty, cobweb covered chest and nervously wipes them away from around the lock and places a key inside, and her heart skips a beat as it turns. For more years than she can remember her mother never let her near the chest, but in the last days of her life she told Clara that once she had passed she was to open the chest, and whatever she found inside was hers. Her father places a hand on her shoulder and she looks up at him, tears run down his face, she smiles and places a hand on his lap.

“Are you sure, Mum never let me look inside it, never once, what was she hiding?”

“Open it and see,” he says softly. “But remember what we talked about, remember what Mum said, don’t be afraid, just follow your heart.”

“I know,” she says as she shuffles forward and opens the chest, a bright blue light shines from within, coming from a strange rock that sits next to a single letter and a photo, besides that the chest is empty, she looks back at her father and he nods his head.

“Read it,” he says as he gets to his feet, she can see in his eyes he is uncomfortable.

“Where are you going?”

“Your mother was very particular about this part, she said you had to be alone when you read the letter,” he says. “I’ll go make us a brew,” he says as he shuffles out of the room.

Slowly she reaches in and picks up the letter and the photo, it’s of her mother and her father, how young they both seemed, how happy they are. She feels something run through her body, a cold breeze, or something like that, and then she opens the letter up and begins to read.

‘My Dearest Clara,

God, this sounds crazy, to be writing this letter, to tell you how important this moment is. No one should ever have to know what you are about to know, let alone believe, but this is for lack of a better word, the truth you need to know. The rock that sits in this chest is something remarkable, something amazing, and the journey you will take will be one that will not only change your life, but it will also create it. The photo you hold is of your father and I after we first met, destiny you could say played a hand in it all, and love. Before I met your father I knew there was something greater out there for me, something amazing, and like you are now, I had not yet found it until I met him. The rock made that happen, where did it come from? I don’t know, it just always was there, some paradox on time allowed it to happen, as it did you, I know, it’s hard to understand, it’s even harder to explain. But know this, my love for you is more than a mother’s love, and your father, his love for you is more than a father’s. Follow your heart, let destiny guide you and know that there is no mistakes, there is only fate.

 

Love, always,

 

Mum.’

Clara sits and stares at the letter and then to the photo, realises for the first time how identical she looks like her mother, when she was younger, she places the letter and the photo on the floor and peers into the chest, at the strange glowing rock.

“What are you trying to tell me Mum?” She says aloud as she reaches into the chest and picks up the rock, she feels a warmth spread through her body from the rock and then her head begins to spins violently and she crashes to the floor with a thud, as the blackness takes her she sees her father standing in the doorway of the attic.

She must have laid there for hours before she regained consciousness, the moon now shining in through the attic window and she forces herself to her knees, the open chest sits in front of her and the rock, now black and cold sits in the centre of it. It’s then that she notices how clean the chest is, the cobwebs and dust gone, did her father clean it and leave her on the floor? She gets to her feet and walks towards the doorway, stopping for a moment, she looks around the room and notices how uncluttered the room is, and her mind races.

“What is going on?” She says as she opens the door, as a young man opens the door from the other side as well, they both jump in shock and Clara crashes to the ground, she stares at him in shock and realises how familiar he looks, in fact, he looks like her father did in the photograph.

 

END

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