In response to Tale Weaver’s Prompt 30 Pandora’s Box, I have for your amusement:
Great-Aunt Esmeralda and the Secret Box
Great-Aunt Esmeralda had barely turned to sand, when the horde, also known as my family (they would put fear in Genghis Khan’s heart!), arrived with their shovels; metal detectors, charms for finding things; spells to stop someone from finding things.
Wands; magic hammers; singing saws; and a stud would was good at locating treasure (oops); treasure dowsing sticks.
After a couple of hours of entertainment, I ambled into town to get a coffee. My barista said, “You don’t look too concerned about the doings up on the hill.”
“Nah, I replied. “Keeps ‘em busy, and no flights to the death like the last family gathering.”
Besides, I thought, the house needed a renovation (too full of ghosts), and neither of us could ever get the right spell to remove grubs from the lawn.
They were looking for the famous “secret box” supposedly won by my great-great-great grandfather times 10 in a Runish game of chance.
Being a secret box, no one knew exactly what it looked like and what it contained. The box come be found only when the holder became sand.
My favourite painting in the house hung in Great-Aunt Esmeralda’s bedroom; a child’s room with scattered toys, the wind just barely moving the white sheer curtains, and the gorgeous shades of light that spread through the room.
At her request, I climbed on a chair and touched the plain building block among others richly carved in exotic woods. The building block sprung open. Inside was a small, plain wooden box, easily overlooked as the secret box.
The contents: a small parchment tied with aging string. I carefully unrolled it. Written in Runish, Oldish, and a language I didn’t recognize. I ran my finger over the Oldish script.
Written on the scroll was: “There are no true secrets.”
Not to worry though. I had delivered the painting to a prominent museum where it hangs, a previously unknown work by a very famous painter.
I sat on what was left of the porch. Too bad Great-Aunt Esmeralda wasn’t here to enjoy the show.