Delivery

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The deliveries kept on coming. The mailman paused at the doorstep as he left a stack of boxes there. What were this people buying? he wondered as he walked away.

Afreet #DearDiary #AtoZChallenge

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Afreet – a powerful jinn or demon from Arabian and Muslim mythology

Dear Diary,

My eBay parcel has arrived! A whole two months after ordering and having the delivery date continuously set back. I wasn’t expecting to never receive it, thinking I’d fallen into a scam again but no! I opened the parcel and inside was the box! And it’s a perfect addition to my collection.

It’s so pretty, all cherry wood with intricate inlaid design of flowers, leaves and swirls. It’s bigger then both my hands put together, so a medium size then. It’s hard to tell the age but it must be old because it’s smooth to the touch and looks quite worn down. There’s damage to one corner, it’s cracked and chipped but it’s at the back so can be hidden.

I went to open it but couldn’t not! There was a tiny keyhole lock and of course, no key to be found! Disappointed but determined, I got some tools out and after a few minutes I had broken the lock.

The hinges were old too but silent as I opened the box. Inside, was all wood and a darker colour from the outside which showed how time had aged things.

I smiled, thankful it had arrived safely but then a sort of thick, dark red mist rose up from the box! There was a strong gust of air, I dropped the thing and tumbled backwards. I hit my head on the edge of the sofa and as I sat up rubbing the growing bruise, I saw a form taking place above the coffee table.

I was too shocked to cry out or anything, I just carried on watching as before me appeared a huge red demon ? His massive black curly horns bashed into the ceiling, He had no hair, his eyes with gold coloured and the size of dinner plates. His body was all rippling with muscles and they were so pronounced I could count them all clearly! His hands and fingers were long and claw like. From his hips downwards was a tornado of red smoke which twisted down to a sharp point.

He was heavily decorated with gold jewelry; chains as thick as his arms were around his neck and waist, huge hoop earrings hung from dropped lops and touched his shoulders. Around his wrists and arms were so many bracelets and cuffs it was hard to see his red skin underneath! On his claws were many rings, some were solid but others had gem and precious stones inlaid.

An almighty laugh echoed out of him which shook my house like an earthquake. He seemed very pleased about something. He curled his hands up and rose them to the ceiling as he threw his head back, horns scraping the ceiling and raining down bits of plaster.

I wet myself with fear. I hate to admitment that, Diary but it’s true. I thought I had released the Devil himself! I hide behind the sofa, shaking and with my hands over my ears because his laughter was deafening and sounded like that of an insane man. There was no time to think or do anything. Not that I could have done if I was capable.

The laughter faded then the sofa was tossed aside as if it was little more then child’s rag doll. The demon looked me down, puffing out mega lung fulls of breath.

‘Don’t hurt me! I’m sorry!’ I cried.

‘Bow to me mortal!’ the demon’s voice boomed.

I nodded and pressed my head to the carpet. What else was I meant to do?

‘I am an Afreet, a Jinn and you have released me after a hundred years of being stuck in that box.’

‘A genie? Like in a super being who grants wishes?’ I questioned to myself.

‘No. I am a demon of the underworld,’ replied the Afreet, ‘and now I am free once more to reap chaos on the world!’

He laughed that horrible victorious laugh once more then explode out of living room. My house crumpled like a bomb had hit it. I dashed out of the hole the Afreet had made and into the street. I tripped over something and lay dazed in the middle of the road.

My house was obliterated and nothing more then a pile of bricks and broken glass. The firebridge said it must have been a gas leak or an unexploded World War 2 bomb that had been missed and just triggered itself.

Recovering in hospital and now resting in this hotel room, I decided to write this true account of what happened. Where the Afreet is now I have no idea but I know he was real and soon we will feel the chaos.

(Inspired by; http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/2020/04/atozchallenge-2020-anamnesis.html?fbclid=IwAR1f82CLEmAg_AoRywI2FIKGN-OBFnOj7yuGd_JVWiayKcigQmzAADB2L0E thanks.

It’s that time of year again! It’s the April A-Z challenge. I’m sticking with my normal theme of discovering words. I hope you enjoy reading all my stories this month and like me, learn some new words along the way).

Books #1Linerweds

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Ill and off on long term sick, Sadie had quickly got bored being at home all day. One morning, going into the box bedroom, now a storage room, Sadie found a box which contained books from her university days, now fifteen years in the past.

Inside, she found classic literature; Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, Frankenstein, Robinson Crusoe, The Monk and many more titles.

Sadie smiled remembering those too fast gone by days. Thinking, I’ve more time now to read and enjoy them, Sadie selected one of the books and began turning the yellowing pages.

 

(Inspired by; https://lindaghill.com/2019/05/22/one-liner-wednesday-books/ with thanks).

Gone

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I held the last photo of the ship, The Blue Royal, taken before it had sunk under stormy waves in my hands. You could barely make out the black shape of the ship against the grey sky and sea. The photo had been taken some distance away, on another ship, The Blue Princess, by a passenger wanting to capture the storm.

I knew the full history of both ships, not though interested but family history. My great aunt’s twin cousins, Lily and Rose, had been on board The Blue Royal on a cruise for their sixteenth birthday. The storm had hit the ship hard, capsized it and caused sixty-two people to drown. Twenty-eight bodies, including Lily and Rose’s were never found.

My great aunt had kept a keepsake box of them and now she’d gone, the box belonged to me. Inside were; letters, postcards, little china animals, a small china face doll, a bible and some small books. I felt a strange chill touching this stuff. I had never known these cousins.

Holding their items made me want to know more though. What had their lives and deaths been like?

I could only imagine.

Craked #writephoto

The egg lay broken open on the ground. It was a dirty white, almost light grey color, with just one side missing.  It was a strange thing to find in the middle of the footpath but I was walking through a patch of trees which might explain it. I didn’t know anything about eggs though, but it didn’t look like any hen egg I’d eaten or used in cooking. It was probably a bird’s egg that had fallen out of the nest.

I frowned as an urge to pick it up grew. The egg shell looked normal enough to me and there was no sign of the baby that might have been inside. Why would I want to touch it though? I guess because I liked to collect unusual items I find on my walks. As far as I knew I didn’t have any egg shell in my box.

Picking it up gingerly, because I just knew it was going to further crack, I held the reminds loosely. The egg shell felt light, like I was holding nothing in my palms. Cradling the shell, so I didn’t look silly holding it out before me, I began to walk back home.

By the time I arrived which was about an hour later, my arms were aching. I looked around for a place to put the empty egg down; there was no way I could juggle it and my keys at the same time. Resting the delicate thing in the plant pot of one of the miniature cone tree that flanked the door, I was able to dig my keys out.

Then it was a simple case of gently picking the egg shell back up and taking it up to the attic to my study. Long had my wife and children complained about the hours I spent up here, but now I was all alone it still didn’t matter to me. I shuffled the egg on to my desk and dug out the large filing box which lived at the bottom of one of the many bookcases.

Opening the lid, I saw all the random objects I had collected. There were things like pressed flowers and leaves, small twisty twigs, beach shells, snail shells.  Scraps of newspaper, handwritten notes, leaflets. Pine comes, acorns, bird feathers, weirdly shaped stones. From a river had come; a shard of blue glass and a quarter of a broken porcelain sugar bowl. I had a rusted key, a dog’s name tag, a plastic key ring heart and the skull of a mouse.

Most of the items were in small plastic or glass jars and containers, or wrapped in tissue. I decided to put the egg shell in bubble wrap. That seemed the best way to protect it as well as putting it in a clear tub. Placing the egg safely in the box, I closed the lid.

(Inspire from; https://scvincent.com/2017/08/24/thursday-photo-prompt-cracked-writephoto/ with thanks.)

The Yearly Drawing

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Roisin sat alone in a darkened room with only the flicking of candle light for company. Arranging her long and many skirts around the stool before settling at the low table, she shut her eyes, drew in a deep breath and prepared herself. Gently tugging back the purple velvet cloth she had draped around her like a shawl, she picked up the card box in her left hand.

The black liqueur box felt cold and smooth in her net gloved hand. It weighed heavily in her palm and she thought about this feeling. The box seemed to hold fate inside of it and mysterious that only the universe knew. That’s where all the weight come from secretly. With her right hand, Roisin slide the lid off and looked inside.

A very faded, but once bright red colored patterned card back met her eyes. The design was flowing, plant leaf like and had an Italian air to it. She touched the white board, which was yellowed with a hundred or so years of age and many fingers. Slowly, she lifted all the large cards out and put the box to one side.

Even though the cards weighted less, they felt more heavier in her hand. Roisin looked at them then held them out as she asked the invisible fingers of fate to touch them. She shut her eyes again and pictured shadows reaching out from the corners towards her. Upon opening her eyes nothing had changed and she was still alone in the room.

Pressing the cards together in her hands, she thought about what she wanted to ask. She felt a slight tingling in her fingers then began to shuffle the cards. For a few moments, she imaged herself in Ireland, deep in all that green and legendary land. The sound of the sea maybe or the wind in the trees. She was there with other people who were waiting in the shadows. They were farmers, maybe, village folk and they feared her yet were fascinated by her.

The image faded and Roisin came back too. She was sat in her bedroom again. The black out curtains on the window, the candles flicking against the walls and the silence pressing down on her. She looked at the cards and realised the shuffling had stopped. Placing them down, she drew the top three and lay then side by side.

Her fingers strayed towards the set aside deck and for a moment she thought about drawing more and making a cross. The reading would be more in depth, but not any clearer. Deciding, she didn’t want to be sat puzzling over the messages, Roisin removed her hand and touched her finger tips to the first card.

She flipped it over, the nine of cups; the wish card. One of her wishes or hopes had come true recently. Happiness and love was her’s and there was good luck in her daily work.

The next was the three of wands; presently she should be experiencing more success and financial matters were better. She should be proud of her work and perhaps a new job was coming up. Life and love was looking fine as long as she was being treated as an equal. If not it was time to move on and if she single, she needed to allow more time.

The last one. She turned it and pressed it down on the table. strength; remember to stay focused and keep things in check. Spend quiet time being reflect and keep a straight head. Work should be going well, there is room to move up or around though and finally find your true worth. If she was in love it was going well and if not now was a good time to find someone.

Roisin rested her hands on the table. She didn’t need to ask the deck anything else. She slipped off the make-shirt shawl and gathered the cards back together. She put them back in the liqueur box then from under the table took out a plastic box. Ignoring the papers and other stuff inside, she put the tarot cards away.

She got up, her thoughts still reflecting on the reading. She blew the candles out and lifting the blinds, let the dull autumn afternoon back inside. Her bedroom lost all of the sinister atmosphere and became a bright space once more.

She packed everything away and got changed into normal clothes again.

The reading had been good. Yet, she felt drawn to find out more. There was always a turn. The cards promised so much and yet fate loved snatching it away. She sat down on her bed next to the box which she couldn’t put away until the candles had gone back in. Roisin looked at the black tarot box through the wavy plastic lid.

They called to her in away she couldn’t described. She could heard them whispering to come out again. Other people needed to hear their fates and she had to be the one to tell them. Her family line was of tellers, so it was her destiny. But she couldn’t do it. Never had she been able to bring herself to embrace it and become one with this ancient magic.

Roisin couldn’t keep away and that was why on Halloween every year, she opened herself up to it to give her some peace. One day though, she knew it would consume like every female member in her family. She would leave like her mother, grandmother and aunts, going wherever the string of fate lead her, telling those who would listen the messages she had for them.

There would be no coming back from that.

Streets

The box was poor shelter against the heavy rainfall. I huddled under it and the pile of rag blankets in the doorway, trying to stay warm and dry. My thoughts dropped with the rain, how had I come to start the new year like this?

Pink Slippers (Part 2)

(Continued from Pink Slippers part 1).

Lying in his new bed, Kyran rubbed Bunny’s ear and sucked his thumb on the other hand. The house had been making some strange noises and he’d been scared. Now, though he was on the edge of falling to sleep. I soft crying caught his attention and he wonder if Baby Kat had woken up again. Listener harder, he realised it was Harriet Hippo and he could hear the voices of the others trying to calm her.

‘What’s it?’ he asked sleepy.

‘I’m missing baby hippo,’ Harriet answered.

Kyran looked at the ceiling, which was reflecting the multi-coloured fairy lights strung up over his bed and wondered if he had seen the baby hippo almost Kat’s toys. Pushing back the duvet and blankets, he picked up Harriet and Bunny and took them to his half-opened bedroom door.

Peering out, he saw and heard nothing. The night light in the hallway glowed and the bathroom light was shining through the open door. Kyran noted the baby gate across the stairs and his parent’s door being a jar. He tiptoed out, opened Kat’s door a little more and slipped inside.

Her room was dimly light by a lamp on the changing table next to him and another night light in the far corner. Quietly, Kyran walked around checking out the shelves and the still unpacked boxes.

‘She’s not in here,’ he whispered.

‘Check the crib,’ Bunny suggested.

Nodding, he walked forward and looked down at his sleeping sister.

‘Look!’ Harriet gasped.

He twisted his head and stared down at the back of the crib. There were three shapes sitting there. Kyran frowned and moved closer. He dropped Harriet into the crib and watched her rub noses with a smaller hippo. The two small teddy bears, who had been standing guard of the baby hippo, seemed happy to give up their duty. One baby to watch over was far easier.

‘Let’s go back to bed and leave them here,’ Bunny whispered.

Kyran nodded his agreement and walked back to his bedroom. Rubbing his eyes, he climbed back into bed and snuggled down again. Putting his thumb in his mouth, he sucked it and rubbed Bunny’s ear again.

‘Did you find her?’ Bearington’s whispering voice drifted up from the end of the bed.

‘Yes,’ Bunny answered, ‘they’ll stay with Baby Kat now.’

‘Good. Goodnight then.’

‘Bark!’ Sir Barks-Alot added.

‘Goodnight,’ Mr Snuffles murmured.

Kyran smiled and let sleep wrap around him. He dreamed he was back in the old house again, standing in the front garden with Harriet Hippo in his arms. The wind shook the trees and the house looked menacing. Harriet wriggled in his arms and he set her down on the floor.

‘We have to find my baby!’ Harriet cried and pointed towards the house.

Kyran bite his lip, the house looked scary and he really didn’t want to go inside.

‘Quickly!’ Harriet called and trotted over to the front door.

He followed her and pushed opened the door with a loud creak. Stepping into the hallway, he saw that the wall paper was coming away from the walls and the house was very dark. He heard Harriet sniffing around and something crunching under her large feet.

‘Upstairs,’ she muttered before beginning the climb up.

‘I can’t see,’ Kyran hissed back.

‘It doesn’t matter. You know the way.’

Screwing up his face in thought, Kyran decided she was right and followed her up the stairs. Around them the house groaned and made other unpleasant noises. The front door slammed and Kyran jumped. He glanced back at where it should have been, but couldn’t see anything. He froze, caught in the middle of the stairs, unable to go up or down.

‘Come along! We have to hurry!’ Harriet’s voice came out of the darkness.

‘No,’ Kyran sobbed, his bottom lips shaking and tears pricking his eyes, ‘the house doesn’t want us here. It’s angry we moved away!’

‘But we have to find her! We can’t leave her behind!’ Harriet shouted from the top of the stairs in the darkness.

Clutching the railing, Kyran lifted his foot up and climbed the rest of the steps. At the top, Harriet tugged on his pants and led him into his old bedroom. He felt around for the light switch on the wall, but wasn’t tall enough to reach it. Picking up Harriet, he let her click it on. The room was bathed in a dirty yellow light. His bed, Baby Kat’s cribbed and their wardrobe where still in place. Setting Harriet down again, he watched her run around the room searching for her baby and calling out. Kyran walked over the wardrobe and opened the door. A wooden box flew out, hitting his shoulder and causing him to cry out. Twisting around, he saw the box lid flip open and a pair of pink ballet shoes fly into the air on little pink wings.

‘Harriet! Look out,’ Kyran called.

He ducked as the ballet shoes swept passed him and tangled themselves around the hippo.

‘Get off her!’ he yelled and rushed forward, but the box moved and tripped him up.

Sprawled across the floor he cried loudly and yelled for his Mummy.

A white light came on above him and Kyran woke in a heap, tears wet on his face. He heard his bedroom door open and hurried footsteps coming over. He tried to see through the tears, but give up as he felt his Mummy’s arms wrap around him.

‘Hush. It’s okay. I got you. Did you have a bad dream?’ she asked.

Kyran nodded, ‘the box,’ he sobbed.

‘The box?’ his Mummy repeated, unsure she had heard him right.

‘In the wardrobe. I found it,’ Kyran answered in between short breaths.

He felt his Mummy frown as she pressed her head back to his, ‘It’s okay. It can’t hurt you. Go back to sleep now.’

‘It’s the shoes,’ he gasped and tightened his arms around her, ‘they don’t want us here and the old house don’t want us back.’

‘What are you talking about, Kyran? What shoes?’ his Mummy asked.

‘The pink shoes in the box,’ he replied, ‘in the wardrobe.’

He felt Mummy let him go and turn around. She got up and he wiped his face quickly. He watched her opened the wardrobe door and stare inside. She looked deeper, but it was dark inside and she couldn’t see very far. Kyran felt around for Bunny and after failing to find her, checked the floor and saw her leg sticking up. He got out of bed, picked her up and opened his top drawer.

Pulling out a torch, he brought it over to Mummy and give it her. Clicking it on, they both looked into the wardrobe. After a few moments, she walked in and checked the back corners. In the right one, she found a small wooden box. Picking it up, she brought it out and put it on the end of the bed, as Kyran sit opposite and began pulling the duvet back around himself.

‘Don’t open it,’ he called out as he saw his Mummy’s hands press down on the lid.

‘Alright,’ she said, ‘I’ll take it with me.’

Turning off the torch, she put it back in the draw and balanced the box on the top as she kissed and hugged him goodnight. She tucked him in then left. Kyran watched her pull the door slightly closed and listened to her footsteps going into the room next door. He sniffed and shuddered, felt for Bunny and hugged her tightly.

‘We should never have opened it,’ Bunny whispered in his ear.

Kyran heard a shuffling on the bed and rolled over as Bearington and Mr. Snuffles came to lay on the pillow beside him. He felt the duvet dip slightly above him and looked up to see Sir Barks-Alot watching him.

‘It doesn’t matter, it’s gone now,’ Bearington responded.

‘Do you think the shoes will get Mummy?’ Kyran questioned.

‘No, no. She’s a grown up. The shoes would never think of doing anything to her,’ Bunny answered, ‘go to sleep now. It’ll be better in the morning.’

Nodding his head, Kyran closed his eyes and tried to fall back to sleep. It took a long time for him to do so and in the morning, when Baby Kat started crying he didn’t get up as he usually did. He rolled over and went back to sleep, till his Daddy woke him for breakfast. He hardly talked as he got washed and dressed, but a soon as they were in the kitchen and he saw Mummy he rushed over to her.

‘Did the shoes get you? Where are they?’ he asked.

‘The shoes?’ his Daddy cut in.

‘They didn’t get me,’ his Mummy laughed, ‘and I put them away. There was a box in the back of his wardrobe and he had a nightmare about it,’ she explained to his Daddy.

‘I should have taken the box when we found it,’ his Daddy muttered shaking his head.

‘Did you look inside?’ Kyran pressed as he fisted the bottom of her t-shirt.

‘Yes,’ she answered.

Kyran gasped and felt like crying again.

‘But it’s okay. They were things just left by the last family that lived here. Maybe we could find them and give the box back?’ Mummy suggested.

Kyran pulled a face and hugged her. She rubbed his back then helped him on to the chair next to her. Daddy was busy getting things ready for breakfast and Kat was in her high chair, watching everything going on.

‘I won’t open the box again, if that’s what you want,’ Mummy spoke seriously.

Kyran nodded.

‘Ok. What do you want for breakfast?’

Afterwards, Kyran went back to his bedroom to finish unpacking the rest of his toys and boxes. Humming to himself, he pulled things out of the boxes and found a new home of all of his things. His friends watched him from the bed, making suggestions about the placing of certain toys and books. Finally, everything was unpacked and he went to join them on his bed. Picking up Bunny he sat her in his lap and looked around his room.

‘The walls, floor and ceiling still need doing,’ Bunny pointed out.

‘You’ll have to pack everything away again,’ Bearington mused, ‘you wouldn’t want paint and wallpaper over anything. Can you imagine that?’

Kyran giggled, ‘I guess so.

‘What about the box and the shoes?’ Mr Snuffles required.

‘Don’t bring that up!’ Bunny snapped.

‘Mummy will keep them safe. She said she was going to try and give the box back to the family that where here before. We shouldn’t be scared,’ Kyran explained.

‘We are going to brave and grown up,’ Bunny declared.

Kyran nodded, ‘and the new house isn’t scary at all.’

Pink Slippers (Part 1)

Kyran’s new bedroom smelt funny. Sniffing and holding the small breath, he tried to figure out what the smell was, but beside from old, he had no idea. Clutching Bunny to his chest and stroking her soft felt fur, he tried to remain calm. Sucking in his bottom lip, he looked at the bare wooden floor boards and the cardboard boxes scattered there. He tried to turn Bunny around to show her that all their stuff was here, but Bunny didn’t want to look, she was afraid and wanted to go back home.

‘This is our home now, Bunny,’ Kyran whispered and rubbed the tips of her long ears, ‘Mummy says this room will look just like mine soon enough. And it’s all ours’, no more sharing with Baby Kat. See, Bunny.’

He held her up and showed her the room.

A soft baby’s crying started up and Kyran lend to the right on his new bed, so that he could see out of the open door. The bare hallway and rickety railing meet his eyes. He listened and heard the distance voices of his parents. The baby stopped crying and Kyran settled back on the bed. He glanced at Bunny, smoothed out her flower patterned dress, then at the boxes on the floor. Mummy had left him the task of unpacking some of his toys and books, but he hadn’t felt like it.

‘What Bunny?’ he asked and held her up to his ear. He nodded his head a few times before answering her, ‘yes we should get Mr. Snuffles out of the box. He might have hurt someone with his spikes.’

Sliding off the bed, Kyran went to the first box and opened it, inside were his books. Moving on, he looked through a few others, before finding his soft toys. Pulling this box back to his bed, he sat down and began pulling everyone out. Mr. Snuffles was first and the hedgehog looked relieved to be out of the box. Setting him down next to Bunny, Kyran watched Mr. Snuffles snuffle around and Bunny start talking to him whilst point out the new furniture.

Next, he pulled out Bearington, Sir Barks-Alot and Harriet Hippo. Arranging them at the end of the bed, he watched them greet Bunny and then join Mr. Snuffles in looking around.

‘It’s not so bad,’ Kyran said and cast a look around the room.

‘But the paint is peeling,’ Bunny pointed out.

‘What is that smell?’ Mr. Snuffles wondered.

‘Are you not afraid of that wardrobe?’ Bearington asked as he rightened his stomach stuffing and patted down his yellow fur.

‘Bark, bark, bark,’ Sir Barks-Alot cut in before he went to the edge of the bed and started growling.

‘Did you find my baby yet?’ Harriet Hippo questioned.

Kyran shook his head and looked at the large fitted wardrobe that loomed over his bed. He was afraid, but there was no way he was admitting it in front of his friends. Getting off the bed he started to walk over, but then came back for the large basset hound.

‘Defend me, Sir Barks-Alot!’ he cried and rushed up to the wardrobe with the dog barking loudly in his arms.

He yanked open the doors and looked into the emptiness. There were two metal railings above his head and some shelves too. A shoe rack was on the floor and some startled dust bunnies. He threw Sir Barks-Alot inside and watched him chase the dust bunnies away.

‘There’s nothing in here,’ Kyran called back to the others.

‘That’s good to know,’ his Mummy’s voice called from the doorway.

Sheepishly, Kyran peered around the door at her and wondered how long she had been there for. Smiling back, his Mummy walked in and began opening some of the boxes he had yet to do. He joined her and watched as loose strands of her blonde hair, which matched his own, framed her face and lay on her neck. She was wearing dark jeans and a loose green top.

‘I’ll put away some of your clothes for you and then I have to go and help Daddy set up Kat’s bedroom,’ she explained, ‘Are you animals settling in?’

Kyran looked to where she had nodded and saw his friends gathered at the end of the bed where he had left them, ‘yes,’ he responded, ‘it smells funny though.’

Mummy placed an armful of clothes on his bed, went to the window and opened it. A cold wind rushed inside bringing with it the fresh smell of the outside. Kyran went to the window and looked out. He could see the house next door and some of the street.

‘Be careful. Don’t lean out,’ his Mummy warned.

‘Okay,’ he called back.

Grabbing Bunny, he showed her the view outside.

‘Here’s Sir Barks-Alot. Look he’s got dust bunnies on him!’

Kyran giggled into Bunny’s ear and watched as Mummy tossed the dog back on to his bed.

‘Wow, there’s so much space in here. I think we might have to dust before we put any of your stuff in though. Let’s go and get some cleaning things.’

‘Can’t I stay here?’ Kyran asked.

‘I’ll have to close the window…’

‘No, no! I’ll come,’ he half shouted.

‘Alright, calm down.’

He threw his arms around Mummy’s legs and hugged her tightly. Pressing his face into her jeans, he took a deep breath. He felt her hand patting his head and heard her speaking gently. After a few moments, she tugged at his hand and he let her hold it and led him out of the room. Going downstairs, he saw his Daddy and Baby Kat in the living room organising some of the large plastic boxes.

They walked down the dimly light hallway and into the kitchen. There his Mummy got him a drink of orange juice and collected some cleaning supplies in a tub. She often him something to eat, but he shook his head. Going back up, Mummy paused to tell Daddy she’d be back soon and he asked if she had seen Baby Kat’s bouncing chair. She had no idea, so she took Kyran back upstairs.

Leaving him to put away his socks and underwear in his chest of drawers, she cleaned the wardrobe out. Kyran put everything neatly away then help Mummy hang up and organise his clothes and shoes. Afterwards, she kissed his head and went downstairs again. Kat was crying loudly and clearly wanted something.

Kyran turned to his friends and watched them staring into the wardrobe.

‘What’s that?’ Bunny asked.

‘What? Where?’ Kyran responded.

‘Looks like a box,’ Bunny answered.

Kyran picked her up and they walked into the back of the wardrobe. In the darkness of the farthest corner was a wooden rectangle box which he didn’t recognise and Mummy must have missed. Picking it up, he tucked Bunny under his arm and brought out the box in both his hands. His friends clustered around it and Kyran pulled them all into his lap so they could see what was inside together.

There was a lock on the front with no key inside the keyhole and this made him wondered if the box would actually open. Putting his finger nails into the black line where the lid ended, he eased it open. A collection of girly treasures lit up his eyes and took his breath away.

‘Look, Bunny,’ he said and pressed her face to the edge of the box.

‘I smell flowers!’ Mr Snuffles cried.

‘Those pink slippers look like a dancer’s,’ Bearington added.

‘Bark, bark!’ Sir Barks-Alot jumped in.

‘Is my baby in there?’ Harriet Hippo asked expectantly.

‘It must have belong to the girl who’s room this use to be,’ responded Bunny.

‘Maybe,’ Kyran muttered and he began pulling things out of the box.

Firstly, were the pink ballet slippers with their matching ribbons and worn soles. Next, the two dried rose flowers, tided together with a faded pink ribbon, thirdly a bar of soap wrapped in brown paper. Then there was a small photograph showing a young girl with her grandparents, followed by a letter and a book of poetry.

Kyran laid these out on the bed, then picked up a small golden egg. It felt cold in his hands and he couldn’t see anyway to open it. Giving the egg to Bearington to hold, Kyran pulled out some another small books and sheets of music paper.

‘What is that?’ Bunny asked.

He looked down and saw a small silver heart on a chain. Pulling it out, Kyran looked at it then give it to Bunny. He removed a few more sheets of notepaper with curly handwriting across it, then pulled out a ring with a red stone on the top.

‘That’s it,’ he said, dropping the ring to Bunny and peering into the box.

‘It’s shiny,’ Mr. Snuffles commented about the ring.

‘Perhaps we should put them back,’ Bearington suggested.

Kyran nodded as Sir Barks-Alot started barking madly at the door. Kyran looked across and saw his Daddy standing there with a puzzled look on his face.

‘I found it,’ Kyran said quickly, ‘it was in the wardrobe. I was going to put it back!’ and he shoved the books and ballet slippers in the box.

‘Wait, hold up,’ his daddy said and walked over to him.

Kyran tried to put everything else back, but his Daddy swing the box away and began taking everything out.

‘It looks like a time capsule. I guess the little girl left it behind,’ his Daddy mused.

Kyran nodded and showed him the photograph of the girl and her grandparents.

‘We should put it back.’

‘I was going to,’ Kyran responded, ‘I just wanted to see what was inside.’

‘And now you have, so let’s put it back.’

Collecting the egg, locket and ring from his friends, Kyran put them inside the box and watched his Daddy stacking the books away. It took a few minutes to fit everything back into the small box, but once it was done, Kyran showed where he had found the box and his Daddy put it back.

‘Let’s go and see if the pizza is here yet,’ his Daddy said closing the wardrobe doors.

Kyran nodded and held his hand out.

To Be Continued…