“Don’t you have any games, Grandma?” Lucy asked.
“Yeah!” Kathy complained. “ Everything here involves either knitting needles and yarn or a feather pen!”
Grandma laughed. “You poor things! You must be dying of boredom!” she joked.
“Pretty much,” the two sisters agreed, their expressions completely serious.
Grandma laughed again. “Why don’t you girls go up to the attic and see what’s up there?” she suggested. “Grandpa used to store all sorts of things in it before his… accident.” Grandma trailed off, a sad look clouding her eyes.
Grandpa had been in a big car accident three years ago and had lost the use of his legs. Now he was confined to a wheelchair, with no hope of ever walking again, though it did little to steal his joy.
“Anyway,” Grandma said, blinking as she snapped out of the trance she always went into when she thought about Grandpa before the accident, “the attic has lots of things in it that you might find interesting. Come, I’ll show you.”
Grandma led the way up the stairs and to the end of the hallway. She reached up and pulled on a rope. The attic door sprang open and a rope ladder tumbled down.
“Can I go first?” Lucy asked.
“Of course,” the old woman said, gesturing up the ladder.
Lucy stepped onto the ladder, feeling the rough, scratchy rope beneath her hands as she climbed up. She could feel her little sister climbing up behind her, and once she pulled herself through the little square hole, she turned around and helped Kathy up, too.
“Whoa!” Kathy gasped, her eyes wide. “It’s huge!”
The attic was big, square, and very, very dusty. Boxes, picture frames and furniture were clustered in corners and an old piano sat next to a large trunk.
“What’s that?” Lucy wondered aloud, pointing to the trunk.
“Let’s see!” Kathy skipped over to the trunk. “Help me! I can’t pull it out myself,” she whined.
“Oh, right.” Lucy rushed over to her younger sister and grabbed hold of the trunk. Slowly, bit-by-bit, they dragged it out.
“Phew!” Lucy wiped the back of her hand across her forehead. “This thing’s kind of heavy. I wonder what’s inside?”
“Let’s check!” Kathy bent over and started to undo the latch.
“Wait!” Lucy protested. “What if we’re not allowed?”
“This is what Grandma sent us up here to do. She said that we might find something interesting. This is interesting.” Kathy gestured to the trunk as she spoke, a look of impatience on her face.
“Well, just in case, we should ask.” Lucy poked her head out the attic hole and yelled down to her grandmother. “Grandma!”
“Yes, dear?” Grandma called back. “Is everything alright?”
“Yeah. We just found a trunk and we wanted to know if we could look in it.”
“Oh, goodness gracious! I still have that?” Grandma asked, sounding shocked as she walked underneath the attic door.
“Why? What’s in it?” Kathy asked, poking her head down next to her sister’s.
“You’ll have to find out yourself,” Grandma said, a twinkle in her eyes.
Lucy pulled her head back up and Kathy followed. They walked back to the trunk and Kathy opened it up.
A cloud of dust shot up, making Lucy and Kathy cough. Through the dust, they could dimly see the things cluttering the bottom of the box.
“This thing must be absolutely ancient!” Lucy exclaimed.
“From the time of the dinosaurs!” Kathy agreed.
“Let’s see what’s in it,” Lucy said, waving a few last specks of dust away from her face. She bent down and pulled out a bunch of items. There was an old sketchbook, a silver cross with a wall mount, an elegant golden necklace, a photo album, a mini DVD player and a faded sheet of paper.
“Ooh!” Kathy gasped. “Dibs on the cross!”
“Well, I don’t know if we can have it, but I suppose that if we can… I definitely want that necklace!”
“Let’s look at the book now!” Kathy reached into the box and pulled out the sketchbook. The paper inside was still white, with only a slight yellow tinge.
“Wow,” Lucy said as she and Kathy flipped through the pages. “Look at the details on this bird!”
“Cool! Oh, look! She drew dragons here! And look at this horse! Doesn’t it look so real?”
“Yeah,” Lucy agreed. Turning around, she grabbed the photo album out of the box. As she cracked open the cover, a thin white package fell out.
“Hey, look!” Lucy exclaimed, picking it up. “It’s a disc!”
Kathy dragged the mini DVD player out of the trunk and opened it up. She popped the disc in, pressed the power button and played the video.
It was their grandmother as a teenager. She had brown eyes, tan skin shoulder-length brown hair, and the same bright smile. Their great grandfather and great grandmother were with her, as well as their great aunts and uncle. They were swimming in a huge in-ground pool, and having a water fight. The video changed to a scene of a small backyard with a trampoline. Tricks and flips were being done, and then another change. Twelve more video scenes passed before the screen faded to black.
“Grandma used to be really pretty,” Kathy stated.
“Uh huh.” Lucy nodded. “Look, stories!” She pulled a package labelled Fictional Stories out of the trunk and read them aloud. There were short stories about dragons, horses, cats, and fairies, each one captivating and unique its own way. After they were finished the stories, Lucy rummaged around the box and picked up another book. “Let’s look through the photo album now,” she suggested.
Page after page of photos went by, and more things about their grandmother were discovered. One photo album and a whole new disc of videos later, and he girls felt like they’d known their grandma for her whole life.
“It’s getting late,” Kathy pointed out. “I’m kind of hungry, too. We should go down and see what Grandma has for dinner.”
“Wait! One more thing! There’s another sheet of paper.” Lucy reached into the box and pulled out a piece of paper. It was yellow and slightly brittle with age, and the words were faded, but it was still readable. It read:
My dearest descendants,
In this trunk, I have placed a few items that I’d like to share with you, that will tell a bit about me.
The DVD, DVD player and photo albums are there to show you how I was as a child. Did you like them? That’s how photos looked when I was a young.
Also, the stories; I loved to write, and still do, though I don’t do it often. Did you enjoy them? I hope so. The sketchbook is in this trunk for the same reason, as drawing is something I love.
Do you like the necklace and cross? I got them for my Conformation when I was 12. They were a gift from my Grandpa.
Now, I have a project for you. Look around and you’ll see another trunk; it’s empty. Your job is to get some paper, a pen and some things that describe you, and fill that box like I did with mine. Make sure to tell your descendants to continue the tradition.
Braelyn J. Cheer
“That’s so cool!” Lucy exclaimed. “Come on! I’ll get the paper, you find the trunk!”
“Deal!” Kathy agreed, and the two girls took off to find the supplies that they needed.