The TrunkConcealed in the distant cellar confines, secure in sanctified separation from the rest of the house, the clutter of knickknacks and ancient oaken furniture, was the trunk. The trunk was constructed of dark brandy colored oak, burnished to a dull glow, dusty and neglected.
The terrain in the cellar was a myriad of ancient furniture, rust colored bicycles and forgotten toys. Tempted by the treasure that might be hidden in the trunk, Reason and a tempting recklessness became the mistress of ceremonious need as Earnest Taunt made his way down the wooden planked basement steps.
He had inherited the house and it’s contents from his aunty Sapphire. In reverent difference to her sudden illness he had rushed to her side and she had rewarded him with the inheritance, the house and enough money to make life an easy task. He hunted the trunk through dust and spider webs, musty piles of old clothing and stacks of old records. Picking up one of the old records he read the title, The Drifters, Half dollar Ticket to Heaven. Earnest replaced the record and moved toward the trunk, it was covered with a white bed sheet. He pulled the sheet away and sneezed furiously as a plume of dust filled the air. He wiped his arm across his nose and unfastened the latch on the trunk.
Prolonging the space of silent expectation he paused for a moment. Fulfilling his curiosity he lifted the lid and a gust of cool air trifled the nape of his neck. He realized the shadow of pure myth adorned the solitary jewel. It was crafted in symmetrical strawberry cuts that shone a blood red reflection against the oak. Earnest inclined closer, leaning down toward the Jewel. Elderly images of aunty Sapphire and captured recollections of childhood visits filled his consciousness.
She had given him the chunk of cut glass after his battle with the neighbors ingeniously hateful child. He had come into the house crying, snot nosed and dirty with scrapes and dirty smudges of soil from aunties garden blush, as she called it. She had taken him into her bosom, soothing him and fretting his scratches with kisses and he had cried anyway. “My little warrior.” she had said to him as she pulled open a cupboard door and brought out the colored glass. She handed it to him and he stared at the reflection in faceted spears of light. He had stopped crying as he began to smile. Aunty had laughed and patted him on the rear. Later that year his mother had died and his father had moved to the virgin pride of Virginia 400 miles away, in a head first abandonment of their old life.
Earnest had placed the gem in the trunk before they had said their goodbyes to each other. Twenty-seven years later he touched the same jewel his sadness leaving him; smiling he carried the treasure upstairs.