Khione is in for a very scary surprise this thirteenth birthday
|Light sprayed across my room giving it an orange glow. I could feel the rays of light on my cheeks. I opened my eyes and looked around the room.
Once my eyes adjusted to the sun my hand searched the bed side table for a ponytail. I pulled my wavy brown hair into a messy bun, my bangs hung limply across my face. I pushed them behind my ear to reveal a splash of freckles and caramel colored eyes.
I slumped onto a jumble of pillows and closed my eyes. Every Saturday I slept till noon, and I was determined to keep that routine. Sneaking a small glance at the clock I was disappointed to find that it was 11:37.
Then I smiled knowing any minute my pug, Anna, would wake me up. The radio still played from last night. I sat listening to Bon Jovi when she came right on que. I couldn’t help laughing at her, she was so cute. As I petted her I noticed a small note tied to her collar.
“Okay mom, what now?” I mumbled trying to get it from Anna. I scanned the paper slowly, taking in every word. My “excited smile” (as my dad calls it) slid it’s way across my face.
Happy Birthday, Khione(:
Love- Mom and Dad
Jesus, I thought, how could I forget my own birthday? Little Anna looked straight into my eyes as if to say she didn’t know. I once told my mom that I thought Anna could read my mind. She said that I’d be surprised by what I could do. I had nothing to do with the dog and it kind of crept me out. I took the answer eventually.
Looking back at the note I remembered all my other birthday notes. My parents began sending me notes when I first got Anna. They were simply things like, where they are, what’s for breakfast, if they are sick, etc. It’s our way of communicating. Since I’m an only child it’s kind of fun.
I sat up and looked around my room. I had the best house on the block easy. It was the perfect place to live. Behind us was a huge forest and a creek runs through our backyard. If you look through the window that sits on the spiral stairs you can see the creek wind its way into the forest and disappear. Our town is called Southside, Maine. Heaven knows why, it’s as far north as the U.S. goes.
I crept down the stairs straight into the kitchen and began to make coffee. When it was finished walked around the corner and sat in a chair in the living room. I could hear my mom sneak into the kitchen. I didn’t acknowledge her though; She likes to surprise me with a special birthday breakfast.
“Happy birthday sweetie!” My mom said popping around the bend holding a platter of brownies.
“You’re welcome dear. It feels great to be off that retched diet. Couldn’t eat a crumb of this stuff!”
“Well that’s why you don’t go on diets,” I said. My mom was gorgeous. I was definitely her daughter. I looked just like her, but she doesn’t have freckles. Those I got from my dad, “So where’s dad?”
“He’s getting something from the cellar,” she said helping herself to another brownie.
Our cat, Midnight, jumped onto my lap and I instantly began to pet her. Soon it became and absentminded kind of petting.
It was nearly another ten minutes before dad came in carrying a large package. His red hair was sprinkled with dust. We never went into the cellar. It’s been her ever since the house was built in 1766 by the French when they started after the Canadian lands. We used it for all of the things Grandma Lynn’s stuff she left us in her will; which was pretty much everything. She had a ton of crazy things that you only see in the movie’s. That woman was crazy.
“Whats in the box?” I asked.
“Well it’s an old-“
Then I was gone. I wasn’t there, I couldn’t see. Screams echoed in my ears. I saw flashes of people dying . . . burning in flames. A dead, white hand reached out and twisted around something that wasn’t there, flames danced before my eyes. An old man screaming, “lies”. Fire still danced around the images of death closing in on them until all I could see was blackness. Screams drawn out to extreme lengths rung in my ears.
“- Chest your grandma left you,” My dad finished as if nothing happened. As soon as it came it was gone.
The screams were leaving my ears. What the hell was going on?
As dad spoke he brought forth an old chest. A shiver ran up my spine, anticipation pulled at my gut, like some part of me knew what was in the chest. I pulled out my chain necklace and began playing with the key on it (I do that when I get nervous).
“Inside is something very important. You mustn’t let anyone get to it. Keep it under lock and key,” My dad said.
“Okay,” I mumbled. The images had shaken me to the core. Then mom spoke up.
“You will need to open it before midnight tonight.”
“But how? Why? Can’t I open it now?”
“You have the whole day to figure it out.” She never answered my other questions.
* * *
It was nearly midnight and I still didn’t know how to open the chest. I did everything that helps me to think, eat, shower, walk, everything! I couldn’t think.
At 10:00-ish I had contemplated it again from top to bottom. It was fairly heavy and inside something would jostle if I shook it slightly. There were some jewels encrusted on the top, and a hole for a key it appeared, but it was so small. A few words were inscribed neatly on the chest but it was a different language. It looked as if It was done with a knife strangely enough.
I pulled out my necklace and began pacing. Obviously I needed a key, but what one? It was 11:51. I was out of time. The chest sat on the floor mocking me as I stared at it.
“Oh my God, I’m so stupid.”
I took off the necklace and shoved the key in the hole and turned it. It made a distant “click.” It was going to open . . . I know its only a chest but I was scared. My Grandma had crazy things. People called her a witch at the funeral, at least I think that’s what the pastor said, it could have been bitch. My stomach filled to the rim in fluttering butterflies.
Slowly I pushed open the chest. And sitting in it was a book. On the cover were symbols and a painting of a girl engulfed in flames, perfectly at ease.
That girl . . . was me.