TITLE: Catherine's Quest
GENRE: YA Fantasy
The box arrived on a Monday. It was addressed to me but I didn't recognize the return address. The thick brown paper which covered it was held together with the type of tape that yellows with age.
When I looked to Mom for help she just said, "Open it and see." So I did.
Inside the paper was a box made of smooth, dark brown leather. The color had faded at the edges where a white sheen resided. The large brass hinges and small brass clasp were tarnished with age.
Mom reached for the letter on top asking, "May I?"
I nodded, eager to see what was in the box. Fearing that the clasp would be locked I was thrilled when I pressed it and the mysterious box snapped open. I impatiently rummaged through one thing after another but my excitement faded as I realized someone had sent me a collection of odd, ancient stuff.
"Mom, what is all this?"
In answer, she just handed me the letter. But the sadness in her face made me wonder even more what this was about. The letter only said:
When we sold our house we cleaned out the attic and found this box in a dark corner. I'm sorry we didn't see it sooner.
"Mom, this doesn't explain anything!"
Not getting an answer I looked and saw her sitting on the sofa staring into space.
"Mom!" I said louder.
"I heard you. You don't need to shout. What is in the box?"