GENRE: YA Supernatural
Finding the gun is easy. Mom’s never tried to hide it from me or Cecille. As soon as Dad moved out three years ago, she bought it for our “protection.”
In her bedroom, I slide open the top dresser drawer and pull out the pewter angel key ring that holds an old skeleton key. At the foot of Mom’s bed, I kneel in front of Grandma’s old cedar chest. I run my fingers over the rose design that disguises the keyhole. After slipping the skeleton key in, I turn it and listen for the click. It’s easy to hear in the empty house.
The heavy lid creaks as I open it, and a faint cedar scent greets me. Mom told me when I was little that cedar chests were supposed to hold a woman’s most treasured items before and after she married—lace tablecloths, fine linens, dresses, photos. We don’t have much of that. Instead, Mom has filled Grandma’s old cedar chest mostly with junk. Inside are Cecille’s and my old report cards and baby books, a lock of chestnut hair from my first haircut, the First Communion dress both Cecille and I wore, and our baptismal candles. I dig deeper. Somewhere in this chest is a shoebox. And in that shoebox is a .38 snub-nosed revolver wrapped in a kitchen towel.