TITLE: THE PANDORA DEVICE
GENRE: Middle Grade Fantasy
“There was something odd about that summer camp where your parents met,” Grandma said. Her gray eyes swept the room with the sad look she got when she talked about the past.
I followed her gaze over the stacks of newspapers, ringing us like yellowed skyscrapers. They formed a nest with just enough room for Grandma’s recliner and a bench for Lindsey and me. Lindsey had come over to make origami cranes, and Grandma was helping us cut the newspaper for folding.
“What was odd?” I asked.
She hesitated, and I could see the questions brimming, creasing the wrinkles in her face into worry lines.
“I can’t remember, Stella.” Her hands fell weak on her lap. “But I found something yesterday. It’s by the sink. An old box that belonged to your mother.”
My mother? A surge of excitement zipped through my feet, and I jumped up so fast the origami cranes scattered to the floor.
Lindsey followed me through the mounds of boxes and baskets lining the hallway, and into the kitchen where neat piles of dishes, pots and pans covered every surface.
“Your grandma has amazing collections,” she said, her blonde braids swishing as she peered at the stacks. I could tell she was itching to explore them again, but something inside me was drumming hurry, hurry.
I scanned the room and found a rusty box beside the sink. Faint letters scratched in the lid spelled “Franny.”
“My mother’s name.” The words stuck in my throat.