Serena moved spiderwebs aside as she climbed into the attic. The warm smell of old paper filled her nose. It was going to be a long day.
Her grandfather’s passing had been sudden- a ravenous cancer he had told no one about killed him in weeks. This didn’t bother her much. He had never been a present (or even a pleasant) grandfather- but before she realized how much work his death would be the surprise inheritance warmed her to him. That feeling was gone the week she came to his house. Once there, all she saw was the junk of an old man who cared fer her existence just as much as she cared for his. Not at all.
The huge house made the load even worse. Why was it, she thought, that the most boring people are able to afford the biggest things? The attic alone was nearly twice the size of her apartment, and worst of all: the place looked untouched for years.
With a sigh she called up the vacuum and mop and let them do their thing while she did the oddly still human work of sifting through boxes. She had half a mind to toss them all out. Each had its own collection of useless trash: old yearbooks signed by dead people, birthday cards from dead people, magazines from the 1990’s written by dead people. Nothing worth keeping. She tossed the boxes aside one after another.
By the 11th box she began to feel the pains of hunger creep in to her stomach and seize hold of her mind. She got up to turn towards the stairs when she saw it. A little red box on a shelf just off to the side marked in large print 1208. Something about that box glowed. It wrapped itself around her mind and pulled her towards it. She followed its urges and pulled it from the shelf.
The box, made of wood and looking hand painted , contained a Tesla key fob, a camera, a long dagger, and pictures. At first she glossed over the pictures for the dagger, but then she noticed something off. Each of the pictures showed people from across the world in traditional dress. In some Asians dressed- she thought- like they do in kung fu movies tried desperately to stop a fire. In one, “the reveal of Aragon”, a baby was held by a man dressed as an ancient European king. The last was a picture of a man slamming a dagger into another man- on the back was written: “Junker and Ebbe”. She looked again at the dagger, and double took on the picture. They matched. She figured her grandfather was some sort of creepy hobbyist in his youth and pulled out the Tesla fob.
She’d never driven one of the old Teslas before- in fact she’d barely ever driven at all. But knowing their primitive automatic systems were still legal on the road she took herself and her gurgling stomach down to the garage. There her grandfather kept several old cars- some, like the Chevy Volt, no longer legal to ride.
She pulled the top off the Tesla while the fob unlocked the door. The black car had a faint blue glow to it- a beautiful old coil, she thought. She opened the door and sat down. She noticed that the clock was set to 19:70 and shrugged it off as she pressed engine start.
The car lit up and bathed her in blue, and in an instant Serena was lost to time.
Reflections of 1208 is a sequel to one of my older stories which you can find here. It came when a good friend of mine threw a story prompt my way in the Psych lounge here at SUNY. Thanks, friend. Hope you liked it.
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Ehh- I used a stock image as the cover. Sue me.