[#5] The Box of Secrets

A tale told by Apurva Chawla

Image Courtesy: cute09quj

The story begins at The Haveli.

Four of them stood there stunned by what they just saw. Nobody was willing to believe that it happened for real and wasn’t a dream.

After two minutes of silence Shreyansh spoke up, “Where did he go?”

Saafiya found her voice finally and answered, “To his time, he said.”

“This has got to be a prank.” Raghav said moving forward to examine the candle carefully. It had stopped glowing.

Ananya felt a little dizzy and held Saafiya’s hand, “I don’t understand. I think I am not well.”

Saafiya held her closely and turned around to walk her back into the Haveli and said, “Guys, let’s go inside. Please get that thing with you too.”

Raghav picked up the candle from ground and followed them inside along with Shreyansh.

They all gathered into the living room and Ananya sat on the sofa. Saafiya went into the kitchen to get water for her. Meanwhile, Raghav was still examining the candle.

“So apparently, this can take us to future or past”, he said.

“What was he talking about Saafiya’s grandparents? They brought the candle with them?” Shreyansh asked.

Saafiya came back from kitchen with water and handed over the glass to Ananya. She said, “He had said more than that. He had told me that my grandparents were time travelers and apparently came from future, and also that they have left me some sparkling ball with a letter. He had promised to find it for me later. Did he not give it to me at that time itself on purpose?”

“This is absurd, really. I am having a hard time believing that this candle sucked an actual human into itself and that your grandparents were time travelers. And now this ball thing. This has to be a prank — a prank on a mega scale.” Raghav said.

“We saw him being sucked into this thing with our own eyes”, Shreyansh said, not believing himself.

“And yet it feels so light — with one whole human being inside it”, Raghav cracked a joke. Everyone ignored the joke as they all knew he likes to crack jokes in the weirdest situations.

Saafiya stood up and started walking towards Ramu’s room. “I am going to look for that ball, if there is any.”

Ananya said, “Where will you find it in this grand Haveli? It could be anywhere.”

Saafiya turned around to answer, “Ramu kaka had said it’s in the store. Even if he lied about it, it must be somewhere. We’ll have to find it.” She entered the room. All three of them followed her.

“You all look for the store room in the Haveli. I’ll search kaka’s room for anything I can find”, she said. Three of them went out at once and got spread in different directions.

Saafiya looked under Ramu’s bed, opened his closet and drawers. She checked every small thing and every piece of paper, every book and envelope, all his clothes and bags.

She couldn’t find anything that looked out of place.

She heard Raghav shouting from the far end of Haveli, “I think I found the store room.”

Everyone gathered in front of the door Raghav pointed at and found it locked.

“What now? Shall we break into it?” asked Shreyansh.

“I think I saw some keys in kaka’s room, I’ll get them”, Saafiya said and ran to Ramu’s room. She came back in a minute with a bunch of five keys, “Let’s just try all of them.” She said extending her hand to Raghav.

Raghav took the keys from her hand and started trying one at a time into the lock.

The fourth key opened the lock. Raghav pushed the door open and everyone entered. It was a small room with light entering through a round hole in the wall.

Saafiya started looking for switch board on the walls and hit her foot on a trunk in the room. “Ouch! Watch your steps guys. There is a trunk here.” She said limping towards the wall and switched on the light.

The room was filled with unused furniture and clothes here and there. There was a wooden closet which looked very old covered in dust. The trunk got their attention. It was right in the center of the room and cleaner than other things there, as if it was recently used.

“Let’s try these keys on that trunk lock”, Raghav said.

The third key opened the trunk and Saafiya bent down to look through the items inside.

There was just one item in there. A wooden box with a wooden rose carved on top of it. In her heart, she admired the skills of the person who created the box — it was exceptionally beautiful.

Saafiya reached for the box and opened it. She saw a sparkling golden ball of the size of a walnut, kept above a folded sheet of paper which read,

“To my little angel.

Love,
Momo”

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