Hidden Treasures

I'm not quite sure what inspired the below story, although the thought of hidden treasures has always intrigued me. It must be why I love Cash in the Attic so much!

      During summer break, Jamie loved visiting her grandpa. His attic contained a veritable treasure trove of old paintings, letter-filled boxes, trunks and other items from a by-gone era. Each item spoke to Jamie, helping to demystify the enigma of her grandpa’s past. Today, Jamie honed in on a massive hand-carved Austrian trunk that depicted a farming scene. She opened the lid, looking for anything eye-catching. She noticed a shoebox tagged "Pacific."

      "Jamie," her grandfather called. "Time for breakfast."

      Jamie grabbed the box and clambered down the stairs, tearing through the house until she arrived at the kitchen, where her grandfather stood, shoveling scrambled eggs onto two plates.

      Jamie held up the box. "Grandpa, what's this?"

      He placed the skillet onto the countertop, and approached Jamie for a better look. "Where did you find that?" he asked.

      "In the big wooden trunk."

      "Well, why don't you open it?"

      A smile curled over Jamie's lips. Without hesitation, she removed the top to view the treasure within. Her smile faded at its contents--a barnacle-covered, crusty old shell. She sighed her disappointment.

      "I haven't seen that in years," said Grandpa. "I was saving it for your grandmother. I was going to give it to her on our fiftieth wedding anniversary."

      Jamie's grandmother had passed away five years ago, when Jamie was only four years old. Jamie remembered her grandmother's kindness and her sweet vanilla smell, but little else.

      "Why would you give this thing to Gran?"

      "It's something I picked up in the South Pacific during the war."

      He stepped to one of the kitchen drawers and produced a Swiss Army knife. He slid the thin blade between the oyster's lips, prying until its mouth opened with a pop.

      Jamie gasped at the inside of the shell, which glimmered with a silvery sheen. "Wow, Grandpa. It's beautiful."

      But her grandfather wasn't finished. He milked the meat until two shiny pearls emerged. A tear rolled down his cheek as he dropped his hand into Jamie's view.

      "Gran would've loved it, Grandpa," said Jamie.

            "That she would, Baby. That she would."