Letter by the Bed by Karen Maeby, fictional piece originally posted 2/10/2012.

Letter By the Bed, a fictional piece
by Karen Maeby © 2/10/2012

A loud bang on the roof and then at my window startled me enough to wake me up from my slumber. My heart was jibber-jabbering from being awoken so suddenly and a jump nearly ten feet off the bed wasn’t that groovy, either. While rubbing my eyes trying to gain my eyesight to see what happened, I noticed I was not in a familiar room, nor was I in familiar clothing. 

If you could imagine early 1850s, you would be right. A stiffened bed with real feather pillows and feathers floating in the air above me. An old wooden chair and desk to my right, a large sized treasure chest directly ahead and a small nightstand to my left. The nighstand bore a candlestick. I was fully clothed from head to toe of ruffles, buttons and lace. I had the original bedclothes on! 

The air in the room smelt musty, I coughed. As I pulled on the off-white covers, an envelope with a letter bounced out from underneath it. I took a look at the envelope and glanced out the window. The sun beamed on the grass outside, trees swaying back and fourth and some wild animals running along the green pasture. I looked at the envelope again, almost hesitant to look at it. 

Finally, I opened the letter but to my discouragement… I couldn’t read it! The writing inside was in some language that I didn’t speak nor understand. Not knowing what to do because I didn’t know where I was at, I took a look around the room to find some day clothing. I found some and put them on then decided what to do about leaving the house to find someone to read the letter. 

Even though the letter was only a few sentences long, it had my name on it, and I needed to find out what it said. Walking nearer the window, I saw there was a ladder outside it. I opened the window, put the letter inside my coat pocket and simmered to the other side.

“One foot on the ladder, turn the other, almost down, made it!” I said to myself. 

I walked around the house and down the street in hopes to find some shop or something where I can get my letter in correct translation. In one shop, out the next, to the other and another. Finally, someone was able to read it. 

The letter said “Your time will come in May. Treasures there will be. Happy is your face, I know I’ll be able to see.”  

The guy behind the counter hands it back to me and says, “Well, you’re lucky May is tomorrow.” 

“I guess I am,” I reply back to him. 

I take the letter and walk back to the house, climb back up the ladder and sit on the bed dreading the next couple hours of wait for the treasure. 

“It’s still too early to go back to sleep.” I say to myself. I then get the urge to want to open up the treasure chest. I walk on over to it, give a look at the lock and fiddled with it enough to try to open. It wasn’t coming open without a hard budge. 

“What day is today?” I ask my friend, as we were making our way into a large known thrift store.

“March 1st.” She replies.

I stop dead in my tracks, trying to reason with the thoughts going through my head when we came across this gorgeous and old vintage treasure chest! “Wow, look at this thing. Where have I seen this before?” I ask myself out loud. I stand there trying to remember where I had seen it, deja vu all over again.

My friend just stares at me and then looks around while I am all kinds of occupied with this chest.

I walk near the treasure chest, bend down and opened it without issue! Lo and behold, it is full of everything I could ever want in my life. All kinds of treasures! From vintage books to maps to pins to just everything you could even remotely think about! Everything. It had everything. I lean over and look at the price tag. I scream out, “$1,000!? I can’t afford that!”

“Can I help you with anything?” The shop owner responds to my squeal.

“Maybe….”

“Eh? Eh?” He says in question.

“I don’t have the $1,000 but this treasure chest is perfect for me! Can we do some trade or something?”

“Are you —-?”

I look at him sideways, he said my name – he KNEW my name but didn’t know me! My friend nor I had mentioned my name while in that store.

“Yes…yes, I am.” I stutter.

He pulls out a letter from his coat pocket and gives to me. “Don’t worry about the treasure chest, it’s yours, and so is this letter.”

I didn’t say a word. I was speechless. My friend stood there idle, not knowing what to make of the situation that just happened.

The owner helps us put the treasure chest and I thank him a million times over. The car ride back to my house was so silent.

When I got back to my house, I struggle to get the treasure chest in my house and up the stairs to my room. After all was said and done, I went through the chest. One by one, I took out each item and carefully studied it.

In the very bottom of the chest, it had a map attached to it. I unfold it and there I am looking at my very own address marked on the map. It says “treasure – attic”.

I ran upstairs to the attic, following the rules of the turns and hidden places in there. Suddenly, I come to the very spot.

And, you would not believe this: there was a picture of someone who looked just like me, standing by the treasure chest, dated from the 1850s.

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