Start on zero, then left, then right, then back to the left. That’s what the instructions said. She looked at the faded and torn slip of paper in her hand. 19-8-5. How long had this combination been wedged in the back of the drawer in the old roll-top? The safe, in plain sight of anyone that dared venture into the basement had never been the issue. It had been bolted to the basement floor sometime in the late 1800’s and since no-one had any clue as to how to get in the damn thing it had become just another flat surface on which to fold the laundry.
Conversations at various family reunions or late night confluences often came back to a discussion on the safe. Should they take up a collection and call a locksmith, then pawn anything of value that may have been locked away for these many years? Usually after a few drinks, interest would wane, mainly due to a lack of funds among whatever assorted family members that happened to be included in the discussion. So the safe stayed squatted, collecting dust, encasing its’ secrets and holding the laundry. Over the years it had done all four very well.
Now, however, this little slip of paper changed everything. She was claiming ownership, solely and wholly. She had found the slip by accident and figured possession is 9/10 of the law, so whatever was in there was hers, solely and wholly. She was undecided however as to when to would be the best time to open it. Should she make a big deal of the occasion? Perhaps a shower and dressing up would be in order, just in case she would have something to celebrate. Or, she could just go down there right now and just get it over with before the kids got home from school.
Would she find the riches that could propel her into a wonderful future, or would there be scraps of miscellaneous minutia, family photos and letters, treasures of past loves, both found and lost that would bring her wealth of knowledge of what her ancestors were all about.
19-8-5. She let her mind wander and wonder for a moment. She held the numbers in her hand, like a ticket stub to a new destination and with her eyes closed just enjoyed the slide-show of all the possibilities.
http://thinkingten.ning.com Fridays Subject: 1985