Naina trudged up the staircase unwillingly. Why did she have to break that vase? Now she had to pay for it by going to the creepy attic and cleaning the damned place.
When Naina opened the attic door, she was greeted by a surge of dust.
“Uggh!” Naina grumbled. “Why did Amma send me to this wretched…”
Something shiny caught her eye. She edged cautiously towards it. The wooden boards below her creaked and her heart beat fast. When Naina went closer, she could see a small rectangular trunk. It was the trunk, which her mother had told her not to open. But what could possibly happen if she did? After all, it was nothing but a wooden box.
Naina used the dusting cloth in her hand to remove the thin layer of dust that covered it. She could then see the intricately carved designs in gold on the edges of the trunk. The rest of it was of a monochrome shade of brown mahogany.
Naina tried to force open the trunk, but it had a lock. She held the lock to the dim light of the antique bulb in the attic and strained her eyes to see the keyhole. She was taken aback when she saw it. The keyhole wasn’t of the shape that most keyholes had. It was a peculiar twisted structure that looked like an entangled net.
“Strange,” Naina muttered to herself. “The key must be somewhere in this room.”
Naina spent half an hour in vain trying to find the key. Naina bent down to look at the lock again. The design of the keyhole suddenly looked familiar. Where had she seen it before?
Naina felt a piece of metal against her chest. She took the pendant of her necklace in her hand and smiled. The key had been with her all along.
Naina had stolen the necklace from her mother’s closet earlier that morning, when she couldn’t find any necklace that matched her dress that she was wearing for a party. She hadn’t known that the pendant of the necklace was actually a key.
Naina removed the necklace and placed the pendant in the keyhole. It fit correctly and the trunk opened by itself as if by magic.
The dim room became filled with a mysterious, light pink glow.
“Wow!” Naina was awestruck as she looked at the treasure inside. Several beautifully carved quartz stones lay inside.
“Naina, close the trunk immediately,” her mother said from behind, seeming to have materialized out of thin air.
“Amma, look at the beautiful crystals inside. Why were you so protective about the trunk all this time?”
Suddenly, there was a strong gust of wind. It intensified, and after a few moments, it died down. The trunk snapped shut, with two more quartz crystals inside and the strangely shaped pendant outside….
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