A Writer’s Book of Days Exercise: Connection

One day, when the winds were blowing harder than she’d ever heard before, Xue went up to the attic and found a box of her grandmother’s jewellery. It was packed away with old clothes that smelled of dust and damp, folded in old newspaper. The box was a cigar box, her grandfather’s brand, with patched sides and a beat-up surface. She’d taken it out mostly to see if it still smelled of tobacco, only to almost drop it from the weight of the forgotten treasures.

When she had it safely in her lap, she opened the lid, folded back the yellow news print with its faded calligraphy, and held her breath when she saw the pendant on top.

It was white jade, a simple triangle with rounded edges and fine-worked gold holding it to a thin rope chain. She tried to remember if she had ever seen her grandmother wear it, but in all her memories the old woman wore garish costume jewellery, nothing as fine as this.

Underneath there were bracelets and earrings, a few other pendants, all of them in gold, all of them heavy. Xue smiled, and took the jade pendant out of the box. She put it over her neck, hide it away beneath her shirt, and felt warmth where it touched her bare skin.

Hidden wealth. She thought, remembering her grandmother’s advice. Never let them see what you have; someone will try to take it.

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by | May 20, 2011