8 December 2030
Room 301, Elmwood Precinct
The final words blurred on her screen, behind the blinking cursor. Her decision to send now was dancing agonizingly in her mind. The incessant rain kept slashing at the window, and she felt another migraine looming. Reluctant words and phrases kept repeating themselves over and over in her brain.
Right time, wrong place, right place, wrong time!
Clicking keys echoed softly in the room as she completed her task and air printed. Pain was throbbing in her temples as she turned away from the glow of the screen. Turning her chair from the desk she unlocked the brakes and wheeled herself to the large cedar wood chest at the foot of her bed.
From the outside the chest appeared as an ordinary box for her treasures – only one per room. Her grandchildren were always mesmerized whenever she opened it for them and told her stories. They never suspected that it held a dark secret. All her siblings had long passed and none of them ever knew of the codes, the secret compartment or its contents.
She unclasped the lock, now rusted and worn, to open the lid. The metallic jingle of the plates and gears inside the lid reminded her to be cautious. Peering into the wooden chest she slid back the metal plate on the upper left side to reveal the code. The automatic code reset, each time it was opened and closed, would prevent the secret contents falling into the wrong hands.
Her diaries, notes, stories and maps were all carefully collated into boxes within the chest. She had spent years in tracking her ancestors and uncovering their connection to Welsh Wiccans; all the family history was contained in these boxes. Carefully she removed each memory box and set them aside on the floor.
She moved the sliders to their designated positions on the lid, carefully avoiding bumping the large disc in the centre. Each slider unlocked a segment of the disc and when fully opened, a secret panel at the base of the chest was revealed. She slid the metal panel back along its tracks – bringing a frisson of excitement, as sparks sizzled briefly in the dark interior.
Here lay the Book of Shadows, the blackened grimoire she had found after years of searching; the answers to special family powers. Removing the grimoire, she placed the packet of printouts inside the front cover and then locked the book back in its hiding place. Each of the memory boxes were then replaced. She closed the lid and returned to her desk.
Now it was time to reveal the Wiccan ways to her eldest granddaughters. Carys and Arianwen were already aware of their own special skills, and, between them they could unlock the secrets and right the wrongs of the past.
She opened her special mail and attached this cryptic message:
Elmwood Precinct 301
Open chest. Remove Memories. Use code. Solve Mystery. After I am gone!
Your loving Granna May.
HANDLE WITH CARE!