Open the Box #short story #writephoto

sue vincent chestZach Peters tapped his pen on the clipboard. ‘That’s about it. Your mother’s house is empty. We’ve left a few things in the garage which we thought you should decide if you want to keep.’

Amelia Johnson nodded. Her mother kept so little she didn’t expect much. Indeed, the framed portrait of her grandfather and four photo albums weren’t much to represent a life.

Zach touched her elbow and directed her gaze at the far wall. ‘We found that chest. It’s locked mind.’

Amelia stared at the battered trunk. ‘Goodness, now that takes me back.’ She let a smile grow on her lips. ‘Mother’s trunk. She said it would be mine one day, though I thought it had gone long since.’

‘What’s in it?’

‘She said it was something that my grandfather was particularly attached to.’ She giggled. ‘Family stuff, I suppose. Can you open it?’

Zach pulled out a pouch with some skeleton keys.  He began to fiddle with the lock. ‘You sure you want to know? Could be some family secret? Some practical joke?’

Amelia laughed. ‘My mother? Hardly. You couldn’t meet anyone more serious. She always said being the family head was a burden.’

There was a loud click. Zach stood and lifted the lid. He peered inside. ‘Looks like she’s kept footballs.’ He tugged out a bag. ‘There are four of these.’

As Zach tipped the contents of the first bag onto the floor, her mother’s words from long before ‘One day you’ll carry this burden’ rang in Amelia’s ears. Her grandfather’s mummified head rolled to a stop by her feet. She met Zach’s horrified gaze. ‘She said one day I’d take over as head. I didn’t realize she meant it quite so literally.’

Sue Vincent’s latest prompt is around the above picture

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published three anthologies of short stories and a memoir of my mother. More will appear soon. I will try and continue to blog regularly at about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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39 Responses to Open the Box #short story #writephoto

  1. Whoa! That was a surprise!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh yes, liked this enormously!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ritu says:

    Ok Mr Creepy!
    That was just morbidly fascinating!!!
    Whose were the other heads?!?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. willowdot21 says:

    eek!! very twisted…. I love it!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Glory be. Mother played her cards close to her chest. Love the contrast to the ending, “You couldn’t meet anyone more serious.” 😀 😀 😀 Fabulous twist.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. OMG…it seems to fit here. I so seldom get to use it and mean it. ☺

    Liked by 1 person

  7. FABULOUS!!! I wanted this ending and I got it! LOVE it!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. ‘Some Heads are Gonna Roll,’ Judas Priest in the background. Seriously, I loved the buildup and the subtleties, such as letting herself smile. Great characterization without overdoing it. I’m ready for the next instalment, Geoff.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Autism Mom says:

    Lol, part Amy Tan part Edgar Allan Poe! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. jan says:

    Goodness – did I miss something – is it Halloween? Hope I don’t dream of mummified heads tonight!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Norah says:

    Oh my goodness, Geoff. I wasn’t expecting that! I wouldn’t want to be the head of that family! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Was she related to Norman Bates’ mother by any chance? Very creepy.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Sue Vincent says:

    Definitely twisted, Geoff 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Ali Isaac says:

    Ugh! Very good! But you know what’s weird? I was thinking along the same lines…

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Charli Mills says:

    No wonder her mother was so serious!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Pingback: Open the Box by Geoff Le Pard #short story #writephoto | Sue Vincent – Daily Echo

  17. complexlyme says:

    gosh, quite a surprise i must say!
    loved it!!


  18. Helen Jones says:

    Ooh, a sting in the tail of this story, Geoff! What (or who) is in the other three bags? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  19. macjam47 says:

    Loved the ending. Nah, I loved the entire piece, but the ending caught me off guard.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. lovessiamese says:

    Reblogged this on TheKingsKidChronicles and commented:
    Wait for it. . .the unexpected ending. Well done, Mr. Le Pard!


  21. olganm says:

    Great story! Love the twist.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. lbeth1950 says:

    Now, I do like that, but I don’t want a trunk full of heads.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Pingback: Photo prompt round up– The Chest… #writephoto | Sue Vincent – Daily Echo

  24. rivrvlogr says:

    I hope she doesn’t lose her head over this. Well, maybe some day…

    Liked by 1 person

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