The Treasure

by J. D. Evans

 

Everyone was so excited. The Great Hall was being readied for the new Winterfest; children were helping to remove anything laid about that would be in the way of the Tunnel workers who volunteered to help.   The preparation was extensive. A crew of men including Kanin, Pascal, and Mouse joined Vincent in replacing and repairing wall structures and tables. Fasteners and bolts had to be brought down from the helpers Above.

In the midst of all this wave of anxiety and glee that was going on in the hall, in walked a very young girl with long brown hair and brown eyes, mature for her age aside from her height and size, a very astute young lady named Samantha.  She had lived in the Tunnels all her life and was certainly aware of the urgency taking place in the Great Hall today.  Samantha was not alone in her adventurous travels. Along at her side was Geoffrey. The two of them could be well mistaken as sister and brother, but they were the best of friends and attempted many challenges together. 

They stood gazing at the other children and adults moving around them in the room and realized how much they too wanted to do something to help in this great event soon approaching this fall.  Samantha began to make her way over to the cluster of women at the great dining table in the middle of the room. The women were fussing around about what table dressings and settings to use, as Geoffrey franticly raced over to join the young men huddling together to help lift and restore unwanted items around the room to their new locations. 

“Hi, Vincent.” Samantha noticed his approach and gave the biggest smile she could muster.

He returned that favor with a big hug, and he deliberately placed a box down on the table in front of them. It was old and dusty, filled with all kinds of things. 

“What is this you have here, Vincent?” Samantha asked emphatically. 

“I found these lying far behind some other lost items…put away for future storage…apparently forgotten by all of us. 

“What could be inside this box? Maybe treasures…yes, hidden treasures.” Samantha stated with excitement. 

“Perhaps you’re right Samantha. This would be a good time to find out.”  Vincent leaned down looking into the box then turned to Samantha and said, “Looks like you have a great task ahead,” and smiled as he turned away to continue the work he was doing on the other side of the hall.

Samantha began sifting through the items lying about inside the box…some clothing, some toys, some jewelry boxes, scarves and some shoes.  She became quite intrigued with all of them, and began separating them into groups.  There were many pieces to separate, especially when she started with the shoes. She found lots of work boots, a few dress shoes, and sneakers; but what caught her eye was deep down in the corner of the box. There laid a pair of slippers. They were pink in color and very shiny, covered in silk. Samantha stood holding them up for a solid minute as a thought passed through her memory of a time when a very famous woman visited the tunnels a long time ago.  Samantha recalled some of the conversation she had with this woman who told her once about a woman’s charm and mysteries. She danced in the ballet on stage in front of many people in New York and abroad. ‘I remember. Lisa was her name. I wonder if these shoes belonged to her when she was my age. I wonder if they’re magical. I wonder what would happen if I tried them on?’

“Hi, Samantha.” Catherine was entering the hall; she had time off from work for a week and decided to join in on the planning for the festival.

“Hi, Catherine.”  Samantha was so intrigued with her new find she almost forgot to look up to see Catherine’s face. 

“Looks like you’ve found something,” Catherine said with curious thoughts in her mind. 

“Yes, I found dancing shoes like the ones from the theatre. Maybe I will be able to dance just like the dancers in the ballet.”

Catherine was much aware of her own experiences in the past regarding the dance theatre and a woman she met who tested her resolve very harshly; but she also knew that that was in a time long ago, and she and Vincent were able to find the strength in their love to move on in their lives.  Perhaps life was designed so that experiences you may have would allow you to help prevent someone else from making the same mistakes in their own lives. Catherine began to ponder on that thought, and it eased the feelings which were becoming very intense; she was sure Vincent could detect it in the bond. 

Catherine looked down at Samantha fussing with the shoes, trying to put them on correctly. Catherine leaned down to help, and finally they were fastened neatly and tightly to her feet. With Catherine’s help, she was able to stand. Pointing her toes would take practice, but it was exciting just to know how it felt wearing them, Samantha thought to herself. 

Vincent was approaching again from the other side. “Catherine…you’re here. I felt you through the bond…your somber feelings, then delight. Are you alright?”

“Yes, Vincent, I am. I have been very busy with Samantha and her new found treasure.”

Vincent looked across at Samantha and noticed that she was wearing the slippers and said, “I see. Looks like something very special has been discovered.”

Samantha looked at Vincent with curiosity and said, “Vincent do you think these shoes could make me a great dancer one day?”

“Of course.” Vincent stood for a moment to think. He had a long, trying time in his life coping with his rejections; and this matter had been one too long suffered, since it almost lost him his precious Catherine. He realized how much stronger their relationship had grown from all that had happened in the past.  Since Catherine had put Lisa in the witness protection program, there was no cause any longer for him to feel that he was responsible for her unhappiness or to continue the belief of his inability to love a woman.  Vincent kindly answered and said, “Yes, Samantha, I do think that you could be a great dancer someday…either Below or Above, but being a great dancer comes from within your soul and mind… not your dancing shoes.  Your greatness comes from yourself…and the trust that you can achieve this greatness.

Catherine gathered a sense of anguish then calm through the bond as Vincent responded to Samantha, and then she looked up at his bright blue eyes from her emerald green ones and embraced him tightly around the waist and told him in his ear, “I love you…very much, my beloved.”

 

 

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