The Trunk - Cyndi


“Vincent! Give me a hand will you.”

Whatever had possessed Catherine to suggest they rearrange his chamber? They had been at it all morning, kicking up more dust than he had ever known existed. Vincent was now replacing his books in the bookcases in their new location. He dusted off each volume with a gentle, loving hand.


“Vincent! Give me a hand will you!”

He spun around staring at her transfixed. It wasn’t Catherine he saw pulling the heavy trunk, but his brother dragging and tugging at a dirty and battered piece of junk he had somehow managed to maneuver through the tunnels to their chamber.

“What is that?”

Devin was panting and sweat covered his face. “Help me and I’ll tell ya, Fuzz ball!”

Vincent pushed him aside, grabbed the handle and gave it an angry tug. “Don’t call me that!”

Devin leaned back against the bookcase and crossed his arms over his chest. “Hey, it fits … you are fuzzy.”

Vincent sighed, knowing the more he protested, the more his brother would call him that. At least he had stopped calling him Fuzzy Butt. That only stopped when he had gotten angry and almost shoved his brother from the ledge over the falls. To his surprise, Devin had turned, done a somersault and dived to the pool below. The hated nickname was never used again.

“What is this, Devin?”

“It’s our treasure chest! When we take our raft down the nameless river, we’re gonna need somewhere to put all the treasures we bring back!”

Vincent idolized his brother; he loved all the adventures he had planned for them. He sat down on the lid of the dirty old trunk.

“Do you really think we’ll find treasure, Devin?

Devin dived onto the huge bed and sat cross-legged facing his little brother.

“Sure we will! I bet the people who built the Great Hall moved down the river and built even neater stuff! I bet we’ll find better things than those ratty old rugs on the walls!”

“They’re tapestries, Devin!”

“Yeah, yeah, whatever! Stop sounding like Father! Just imagine, Vincent! I bet there are even bigger and greater halls to find! Who knows what they may have created!” He gestured to encompass their chamber. “Not rough stone walls like these! I bet they were kings among men! With knights and round tables …”



He shook his head, clearing the mane of hair that had fallen in a curtain in front of his eyes. Catherine was kneeling before the restored trunk.

“I’m sorry Catherine. Let me move that.” He grabbed the worn leather handles and lifted the trunk with ease. “Where are we putting this?”

“How about at the foot of the bed? Vincent, what do you have in there?”

“Memories …”


“Hand me that polish will ya, Fuzz. It should be warm enough now.”

“Devin please …” Vincent handed his brother the jar of homemade polish that had been warming by the brazier. “This stuff stinks!”

"That’s just the vinegar, but the lemon and wax helps.” Devin took a glob of the mixture and rubbed it into the wood. “This is gonna look great. The wax makes it shine and you can see the grain in the wood.”

After an hour, the trunk was glistening and the candlelight bounced off the gleaming surface of the trunk.

“Dev … I’m sorry I made that scratch …” Vincent looked down at the floor in shame as his hair fell to cover his face, once again reminded how he was different from the rest of the guys.

“Hey, there’re a zillion scratches on it. It just makes it look like a real treasure chest.” He gave his little brother a shoulder bump as they sat back and admired their handy work.


“What kind of Memories, Vincent?”

“Of childhood dreams and adventures made and unmade …”


“Vincent … hey, wake up!” Devin whispered. “It’s time!”

Vincent woke, rubbing his eyes. “Time for what?”

“Come on Fuzzy! You know. The raft’s ready. It’s time to find some treasure!” He climbed over his brother and began to dress.

“Devin, we can’t …”

“Aww, come on! Father will be busy all day. I heard him talking to Joshua. They’re planning new chambers in the morning. This is the perfect chance. I even got us some food.”

“William will be angry if you stole another pie, Devin.”

Nahhh. This time I took a chocolate cake. He only knew we took the pie because the berries gave you a rash.”

We didn’t steal that pie! You did!”

“Yeah, but you ate most of it, didn’tcha?”

Vincent grumbled under his breath. He couldn't help it that he had a sweet tooth.

“Come on! We’ll be back by dinner if we leave now!”


“Did you have many adventures?” Catherine smiled up at him as he placed the trunk at the foot of their bed.

“Some … for awhile …”


Vincent sat crying on the floor before their treasure chest as he packed away some of the treasures he and Devin had accumulated. There were the many books they had read together, the little toys they had shared. They never did find the hidden castles of the Great Hall builders, never made that trip down the nameless river, but they had had adventures. He felt Father’s hand on his shoulder.

“He’s gone Vincent. It’s time to put these things away.”

“Father? Why does it hurt so much … here?” Vincent put his small hand over his heart.

“It’s grief, Vincent. You loved Devin. When you lose someone, it hurts.”

“Do you hurt, Father?

“Yes. Yes, I do Vincent.”


“I’d like to hear some of those stories.” Catherine got up and brushed the dust from her jeans. She picked up the musical carousel and moved to put it on the ledge that circled the chamber.

“No” he said softly, as he held out his hands for the carousel. He took it and placed it on the trunk. “Next time Devin brings his children to visit, we’ll have him tell some stories. No one tells a tale like he can.”

He ran his finger along a deep gash in the lid of the trunk, remembering.


Vincent's trunk


Next ~ Olivia K. Goode

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