“Dad! I brought the keys back!” Kasey yelled as she walked through the door of her summer home. she tossed the keys into a small black ceramic bowl which sat beside the door. The keys jingled as they hit the side of the bowl. “Dad?” Kasey called into the empty house. No response came. “Must be out…” She muttered to herself before opening the fridge.
From within the fridge, she produced a bowl of assorted fruits. After picking out a rather large strawberry, she climbed the stairs leading up to her room. She flopped onto her bed and turned on her television, flipping through channels before stopping on the food network.
Kasey was an aspiring cook. She was always reading books on different cultures, watching cooking shows or documentaries, and experimenting in the kitchen. That is...when her father allowed it. Most of her random recipes ended with smoke and fire. Despite being determined to be a chef...she was absolutely terrible at cooking.
The door downstairs opened, and footsteps echoed throughout the empty house. Figuring it was her father, Kasey didn’t get up. The footsteps stopped a few seconds after they came in, followed by the closing of the door. “Dad, Is that you?” She called down the stairs from the door of her room after getting up from the bed.
The stairs creaked as Kasey descended into the first floor of the house. It was still as silent as it was when she had arrived home. There was still no sign that her father was home, or had been home for some time. “Dad, are you home?” She called as she entered the kitchen. It was still empty.
One thing did strike her as odd. The basement door was open. Wide open, in fact. Curiously, Kasey walked into the empty frame and looked down into the darkness below. “Dad? Are you down there?” She called into the basement, listening for a response. When none came, she moved away from the door, but paused.
There was something down there...she could feel it. There was something within the basement that was calling out to her. Why else would the door be wide open when only she was home? She looked back towards the basement before flicking the lightswitch on and descending the stone steps.
The basement was cold and dusty. Neither Kasey nor her father had been down there for quite some time. They had never needed a reason to. In small piles around the floor lay boxes of assorted items and trash. Most likely remnants of the houses’ last owner. From the ceiling hung dingy light bulbs coated in a thick layer of dust and grime, so bad to where only a weak light shone through. It was creepy….much too creepy for kasey’s tastes.
“Dad’s not down here…” She mumbled to herself. She turned to leave before hearing...something...scurrying around near the back of the cellar, causing a loud clatter. She gasped and spun around, looking for the source of the noise. Perhaps it was only a rat. Maybe it was a raccoon or some other critter that had wandered in.
She took a deep breath before venturing towards the point of the disturbance. A stack of boxes had fallen, causing all manner of pots and pans to spill onto the stone floor. “Certainly bigger than a rat…” She looked at the boxes, which were much too big and heavy for a rat to move, let-alone knock over.
She looked around for anything that could lead to the answer as to what knocked over the boxes. She ended up with a handful of absolutely nothing. On her way back to the front of the cellar, she paused, noticing a space behind where the boxes of kitchenware had been stored.
After clearing out the boxes and retrieving a flashlight from upstairs, she knelt on the cold stone floor and looked at the empty space. It was as if several of the bricks had been removed and the space behind it hollowed out. From that hollowed space, after much reaching and fumbling in the dark, she pulled a small, oaken box.
The box was covered in a thick layer of dust, much like the rest of the cellar. The hinges had rusted from it's time spent in the damp confines of the space In the wall, but the wood of the box itself looked almost new. With a small bit of effort, Kasey opened the box and shone the flashlight at its contents.
Inside the oaken box, a small, transparent glass orb sat in a bed of silken cloth. The inside lid was decorated with strange markings and runes. The orb itself almost had the appearance of a bubble, with a rainbow-like sheen to it. Transfixed by the glass oddity, Kasey simply sat there and stared at it, losing all track of time.
The closing of a door upstairs shook Kasey from her trance. “Kasey! I'm home!” Her father called out as he walked across the floor above her. “Kasey? You home?” She hastily closed the lid of the oaken box and hid it back where she had found it. She stood, brushed the dirt and dust off of her jeans before making her way up the stairs and into the kitchen.
“I'm here dad.” She said as she opened the door to the fridge and pulled out what she had planned for dinner. Her father walked back into the room and looked at the open basement door. “Were you in the basement?” She nodded and began preparing dinner. “I thought I heard something. turns out it was nothing.”
Her father looked at her with a curious look. “Find anything interesting down there? I'm sure most of it is junk.” He sat at the table and pulled out a newspaper. Kasey shook her head and put sausage into a skillet. “Nope. nothing but pots, pans, old pictures and trash.” After twenty minutes, she plated their dinner, which consisted of potatoes, carrots, sausage, green beans, and asparagus. Her father looked at the meal with a curious eye. “Nothing fancy tonight? Not gonna try and poison me with a randomly cooked up recipe?”
She looked at him with a sneer then a laugh. “I figured we could have something simple.” She began eating her dinner, her thoughts returning to the glass orb she had found in the cellar. Clearly it had some value. If it hadn’t, then it wouldn’t have been hidden away like that. She had wanted to ask her father about it, but something held her back.
Later that night, she paced in her room, debating whether or not she should go back down into the basement to retrieve the glass orb. After several minutes of thought, she lost against her curiosity and stole down the stairs, quiet as a mouse. Into the basement she went with only the flashlight to guide her. As she reached the hiding place of the orb, a smile grew on her face. She had found something that had value, and it was all hers.
She took the oaken case from its spot in the wall. She opened the case and once again shone the light of the flashlight onto the bubble colored glass orb. Again, her attention became transfixed by it's colors which had begun to swirl. They swirled and swirled, completely captivating the young girl. Kasey lost all track of time staring at the swirling colors of the glass orb.
Morning came. Her father, as usual, walked into the kitchen and began preparing a cup of coffee. He took a look at the basement door, which hung open. With a shrug of his shoulders, he closed it and proceeded to make himself some breakfast.
The morning wore on. After breakfast, he walked upstairs and entered kaseys room. Only...it wasn’t her room. Where her bed once stood, there sat a desk, littered with papers. Where her dresser once sat, there sat a bookcase, filled with all kinds of books. Everything that had made Kaseys’ room her room had been wiped clear. From the doorway, a small boy around the age of ten called out. “dad? when’s mom getting home?”
His father turned and smiled at him before sitting at the desk. “Just a couple more days. don’t worry, Kasey. she’ll be home soon.”