I sat in a hospital room and held Grandma Sable’s hand. She was fading fast, and I knew she didn’t have much time left. She had asked to see me alone, though I wasn’t sure why. I waited patiently for her to say something. She sat up slowly.
“I have been blinded by this world,” she said quietly.
“What do you mean Grandma Sable?” I asked.
“There’s more to it,” she said, “There’s more to everything. We just can’t see it.”
“What can’t we see?” I asked.
“The other worlds. As a girl I saw one with my own eyes, but I was shallow. I liked the way I lived, in this plain world. Now I know where I want to be. I’m ready to return to Revasala.”
I had no idea what she was talking about; she was sick and delusional, so I humored her.
“What’s Revasala, Grandma Sable?”
“Oh, my dear, you have to see it to believe it. It doesn’t compare to anything in this world. Revasala will find you eventually and you must meet it willingly. That is my dying wish for you.”
I began to speak but she interrupted me by handing me a key.
“This key will help you. You must return home. In my room you will find a door. It was the door to your Grandfather’s study. He locked it up years after I stumbled into it, but when you find it you will find the door to Revasala. Here are three keys that you need in order to unlock the door, this is the first. The other two are located somewhere in the study. One key is located in a wooden box that I gave him on our anniversary, and the other in a painting of a sea that Amos painted when he was in the navy. Your Grandfather Amos was a brilliant man, so they are most likely protected in some clever way.”
“But Grandma Sable, I..”
“Please, Helen. Do it for me.”
As she said these words she seemed to grow weaker. Sadness crossed her face, but there was a glimmer of hope in her eyes as she looked at me.
“Now go child, and as you go, I must also go. I’m ready to be with my Amos once more,” she whispered as she closed her wise grey eyes and uttered her last word, “ Go…”
I sat and cried quietly beside her, holding her hand. My mind was reeling with sorrow and confusion. After a few minutes I took a deep breath and stood. I slipped the key into my pocket and left.
Weeks passed and I was still torn by the death of my grandmother. I forgot about the key and tried to move on with my life. Everything seemed dull, and sad. I’d never lost someone whom I had been so close with. Grandma Sable and her husband had been living in my mothers childhood home since their marriage. My mother and Father eventually moved in to help my grandmother after Grandpa Amos died. I never really knew Grandpa Amos. He had died when I was very young, but in the time that I had been living with Grandma Sable, she had become my best friend. I loved and trusted her more than anyone. I tried to just ignore the pain, and not think about it, but it gnawed at me constantly. Then one day as I sat in my room alone I felt something poking me. It was in my back pocket. I reached and pulled out a key. In that moment I remembered everything she had told me. I smiled at the memory of her beautiful imaginary world. As I thought of it a tear slipped down my face. I needed an escape from reality.
I knew it was a stretch but it wouldn’t hurt to at least try to find Revasala. I had never been in my grandmother’s room, as it was always off limits. It hadn’t been touched since her death. I approached the door slowly and grabbed the old brass handle. It creaked noisily as I opened it to cautiously look around. I stepped inside and was greeted by a large cobweb. It was a small room, barren, aside from two dusty wooden chairs, and a bed. The walls were painted with peculiar murals of fairy’s, and mermaids, and creatures I had never seen before. The room must have been beautiful at one time, but now the curtains were ripped and moldy and the only light was the light filtering through the holes in the curtains.
I immediately found the door to Grandpa Amos’s study across the room. Dust muted my footsteps as I crossed her room to the door, but there was another noise. It was a humming sort of noise. I reached the door, unlocked it with the key Grandma Sable had given me, and entered. The room was an old office, with a firepit and a dusty red rug. In the middle of the room there stood a desk. I approached the desk and opened a drawer; the humming intensified. I looked into the drawer and saw a tiny box with the name Amos Carnion engraved in it. As I gently picked up the box, the humming ceased.
I turned the box over and was surprised to see small words on the back. The words read, “I’m small but precious. I have no beginning, no end, and no middle. What am I?” It’s a riddle! Grandfather Amos really was quite clever. I sat and pondered the question at the desk. I thought hard, but nothing would come to me. Eventually I gave up and resorted to hitting the box on the desk in an attempt to open it. Frustrated, I threw the box. It slid across the floor and landed in the middle of a circle of distorted light coming from a very dirty window. I composed myself and stood to retrieve the box. As I bent to pick it up I stopped. The light was making a perfect ring around the box.
“A ring!” I shouted.
That was the answer! As I said the words the box quivered and made a quiet popping noise. I picked it up and saw a small key hole where the words had been. I sat and put Grandma Sable’s key in the hole. I twisted the key and it clicked. The box popped open to reveal an even smaller key laying beside a wedding ring: Grandpa Amos’s wedding ring. This only reminded me of how much I missed my grandmother. I shook myself out of my grief. Now I only needed to find the third key.
I searched the room for the painting that Grandma Sable had described. I walked aimlessly until I tripped over something poking through the rug. I heard the humming once again. I looked closely at what I had tripped over. It looked like a small handle. I stood and ran to the edge of the rug. I pulled up the rug to reveal a small trap door. I pulled the little door open slowly; the humming sound was now a dull roar. The door opened to a small hole in the ground. On the bottom of the hole was a thin rectangular object. I pulled the object out of the dark hole, and the humming ceased. The light from the dirty window illuminated a painting of the ocean. The picture was unsettling. Though it was beautiful, the waves crashed and the sky was grey. As I looked at the painting I could almost feel the angry wind and the salty water stinging my skin.
I studied the painting trying to find some sign of another key. I turned it over and saw yet another riddle. This one read “I weigh tons, but I still float. I work best in water, but still remain dry inside. What am I?” I considered the riddle for a long while. I turned the painting back over and considered the picture. I squinted my eyes. There was something small and white in the corner, but I couldn’t completely make it out. I squinted harder. It finally dawned on me. The corner of a sail!
“A ship,” I whispered.
A crack resounded through the room, as a tiny key hole appeared on the back of the painting. I reached for the second key and fit it in the hole. I turned it and it clicked. The back of the painting opened to reveal the smallest key I had ever seen. I extracted the key. Now all I needed was to find the entrance to Revasala!
I walked around the whole study, but found no door. I studied everything about the room. The walls were covered in yellowed wallpaper. I looked closer and realized that there were little golden fairies decorating the wallpaper. They seemed to be moving. Smiling and laughing, and glimmering in a beautifully magical way. I traced my hand over the wallpaper. I noticed on the other side of the room the wall paper seemed to be peeling from the wall.
As I approached it I began to hear the strange humming again. The tear in the paper was emanating an eerie light. I Began to tear the paper and the humming increased. It was a shame to tear the beautiful wallpaper, but what hid underneath was even more beautiful.
Inscribed in gold were the words, “You will find where we both belong, and we will be together at last” I didn’t know who wrote the words but I could feel the words being spoken directly within me. I reached out and touched the words. As my fingers grazed them, the wall opened up to reveal a beautiful white door. On the door were pictures like those on the wallpaper. There were paintings of beautiful trees blowing in the wind. A babbling stream ran through the center of the door, and magical creatures flew and smiled up from the painted door.
I let out my breath. The humming now reverberated through my body as I approached the door. There were three key holes that seemed to burst with light. I inserted the first key, then the second, and lastly the third. Each key made an almost musical click as it was turned. The humming was overwhelming.
I took a deep breath. I wasn’t expecting much, all logic told me that Revasala wasn’t real, but I had a hope burning within me. My face flushed with excitement. I had made it this far. I couldn’t go back now. I placed my hand on the gleaming golden door handle and the humming faded away. I pushed the door gently, and opened to a beautiful meadow.
I took in my surroundings. There were large trees that seemed to whisper serenely. The trees were unusual, their leaves bursting with beautiful colors. So many colors that I was overwhelmed; Even colors I had never seen before. I turned and jolted in surprise. In the distance I saw two people. There was a man with brown hair and stern eyes. His arm was wrapped around a beautiful women with dark hair. They smiled at me in a welcoming way. I was glad to see that they were friendly and I went to call out to them but stopped. The tall woman looked familiar. She held herself in a way that showed strength and grace. She had bright, wise, grey eyes, similar to my fathers. And her raven black hair was very similar to mine. I knew that face, but the last time I had seen it, it had been sad and wrinkly, with dimming grey eyes.
“Grandma Sable, and Grandpa Amos,” I whispered in awe.
They smiled and nodded.
I ran to them, overcome with emotion. Hot tears trickled down my face as I threw myself into their arms. As I broke away, Grandma Sable and Grandpa Amos took my hands and lead me through the beautiful meadow into a clearing. It seamed we were at the edge of a mountain. I looked out and saw more beauty than I had ever seen in my life. Magnificent creatures flew through the air over colorful trees, and diamond rivers, and mountains of silver, all shimmering under the light of the shockingly blue sky. Fairies, and nymphs, and mermaids, and elves, and wonderful creatures that I have never seen, all greeted me with majestic songs. As I filled my eyes with the beauty of it all, Grandma Sable turned to me, smiling her newly young and radiant smile.
“Welcome to Revasala.”