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The Relic I Destroyed

The Relic I Destroyed

Ahana Shah 8D

My grandmother’s house was a rambling mansion at the edge of the woods.

We would go there every holiday to spend some time with her and enjoy the food she would give us. As a child, my imagination would run wild in this house. I would pretend the floorboards hid a network of secret, magical tunnels—or that I was a warrior queen, holding court from the dining hall. After my grandmother passed, the house was passed to me—her will stated that I had to live there for at least a year before the documents would be transferred in my name. I was

confused, but I complied—shifting there on a warm, September afternoon. My imagination wandered as I roamed the rooms, the house strangely decrepit without my grandmother’s lively presence. I peeked into the master bedroom—each antique caked with dust, the bed neatly made. The room felt like a preserved relic—as if it wasn’t meant to be entered, but somebody had trespassed. A suitcase stood in the middle of the room, its plum-coloured cloth clean and dust-free, in stark contrast with the dusty room. I slowly zipped it open, to find a wooden parrot. I burst into a fit of giggles, as my attention shifted from the parrot to the note at the bottom. It read, penned in my grandmother’s neat handwriting: ‘Let this unlock your full potential.’ My laughter increased. How could a parrot unlock my potential? My question was answered in the next moment. The parrot turned its head—something that shouldn’t have been possible, and bit my finger. I gasped—in pain, and surprise, as the mechanical toy transformed into an actual parrot. Its beady gaze was fixed on me with a stern glare, as it squawked, “Took you long enough.” It fluttered out of my hands, and made itself comfortable on the bedpost. “Now let’s see where your grandmother hid the necklace, and let’s destroy it.” My heart thumped a tattoo inside my ribcage, as I steadied my breathing, my mind wandering back to the bedtime stories Grandmother would tell me. She always spoke as if they were true, I thought. But what if they were? The parrot had already flown out, as I followed, babbling a set of questions for it. It

answered them with an irritated chirp, as I followed it to the attic. Nothing was there, except for a cardboard box in the corner. I crawled toward it, as blood from my still-bleeding finger dripped onto it. The box melted into a stand, with a necklace draped onto the false neck. Voices murmured from it, as I, transfixed, reached out to inspect it. An irritated, slightly panicky voice broke me out of my trance. “Don’t touch it—destroy it.” But the voices persisted, as a strange

magic took hold of my senses, and my finger brushed against the opal set in the silver—and then, I was falling through the sky, the necklace still in my hand. I hit the ground, and stumbled up, with a blurry vision. In the distance, I could see cars—mainly yellow cars, teeming with creatures I thought only existed in one’s fantasy. I ran, and seeing the glimmer of a lake made me hopeful. I skidded to a stop at the lake edge, the water soaking my shoes. A voice whispered from it—sounding very much like the parrot’s— “Throw it!” I threw the necklace as far

as I could, and it landed in the water with a splash.

I turned around, and the creatures in the taxis disappeared. The world around me faded as my vision blurred once more. Air brushed around me, as I, in the next second, found myself back in the attic. The parrot disappeared turning into the toy it one was.

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