We start out our story in the attic of the main character’s (Amelia) grandparents. They are in the middle of cleaning it out and the granddaughter is trying to disguise her frustration due to the fact that they are being very particular. Her grandfather, although not feeling as grand as he usually is, continues to have an air of authority; like a General quietly watching his troops from a distance. He even looks like a General with his neatly kept white hair and his tidily shaven mustache. His broad shoulders are a bit slouched at the present time and his usual rosy hardiness is absent, but he is still in charge. Amelia doesn’t like that her grandpa looks weaker than usual as she silently observes his out of place behavior. He sits quietly on an old spare chair in the corner of the attic looking tired and paler than usual, speaking up every once in awhile to tell Amelia where something should go. Her grandma is the far more animated one, for whenever she finds something new she always makes a face as if it is Christmas morning and she has just gotten the thing of her dreams. Despite her silly excitement over trite objects you can still see wisdom and love in her dark brown eyes. Her dark brown hair is neat and pretty, and she has cute clothes on. The scene continues as they slowly sort through all of the things in the attic. They are not even half way through when Amelia’s grandmother decides it’s time for a break and heads downstairs to make lunch. Amelia knows it will be a while before lunch is ready so she stays upstairs and looks around. The attic itself looks normal, like any attic you’ve seen in movies. There are cobwebs everywhere and the smell of decades of dust is pungent in the air. Stacks upon stacks of forgotten possessions are strewn everywhere and it makes her begin to reflect on how possessions show a life lived. She begins to become excited at the prospect of finding out things about her grandparents or her mother that she doesn’t know about. She starts to dig. There isn’t really anything interesting at first; some photo books and a couple of creepy old dolls of her mothers. But then, she finds an old chest. A red and brown, leather bound, chest. She carefully wipes the dust off of the outside, slowly examining exactly what it is. She looks around cautiously and then unlatches the outside hooks.
Her heart begins to race; she knows she is going to find something amazing, she can feel it! She slowly leans over and peers into the contents of the box... only to find a few loose papers and a wrapped and bound object. Her face falls. She is a little disappointed, but she is still curious. So she reaches into the chest and gently picks up the wrapped object. It is about a foot and a half in length and doesn’t weigh more than two pounds. As she begins to untie the string her mind begins to wander. She starts to imagine what this thing could be; maybe it’s a priceless heirloom or a favorite toy her mother hid away. She works faster and faster so she can get to the object, and when she finally does… it’s an old violin, a plain, out of tune violin. The bow is frayed and discolored; the violin itself has changed the color of a banana left out too long. But for some unknown reason, Amelia is still enthralled. There is something about this long forgotten instrument that makes her feel there is an untold story waiting to be heard. Just then her grandmother calls for her to come down because lunch is ready. She slowly sets the violin down in its resting place and sets everything back to the way it was. She heads downstairs to eat, still contemplating the possibilities of what the story of the violin is. As she sits down at the table with her grandpa, she decides that she is going to ask him about it. She proceeds to explain what she found as he quietly listens to her story. When she is finished, her grandpa quietly laughs and tells her that he has no idea where the violin came from, but that it was probably something her grandmother had picked up at a garage sale. Amelia nods her head in understanding, but still continues to think about the possibilities of where it came from. They proceed with their meal in peace, chattering about small things like school and work. Finally, when the meal is coming to a close, Amelia’s grandparents become suddenly serious. Looking directly in Amelia’s eyes, they tell her that there is something she needs to know. They then proceed to tell her that her grandfather is very sick and that it a rare sickness that they don’t have a cure for. Amelia’s heart begins to race, her brow furrows and she becomes visibly pallor. They tell her that they don’t want her to worry but they thought it was time that she knew. They were going to break the news to everyone else when
they arrived the next day, after they get back from his final check up with the doctor. Amelia can only silently not in agreement. After cleaning up proceeding dinner, Amelia asks to be excused and goes upstairs to the small, simple guest room she always uses when she stays over. She is deep in thought and is so distraught that she sits on the edge of her bed for quite some time without moving. Awhile later, her grandparents come up to say goodnight, tell her not to worry and that they love her, and head to bed. Before leaving the room, her grandpa silently leans forward and kisses her on the forehead. She honestly feels like she will never be able to sleep again. She has no idea what to do, she decides she should probably try and get some sleep, so she changes into her pajamas and climbs into bed. She is unable to sleep however, and she continues to toss and turn for several hours. Finally, not being able to take it anymore, she gets up. She needs something to take her mind off of the bad news she had been given earlier, and the only thing she can think of is the violin. She quietly opens her door and peers out into the hallway. Everything seems to be still within the confines of the night, and she proceeds to quietly tiptoe up to the third floor. As she opens the creaky wooden door to the attic, she realizes that it is somewhat creepy at night. The shadow of the moon cast upon the forgotten possessions is somewhat eerie, but she is determined to check the violin out once more. She finds the leather bound chest again, and slowly and steadily opens it. She gently picks up the violin once again and proceeds to look it over. It is so old and fragile looking, yet still firm in her hands, as if it can still produce a lovely tune. Just then, something catches her eye; a string she hadnâ€™t seen before tied to the neck of the violin. She looks to see where it ends, only to find that is attached to a piece of paper that is pushed inside the body of the violin. Ameliaâ€™s mind begins to race; she is confused as to why anyone would do that. She slowly begins to pull that piece of paper out, being careful not to rip the paper and ruin her chances of reading it.
She finally is able to get it all the way out, and proceeds to look at it. The writing is almost illegible due to the age of the paper, but she studies it long enough that it becomes clear. The paper says as follows, “This instrument is meant to be played only by those who are willing to accept that there is more at work than can be seen.” Amelia cannot grasp what this could mean. It seems to her that this has a hidden message, but she has no idea what it could mean. She is so distraught by the news of her grandfather and his illness, that she honestly is willing to try anything to get her mind of it. Suddenly she feels the urge to pick up the bow. She feels as if that is what she is meant to do. She has never played a violin so she holds both the bow and violin awkwardly. She closes her eyes, concentrates hard, and pulls the bow across the strings. Everything goes black. Amelia awakes to find herself in her bed; safe and sound and extremely confused. She starts to quickly look around the room, trying to come up with what exactly happened last night. She feels as if something is different. She silently gets up and heads downstairs, still pondering what could have happened. But every time she goes to remember anything after getting her pajamas on, her mind becomes fuzzy and she is not capable of remembering. So she decides she’ll give herself some time, pours a cup of coffee, and sits down at the kitchen table. Her grandparents told her last night before going to bed that they would be back from the appointment a little before lunch, so they should be back any time. Sure enough, she hears the front door clicking open, and right away her grandmother starts calling her name. Amelia’s heart begins to race and she fears the worst; something’s happened to her grandpa. But as she comes closer to the door, she starts to notice that her grandmother’s tone is that of joy. She starts to run and when she gets to the door, she is excited to see that it’s both her grandma and grandpa looking extremely happy and healthy. She asks them what has happened, why they can’t stop smiling. They proceed to tell her that upon arriving to the check up, her grandpa was already feeling extremely better, and once the testing was
over, they were amazed to find that the illness was gone. The disease had vanished without explanation. The rest of the day was a blur. Amelia’s parents arrived and were rushed in to the kitchen to be told the amazing story too. There was a lot of celebrating and a lot of laughing. Everyone was happy, including Amelia. But there was also something puzzling her. She can’t quite put her finger on it but she knows that something is off; something doesn’t make sense. She absentmindedly heads up the stairs and into the guest bedroom. She sits down on the edge of the bed, and suddenly it hits her, the thing she couldn’t remember. She had forgotten about the violin. She rushes up the stairs to the attic, taking them two at a time. She barges through the old door and rushes forward towards the leather bound chest. She swings it open to peer inside, only to find that there is nothing there. The violin she thought had been there was nowhere to be found. She is perplexed as she goes back downstairs to her family. After asking her grandparents if they moved the violin and them saying no, she honestly doesn’t know if it was even real or not. All she knows is that her grandpa is better and her family is happy. The rest… remains a mystery.
Published on Feb 11, 2011