Sarah sat at her hand-me-down mahogany desk, the room dim, only a reading lamp casting a circle of light. She wore a simple flowered dress, dowdy by today’s standards, that made her look more of a grandmother than her fifty-eight years would indicate. She copied from one business sized sheet of paper to another a description of all of her personal possessions not listed in her will and who would receive them. Adding one item to the new sheet she wrote: The Chinese puzzle box and all of its contents to my granddaughter Katrina. She signed and dated the paper, sealed it in an envelope, and put it where her daughter knew to look when the time came. The old sheet went through the paper shredder next to her desk.
She smiled warmly thinking of the secret she had never shared with anyone not even her Tom, rest his soul. After years of worrying what would happen after her passing, she had found the answer. Her stomach dropped a bit with adrenalin excitement. Katrina would find all the joy it had given her. Yes, this was the perfect decision.
True, Sarah herself would enjoy the contents of the puzzle box a few years longer, but Katrina was young enough to reap a lifetime of joy. As long as she returned the little Chinese statue faithfully to its secret compartment, the strong, muscular and very male Chan would appear at her side.
Ahh, Chan. She hadn't opened the box in almost two days. Chan needed air. Sarah smiled and reached for the colorful box.
Opening: Joel G......Continuation: Khazar-khum