The day Chaine was brutally yanked from her world and thrown into a much more hostile one started out like any ordinary weekend day for her. Chaine Elmond glanced up from her ancient Game Boy. She thought she had heard something. She paused her Gargoyles game and pulled out her earplugs so she could hear better.
Chaine stood from the back of the moving van and smiled, waving at her mom and dad. They looked cheerful but disheveled. They owned a fairly successful thrift store, and they had gone to a local storage unit auction to buy contents of abandoned units.
Chaine used to watch them bid, amused by how serious everyone always was. Sometimes people even threw a tantrum like a little kid when they lost the bid, kicking, screaming and cursing, and had to be escorted out. On this day, she had decided to just sit in the van and wait. If she had known what was going to happen, she wouldn’t have let her parents out of her sight.
She could hear the electric wheelbarrow now, which was chugging along in front of her dad. They could have backed up closer to the storage units, but her dad had accidentally backed a rented truck into the roof of one of the storage office buildings some time ago. The resulting damage had cost thousands of dollars, and after he paid it all off, he had turned around and dropped a packet of money on the wheelbarrow, which had a switch to make it move and turned to be loaded and unloaded.
They didn’t know, but Chaine had sneaked it out a few times after midnight to ride around in it.
Chaine jumped down and began dragging flat boxes out and popping them open. Her mother hugged her briefly from behind.
“How’d you do?” Chaine asked, reaching back in for the huge roll of bubble wrap. She swished her tongue around her teeth for a moment to enjoy the metallic taste of brand new silver fillings from where she had taken a bad fall on the last basketball game her school had played.
“Well, we got three units. Two of them looked to be pretty good. I think the last one might turn out to be a dud.”
He had done this for years and still got as excited as a little kid on Christmas day. Chaine loved that about her father. She, however, had slowly lost interest as she got older and accepted the fact she would never find a magic wand or pirates treasure hiding in one of these old units. There was no magic waiting for her to discover anywhere.
She just turned sixteen, and she used to think she would become a certain age and decide to consciously put away thoughts of magic. It hadn’t happened that way, though. She found the older she got, the more she became caught up in things like school, boys, and being the captain of her basketball team. She had simply left the world of make believe behind in the shadow of the years.
With the boxes set up, the bubble wrap ready, Chaine dutifully parked herself by the van back door, ready to load. Her mother properly recorded each item, and her father wrapped and packed while Chaine hauled the boxes to the back, making sure they were carefully loaded in such a way as to avoid them sliding around and breaking since some of the items were glass. The load after that was full of sports memorabilia, including what looked like signed baseballs, and glossy framed photos with autographs from famous football players.
By the time they got to the bottom of the pile, Chaine’s legs were starting to burn from squatting and moving items. .
The last thing her father pulled out was a burlap sack.
Her mother frowned. “Where on earth did that come from? Why is it on the bottom?”
Her father shook his head and shrugged. “I don’t know...I don’t remember seeing this, or I would have made sure it was handled better. Oh well, too late now. I sure hope it wasn’t something that would’ve made us rich.”
He opened it and pulled out two grimy t-shirts. He held the sack open, peering cautiously in case it held a rat or a snake. A lot of storage units still had pest problems, even some of the indoor ones. Her father blinked and frowned at whatever he saw. Then his face cleared, and wonder lit his eyes. “Well, I’ll be a crayfish!” he said enthused.
“What? What is it, daddy?” Chaine asked, shifting from foot to foot, heart pounding with excitement.
“For goodness sake, Hank, don’t torture us!” her mother said, craning forward.
Carefully, he reached in and pulled out the only item left in the sack.
It was a music box.
tart writing here…