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The Jewelry Box

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The Jewelry Box There it was. The most elegant jewelry box I had ever seen. Blue sapphires shimmered along the edges. Victorian era carvings covered the rustic wood chest. Inside was a shiny black satin to protect the wood from whatever was chosen to be put in this box. This jewelry box belonged to my grandmother. I hadn't seen it since she passed ten years ago. But here it was, at the thrift shop two towns over. My grandmother was an elegant, classy woman who never left the house without her hair and makeup done to the nines. Knowing this, my grandfather thought it would be perfect for her when he found it in a small shop on a trip he was on. Every time she looked at it, she was reminded of my grandfather. He gave her the jewelry box on their 50th wedding anniversary. He passed three days later. She kept his obituary inside, pinned on the black satin. She kept this box for about two years, but decided to give it to her best friend on the anniversary of his death. She died four days later. Her broken heart got worse when she gave away the last gift he had given her. She had stopped eating. She didn't leave her bed. She was dying and we all knew it. We brought her to the hospital, hair and makeup done of course, so she could pass without any pain. What was this jewelry box doing in this thrift shop? How did it get here? My grandmother's best friend lived three hours away from this town, why would it be this far away? The cashier noticed me admiring the jewelry box and told me how beautiful she thought it was. I told her the story and history of the box and she let me take it home. It was time to find out how this box made its way back down here. I got home and called my grandmother's friend, with no luck. I remembered she had a daughter and went to look through my grandmother's things. I found it! The dusty old notebook she wrote all her important phone numbers in. It had an old musty smell to it but the writing was still as elegant as she was. There it was, the phone number I needed. I dialed the number and hoped the number was still active. This time, I got an answer on the other line. I asked the daughter if her mother was there. She had informed me that her mother had passed a few years back. I was in shock and gave her my condolences. She asked me why I was looking for her mother. As soon as I brought up the jewelry box, I could feel chills and uneasiness on her end of the phone. I hadn't said much about the jewelry box when she interrupted me. She said that the jewelry box killed her mother. I was confused. She explained that as soon as her mom donated that jewelry box, she passed not even a day later. It turns out there was even a copy of my grandmother's obituary pinned in the same spot as my grandfather's previously was. Her mom couldn't bear to look at the box anymore. All she thought about when she saw it was my grandmother so, like my grandmother did, she gave it away. The daughter asked me if I had the box in my posession. I did. She heard this and hung up the phone. She wanted nothing more to do with the jewelry box that ended her mother's life. There was a lot of extensive research to be done. It started by going through my grandmother's belongings that I had kept, but there was not much relating to the jewelry box. I had run out of ideas. Boxes and boxes of knick-knacks, vintage jackets, shoes, and accessories, and paintings later, I hadn't found one useful thing. The photo albums were the last to be gone through. I smiled at the pictures of my grandparents and relived some of the memories, that was until I found a photo of my grandfather and his buddies in front of a "Welcome to Danvers" sign. I immediately pulled that picture out of it's dusty photo pocket to examine it. On the back, my grandmother had written the date in her beautiful handwriting. A month before their 50th anniversary. It had to be the town he found the jewelry box in, right? Danvers, Massachusetts. I had always heard of it, but never realized it may all be true, the witches, the curses, the magic, the occasional evil that tries to find a home. It was time to get to the bottom of the origin of this jewelry box. I took a bus to Danvers, it wasn't far from where I currently lived, but enough of a drive that my grandfather made a monthly weekend trip with his friends so they could enjoy their time at the pubs and not have to cut it short to go home before curfew. I walked around the center of town and imagined what it was like to be my grandfather. The town welcome sign wasn't exactly what I thought it was in the picture. Turns out, there was a copycat sign in town for tourists to take pictures with. As I walked by the sign, I saw a little house on the edge of the woods just outside of the general public areas. The house was almost fairy like, covered in moss, made of old, rotting wood that was splitting apart, making the house look as if it were held together by hay instead. The windows were arched with faded purple shutters and the door was made of a beautiful chestnut type wood, which made the house look warm and inviting. I wandered off the street and got closer and closer to this house until I saw a sign. This house turned out to be a little shop! A shop that sold candles, gems, and jewelry boxes. The nerves started building and I got anxious standing outside the shop door. It may have looked inviting, but I felt uneasy knowing what I did about the jewelry box. With the jewelry box in hand, I walked in. There was an older woman behind the counter. She was stunning, her hair a shiny gray mixed with some strands of white which made it almost sparkle in the light and her eyes a piercing blue that seemed to stare right into your soul. This woman was appalled when I walked in, and then her eyes gazed down to the vintage sapphire jewelry box I was holding. I hesitantly walked over and placed it on the counter. Her hands grazed over the carvings and the shining stones, which seemed to glow brighter with her touch. I asked her what she knew about the box sitting in front of her. She gave me a charmed look and exclaimed she had made it one day, not expecting anyone to admire its beauty like she had. The jewelry box had been placed on a shelf behind her counter for a few long years before a husband came in looking for a gift for his wife. He was immediately drawn to this hidden jewelry box, exclaiming how perfect and elegant it was for his wife. When the shop owner explained it was not for sale, he convinced her to let him have it for his wife. So the woman let him have it, but not before she brought it into her studio in the back to "give it a few final touches". She knew I hadn't opened the box, however I am not sure how. The woman told me that it was me who had to open it next, since I had gotten it. So I did. My face went pale when I saw what was inside. It was the obituary of my grandmother's best friend, pinned in the same place the others were. I looked at the woman in shock, and she explained what her "finishing touches" were. She didn't want anyone to have this box, so when my grandfather had begged for it, she put a curse on it. Every time someone was to hand over the jewelry box to someone else, they were to die. Knowing that my grandfather was going to give it away, she knew it was the perfect punishment for his selfishness and unwilling ability to listen. This curse was to last until the precious jewelry box was returned to its maker. And here it was, sitting in front of her. My mouth was wide open with awe and complete shock at the words that just left her mouth. The woman had tears in her eyes seeing her long lost treasure returned to her. She looked at me and smiled the most genuine and thankful smile I had ever seen in my life. We were silent for a while as I watched her admire her box like she had when she had just created it. It took her a moment to realize I was still there. She looked at the box and then back at me. "Here," she said, handing me the jewelry box, "as much as I love it and longed for it to be back home with me, it belongs to you. I knew from the moment you walked in that the box's magic paired with yours. The curse was lifted when you opened it. Look for yourself,". She opened the box. The obituary was gone. "You lifted my curse when you opened the jewelry box. Looks like you really are my niece after all. A witch, just like me".

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