*I wrote this short story for a contest. For this contest, they provide the first line and you write a story from there. I’m guessing I didn’t place since I didn’t hear anything, but I enjoyed the challenge they presented.
As she trudged down the alley, Cenessa saw a small wooden box. It looked out of place among the cardboard boxes stacked beside the door that led into the back of her parent’s grocery store. The box was a little bigger than the size of her palm and looked to be made of a dark wood.
Cenessa bent down to pick the box up just as her mother opened the door to call her inside. She stood up quickly and went inside to help her father stock the afternoon shipment of foods and other miscellaneous items.
Her mind drifted as she helped her dad stock can goods and put produce that wasn’t good enough to sell in the compost bucket for the garden at home. She was curious what the little wooden box had in it.
Taking out the trash before leaving with her parents for the evening, Cenessa decided to look for the wooden box. It was still sitting where it had been earlier. It was thinner than it had originally appeared. She quickly picked it up and tucked it under her sweater. She could barely tell the box was there. Once they were home, Cenessa went into the bedroom, threw her backpack on her bed, and carefully removed the box from under her sweater. Getting on her hands and knees, Cenessa scooted the box under her bed. She would take a look at it after supper.
Once supper was over and her nightly bathing finished, Cenessa went into her bedroom and carefully closed the door. She pulled the box out from under the bed and placed it on her bed. Climbing up on her bed, Cenessa was careful not to bump it. She sat crossed legged and just stared at it for a bit.
The wooden box was smooth with curved corners. On the front was a bronze lever. She pushed on it and heard a click as the box opened. Inside was one single item. A pearl colored guitar pick with the letters DS on them. Her breath caught as she looked at the pick.
What was it doing in this tiny box? Who put it in there? She thought she had lost it. Cenessa started crying as she clutched the pick to her chest, laid down, and curled into a ball. This specific guitar pick had been given to her when she was just six years old. She never went anywhere without it, until the day she had lost it.
That was a week ago. How did it end up in the box? She had never seen that box before. How did it get there? Cenessa heard the door to her room open. She could feel the weight of her father as he sat down beside her on the bed. “What’s wrong?” he asked her.
Turning onto her back, she opened her hand to reveal the pick she thought she had lost.
“Oh,” he said. “Uncle Danny’s pick. Where did you find it?”
“In that box,” she answered as she pointed to the box on the bed.
He picked up the box and smiled at his daughter.
“I found the box in the alley today,” she told him.
“So, I see,” he answered.
“I don’t know how the pick got in there though,” Cenessa said. “I’ve never seen that box before.”
Her father scooted her into his lap and hugged her.
“I put it in there,” he said.
“The other day, I was taking some things out of Uncle Danny’s old room to give away. I had put some of it in the alley to take later in the day. I noticed your pick was in the pile. I took it out and put it in that wooden box, which was also in the pile. I guess I got distracted and forgot to take it into the store with me.”
“Oh,” Cenessa hugged her father. “I thought I had lost it forever. Uncle Danny would be upset if he knew I had lost it.”
“No, I don’t think he would be upset with you,” her father said. “As a matter of fact, I bet he was looking down and helping you find it.”
Cenessa looked up at her dad. “You really think so? You think Uncle Danny was helping me from heaven?”
Her father hugged her as tight as he could, “I wouldn’t doubt it at all.”