Tessa looked out over the ridge. For miles and miles all she could see were trees. She would never find the shore of the island. She couldn’t remember how she got here and certainly didn’t know how she was going to leave. At least she knew, with the waterfall in the distance as her sure proof, there was fresh water here. Tessa knew to drink sparingly lest get some sort of parasitic or bacterial infection from unfiltered water. Maybe she would find some belongings down near the falls. She couldn’t believe she had just dropped down here with nothing other than the clothes on her back.
Jack sat down at the table and pulled the bench closer so he could rest his head on the table. He crossed his arms and laid his head down, hoping his hands didn’t decide to go numb, forcing him to sit back up. It had been a hard day for Jack. He woke at five, did the household chores, went outside and tended to his animals, and finished any laundry that had accumulated this past week. He hated chores as much as he hated animals and laundry. He didn’t know why his late wife had insisted they move here and get animals. He would have been just as happy in the city. But since her passing last year, Jack had come to a regular routine, without anyone to argue with about it.
With his head on his hands, Jack sobbed. He missed Betsy and wondered why God had taken her so soon. As the tears rolled down his face and across his hands, he could smell the sulfur from the matches used to light his candle last night. Betsy had loved fires and candles. Just one more thing to keep him crying.
Cathy put her gloves back on, moved her kneeling pad to a new area of the garden, and began weeding a new section which would be perfect for her tomatoes. She had gotten most of the other areas clear and ready for planting. In a matter of months, she would be harvesting her own vegetables, not having to run to the market.
When she had finally finished that area, she decided she’d had enough gardening for the day. She put all of her tools on top of the kneeling pad and carried them back into the garage. From under the workbench a sparkle of metal caught her eye. Getting down on her hands and knees, Cathy was able to see under the table and see it was an old Skeleton Key.
“This has got to be the key to that box I found last fall in the shed,” she said to herself. Hurrying into the house, not realizing all the dirt she was tracking in from the yard, she ran into the living room. There, on the lowest shelf of the bookcase was that wooden box. She didn’t know what was inside of it, but now she would be able to finally solve this mystery.