There she sat, in the dank basement of her recently deceased grandfather’s house. The daylight struggled to break through the dust and dirt covered windows that faced the morning rise. Already numb from her gramps passing, she stared at the mound of boxes strategically piled around her. Overwhelmed, and exhausted, she began working on separating his personal possessions. A strong growl from her stomach reminded her she was hungry. She glanced at her cell phone to see that hours had passed, and she had only gone through a handful of the boxes. She stood, stretched her legs and dusted her pants off, before heading upstairs to the kitchen.
At the top of the stairs she froze, closing her eyes. Her senses brought her grandfather back to her full force. Carried in the air that breezed past her was the faint comforting smell of cherry pipe tobacco. Her wish was to bottle that precise smell so she can pull him out of heaven every little chance she had. She found herself listening closely to the sounds of the house, trying to hear just one memory of him. The violence from her hungry stomach pulled her back to the foyer, obeying it’s demand she walked into the kitchen.
Fixing herself food from what was left in his house, she decided that she would finish the basement sort tomorrow when the sun was back out. She figured she would work a little on his bedroom, the one area of the house she knew was going to be the hardest. The area of the house she tended to him, cared for him at the end of his life. But the true Taurean nature she is, she was stubborn and willful. She was going to hit the hardest part face on, and move through the rest with ease. Finishing up with her meal, she washed the dish and put it back in its rightful spot in the china cabinet. She opened the mud room door and yelled outside for Watson; her grandfather’s aging floppy eared bloodhound.
With Watson at her side, both slowly ventured to ‘the room.’ Watson wasn’t the same without his master around, he seemed lost and discontent. Once in the room, Gráinne let Watson onto the bed. Watson sniffed, circled, and sniffed again. Gráinne comforted him, encouraging him to lay down. She cuddled him a little longer than intended, and then focused on the closet. As she stood to make her way over, Watson sniffed the pillow and whimpered. “I know, Wats, I know. I miss him so much too.” She opened the closet doors, stepped back and took in another olfactory memory. His clothing that hung before her was overpowering with the smell of cherry tobacco and old men cologne; damn she was going to miss him. She stepped into the closet, deciding to go from ceiling to floor.
The shelf above the door had only one item on it. A musty, yellowed, leather bound book. At the height she was stood, it looked to be and old Bible. She pulled the chair next to the bedside over to the closet, climbed onto it and pulled the book down with ease. Watson, watching her with protective eyes, whimpered again; as if to say, “You shouldn’t be touching that.”Gráinne waved him off with her hand, “Go to sleep old boy.” Holding the book tightly, she climbed off of the chair, moved it back into its spot and sat down in the chair. She reached over, turned the bedside lamp on. She leaned back in the chair, put her feet up on the frame of the bed creating an angled flat surface for the book. Resting the book on her legs, she stared at it.
It was a medium reddish brown leather book. Hanging from the spine was a thick Merlot colored velvet book mark, upon the bookmark was a golden embossed Gaelic symbol:
Carved and engraved in the cover of the book were old Gaelic letters:
The book was dusty, and smelled of both her grandfather and the memories of many hands that have touched it. She has heard of this book, but thought it was family legend.She leaned forward and blew the dust out of the carved lettering. Intimidated, she refrained from opening it, instead she ran her fingers throughout the lettering. She lifted the book to read the spine when a something slipped out, and fell to the floor.