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Writer and creator of Kid's Corners for local newspapers
Nashville, United States
I discovered my love for writing when asked to tell about my life on a secluded island off the coast of Ireland. Ever since "Noria's" publication in 2009 I have written several more stories for readers of all ages.
An early reader poem. Where is the rat He is in the flat. Where is the flat? It is on the map. Where is the map? It is in your hat. Where is my hat? It is on the cat. Where is the cat? He is on the mat. Where is the mat? It is by the fat bat. Why is the bat fat? He ate the rat.
The following clue was given to me in a yellow envelope with the help of a plump grey-haired woman averaging about 80 years of age. The envelope simply said “Piper Malone, C1 from Beatrice Brown” Here is how it happened. While AC went to find some cute lifeguard to engage with and ventured over to the nearby historical society with Tom's key in hand. Not really quite sure why I had to bring the key, just that I needed it for if nothing else luck. I certainly had no idea was I was going to do when I got to the historical society, but it seemed like a grand place to start. When I first met the mentioned grey-haired lady she was outside sitting in a rocking chair looking half asleep. She nodded her head to me as I went in. A few moments later she came in and when I saw her sit behind the main desk, I figured I should ask her. So I went up and asked if she had any information about Dr. and Mr. Timothy (that is Tom's real name. His middle name is Owen and his last of course is Morris. That is how he got the nickname TOM.) Morris. Before I could even bat an eyelash she put her fingers to her lips to “shush” me, while at the same time looked around to make sure no one heard me. There was no one else in the whole building that I could see. Besides I was asking about long time dead people, not drugs. Though from the way she acted you would have thought they were just as bad. Never saying a word she got up and motioned for me to follow. We walked in silence through the “Staff Only” door, down a narrow musty hall dimly lit, and filled floor to ceiling with boxes that showed more age than my guide. Finely after a few twist and turns, along with some near misses with boxes that had moved on to the makeshift path. We came to a room with a door numbered 2100 just like on Tom's key. “I assume you have the key”, she said more to the door then to me. I pulled it out of my knapsack and started to hand it to her, but she backed away as if it had suddenly turned into a snake. “You open it”, she said coldly. “I want no more to do with this”. With her last word she turned and walked away. “Part of what” I wondered as I turned the key and unlocked the door, which opened into a tiny poorly painted white closet with bare shelves. Well almost bare, sitting propped up by the back of the wall was a very yellow and very very musty smelling envelope. The must smell was so strong I could not stop sneezing. I had to hold it at arm's length while opening it with shaking hands. I was so terrified that it would just fall apart at any moment. Inside was a not so yellow, but still quite musty piece of paper. Like the one from Tom's lawyer, this paper was also torn. This time however the letter was from Laurie's niece. Here is what she wrote. “All think my aunt was buried at sea, but a different truth I shall tell to thee. In a world they think not to go, we have hidden her from friend and foe. A place her eyes never did see, except in dreams of thee. “ “Great!” I thought.“Just what we need another poet who gives weird clues”. I turned the note over and found a travellers check for 1000.00 simply made out to “Cash”. Hum, I wonder if they still even cash these things” I said to my self as I examined the letter again. That is when I found in a very tiny script the words. “Head to Miami” “Miami!!” Laurie is in Miami” AC nearly screamed those words after she read the note. Suddenly she pulled out her phone and started searching the internet for directions to Miami. While she was looking I noticed another key. This one was so very small that if I had not felt the weight of its brass making, I would have missed it altogether. I quickly took a picture of it that I sent to the MyBook group Memories. Almost immediately one of their antique experts said that it was a skeleton key for a type urn called a “Coffin Box” “They were very popular in the 1940s” he also added in his IM. “How appropriate” I could not help think as I wrote him a quick thank you IM. I then began another search this time using PicKode. I was searching for pictures of coffin boxes and boy did I find them. I felt an icy chill pass over me when I saw one that had been painted black with a red medical cross on the lid. My mind immediately flashed back over 60 years to when I had seen that exact same box in real life. The night I found Tom filling it with sand. “But he had glued the lid shut. Why would he need a key?” Where just a few of the questions fighting for space in my head at that moment. It seemed as if the longer I was in Florida the more mysterious this whole thing became.
Walking is hard, for tall weeds hide the bleached white broken bones of skeletons, incomplete, with ribs and other parts sticking up, waiting to cut into my bare feet. My breath runs and hides, while my heart jumps around in its chest cave. I part some weeds only to find the complete skeleton of a woman. I know it to be female, for down by the legs, half in and half out of her is the tiny skeleton of a babe being born, frozen by fire during its delivery. Time has driven away the sweet-smelling grey ash of those burned beyond the knowing of the soul that once inhabited them. Purple and blue flowers grow through the foundation stones of our fallen temple. A deep dark hole is all that marks the holy tomb at the temple's rear. I pick some of the creeping flowers, say a blessing, and throw them down. Swallowed up by the blackness around them, I do not hear them land. Houses of wood have left no proof of their being, except in my memory. I feel four hundred ghosts follow me as I take the long walk back to the sea, to the boat that will carry me away. I do not say goodbye, nor do I look back as the motor starts. I hope these images of my homeland can be erased and replaced with the ones that fill my heart.