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Becca laid out each piece from the box onto the table in front of her. A black candle, a white candle, a pink candle, and a lighter. A small bag of some herb. She smelled it. Sage. Another bag of maybe charcoal? And another with what looked like rosemary. A small box with carvings but completely sealed. She opened the envelope that had rested on top of the pile and read the letter inside.

Dear little B,

This might come as a surprise to you, but when I thought about who should get all my worldly possessions, I could think of no one better than you. This stupid attorney keeps hounding me to get it together. I’m gonna make it easy. You get it all. But I don’t want to just give it to you without knowing you are the same little sweetheart who used to help me with my spirits. Our family has a way of corrupting people, after all, so what if you turned into a crazy person too? I can’t have my stuff going to crazy people. If you decide that you don’t want to stay and you don’t want my trinkets, it all goes to my cat, Cora. She’s the next in line in deserving my things. Please let Mr. Honeyweather know as soon as possible so that little Cora gets her meals on time. She will need to be fed twice a day and rewarded with treats abundantly.

Much love,

Aunty Jo

She turned the paper to see if there was anything else written, knowing full well there wasn’t. The paper was heavy and the edges were torn. She wondered if she had prepared the paper like they used to do for projects when she was little. She remembered wetting down paper and burning it in the oven so that it turned slightly brown and looked aged. There was always a whole ceremony to that process. There was a ceremony to everything Aunt Jo did.

The nostalgia returned at the addressing as little B. Aunt Jo would call her that when she was small and pat her on the head. As Becca grew taller, the pats stopped but the little B held on. The thoughts in Becca’s head jumped around from making paper to tackling a seemingly old lady onto a designer rug. She laughed a bit at the thought of Aunt Jo calling the family crazy when Aunt Jo was, in fact, the only one to have been literally institutionalized.

Her phone rang. It was Mr. Honeyweather. Only Aunt Jo would find and use an attorney with the name Honeyweather. It was a senseless act to find an attorney considering most of their family had law degrees or at least knew enough law to at least prepare a will.

“Hello,” he started. “I hope the day is finding you well.”

“Yes,” Becca answered, noticing that her heart rate had settled and her body had been quite relaxed while she navigated the realm of Aunt Jo’s world. It was shocking considering she actually hadn’t felt so well in awhile. For once, she felt like everything was right in the world.

“I was wondering when you would be headed to the house,” he continued. “Cora will need to be fed before 9AM.”

He really has been feeding the cat. “If I head there now I could make it,” she said. “But I was hoping to have some time to pack up and I do have to work later.”

“I will do the morning then and should I expect that you will have this evening and the future feedings taken care of?”

Am I really discussing the schedule of a cat. “Yes,” Becca answered. “I can head there after work today.”

“That would be lovely,” Mr. Honeyweather said. “I hope you have a fantastic day at work and I’m sure we will be speaking of the little details very soon.”

“Yeah,” Becca went on, “Wait, do you have the key to the house?” she asked.

“Oh, it’s right there in the box.”

Becca looked at the items on the table and then picked up the box, shaking it upside down. “Um, there isn’t a key,” she said.

“It’s in the little box,” he said. “You’ll have further instruction when you reach your new home. You’ll need to check the mailbox that is next to the door to find the next bit of information.”

“Oh, so it’s like a treasure hunt,” she said, more to herself than to Mr. Honeyweather. Your new home. The words slowed and reran through her whole body in a sense of excitement and calm at the same time.

“That’s the spirit! Josephine said you would enjoy this.”

Becca did not know how to think about what was happening in this conversation about new homes and cats. She began to wonder if it was even real and not some elaborate prank. “Thanks,” she uttered.

“Of course, and you have my number if there are any other problems?” he asked.

“Yes, thank you.”

She hung up the phone and remembered she had a breakfast date with her dad. Quickly pulling a shirt over her head, she jumped into a pair of leggings and grabbed her bag. Pushing her feet into sandals as she exited and descended the stairs. It was the best she could do, hair in a messy bun and no make-up, or risk being late. That was something her father despised.

Upon arriving at the restaurant, she suffered another bout of time when her body and her head disagreed causing her stomach to fill with a rush of what she could only describe as panic. Andrew sat across from her father.


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