A Top Hat Tips original,

Contents Sold Separately


Paula Spring


For Lydia Martin, it was a great time to be alive. It was the first days of Summer. She had just graduated high school. Instead of taking their usually family vacation, her parents thought it would be best if Lydia spent every day this summer decorating her new apartment. Her first apartment, and getting settled into it. It would make her first year of college run more smoothly. If Lydia wasn’t trying too much to get used to college and living on her own, her grades might not lower. She would already have everything running efficiently in her new home.

This idea was better than any family vacation could ever be. She wouldn’t be able to keep her mind on the vacation. Her mind would be on her first new apartment, and on her first car. A new car. A shiny, new Mini. She loved it.

Since Lydia was lucky enough to apply for a full scholarship, and got it. Her parents decided that all of the money that they had saved for her college education could be utilized in part for a new apartment, and new car. Plus, a little extra for furnishings and decor. The rest of the money to be put away in savings.

Lydia Martin was lucky. At this time, she had everything. Of course, Lydia had been lucky all of her life. She had wonderful parents that loved her. They each had fantastic careers. Each of them having their own practices. One parent, her mother. An Attorney. Her father a pediatrician. Money for an only child was never difficult in the Martin household.

Not only that. Lydia was blessed with a great amount of beauty. With her long dark locks of curls that resembled a Disney princess. She was medium height, slenderly built with curves that came naturally. It could safely be stated that Lydia Martin was born lucky. Extremely lucky.

Taking some more of her parents advice. As Lydia was always well to do. They advised her to look into second hand stores and garage sales to find furniture and decorations for her new apartment. Since, Lydia has always been eclectic. She would more than likely find what she was really wanting in furnishings and decor at a Garage sale or second hand store. Garage sales and second hand stores flourished with those types of things.

Her first stop. An estate sale. It was located in an old Victorian manor home. The sign said, “Everything must go! All remaining items are half off!” That was another eye catcher.

The first thing Lydia saw was an old broom sitting on top of a very nice, old trunk. Someone else was looking at it. Lydia hoped they were more interested in the trunk than the broom. That broom looked like a one-of -a-kind. It had a long, curvy handle. The straw looked as if it had been made from a bush. A bush that no one uses today to make broom straw. It even looked handmade.

Walking over toward the broom and trunk. Lydia asked the distinguished, older man, “Are you interested in that broom?”

“Why, no,” The man curiously replied. “Why would a young girl such as yourself want an old housewife’s broom?” he laughed with deep interest for the answer.

Lydia laughed along with him. She was happy for his interest and replied, “I think it would make unique wall decor for my kitchen.”

“Oh!” he laughed again with a jolly, Santa like quality. “I didn’t think of kitchen wall decor.” Laughing still. He shook his head in agreeance saying, “That is unique, and I agree, I agree.”

Clearing his throat he began again, “What I want is the trunk. The problem with that is no one can open the trunk. We’ve tried all morning. We can’t remove the broom nor open the trunk, but the carving on the trunk says, Only a virgin hand of pure luck can remove the broom and open the trunk.”

“Well, let me give it a try,” Lydia offered. “I am a virgin,” she blushed.

Lydia grabbed the broom with both hands. Attempting to lift the broom like turning curls with a weight bar. Lydia bent her Knee’s and jerked on the broom in such a hard manner, she stumbled backward. To their surprise the broom came off. The clasped latch on the trunk opened itself and the lid flew open.

“Thank you!’, the older man excitedly acknowledged. “Keep pure my dear girl. That is the luck you hold.” He sincerely smiled.

The curator of the estate sale quickly skipped over to Lydia and the older man. They explained to the curator that the older man wanted the trunk. Lydia wanted the broom, and she added the contents of the the trunk. The older man only wanted the trunk not it’s contents. Lydia thought it’s contents would be fun to sift through. So, the curator happily sold the broom and the trunk contents to Lydia for $20.00. Excited. Lydia sped off to her new apartment.

Lydia hopelessly tried calling a few of her high school friends to invite them over for some drinks, and sifting through her estate sale find. No one could come, because they all went on vacation with their parents. Lydia was stuck spending her summer alone, but not unhappily. She would just sift through it all herself. The rest would follow.

The contents of the trunk came within a heavy wooden box that was kept hidden inside of the large trunk sold to the older man. It was heavy, carved, and black. She considered taking it to an antique dealer to get it appraised. That would have to come at a later time. Right now, apartment first. Starting with the contents of the box she now held in front of her.

Setting the box on her kitchen counter, she turned it to each side observing the patina and the pattern of it’s carving. Unfamiliar to her, the patterns seemed to depict a dark line that encircled the box with many rays of dark light appearing to emanate from the line. It was like a black horizon line. The lid of the box had the same centralized line and rays. The only difference was the circle in the center of the lids line. It had a circling swirl, like a vortex. Staring at it would trick the eyes into thinking that the swirls were moving. It was, at least to Lydia, a conversation piece.

Opening the lid which had no lock nor latch. It neither had a place leaving marks detailing where a lock or latch would be. Perhaps that is why it was locked in something else.

Inside of the box was a small book about the size of a paperback novel. A scroll parchment laid beside it, with a candle, and a carved wooden ring. Lydia picked up the ring and observed that the carving on the ring was the same as the carving on the box. Although, she hoped for a tea cup or something she could use in her apartment. She was happy to find such a strange, unusual ring. It fit her finger perfectly.

The small book was written by hand. The language was not English. It was neither Chinese nor Japanese. Yet, it was quite a symbolic text similar to what an Asian text would be.

Unrolling the scroll. The parchment was in English. Lydia read the scroll aloud.

Life of purity. Life of luck. The innocent door shall open up. The innocent door shall let me in. Replace my confinement. Four walls descend.

My soul rise up until I am free. My soul rise up. Unconfine me. Innocent door let me in. Innocent door let me in. Unconfine my time await. Unconfine me. Your soul I take.

A hard crash to the floor Lydia fell. Her life flashed before her eyes with scenes of pure luck and purity within every view. With each scene that passed by her eyes. She could feel her actual innocents. She could feel her literal purity, and luck. Until, there was a door.

Pulled through this strange and misty door. an atmosphere of pure white light was all that could be seen. The feeling of weightlessness left her with no direction. Across the sky she was moved. Flown to a roof top, and suddenly a room. Head first into an open trunk. Like white star glitter falling from the tail of a shooting star. Lydia landed and the trunk slammed shut. Standing up, now. All Lydia could see was the light from the keyhole of the trunks lid. From there she peaked out.

She could see the older man from the estate sale. The slam from the trunk lid startled him. He turned suddenly to see. What he saw was an eyeball peeping out from the trunks keyhole. He got closer to make sure. He knew it was real when he saw it blink.

In Lydia’s new apartment her body stood straight. An innocent’s form no longer was this. It was the form of a monster that long awaited it’s due. It was the form of an evil with Lydia’s face. The evil that had now, replaced Lydia, and taken her place.

Happy Thanksgiving!