I’ve never met my Grandfather. He died long before I was even a whisper. Dead but not gone, he murmured tales to me at night, a dangerous time to tell stories. The darkness inevitably obfuscates matters. Which world was that meant for, Grampy? The one where we visit or the one where I have but one actual image of you I memorized from a faded photo? You kind of have funny eyes, and you’re wearing those thick black-rimmed bifocals, and my lucky sister who got to meet you, is sitting on your knee on that grungy, green couch that lives on in our basement. I could have sworn you told me about a wooden crate of coins that you left stored under our stairs. According to Grampy’s elusive instructions, it was no bigger than a shoebox, covered in a corner of blue tarp. Right before a family trip to Rainbow Valley (where I was definitely going to need more than my allowance to get all the treats I wanted from the canteen and the gift shop), I (luckily) recalled his story and conducted a comprehensive search of the premises. Unfortunately, no matter how many old boxes, jars of preserves, and outdated appliances I shuffled around, I kept coming up short. I could never manage to unearth that coveted box of dosh. He hasn’t come calling in ages, and the details of that picture are dissolving, but I’ve never given up hope that somehow, someway, I’ll find that mysterious treasure.

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