[The results of a 15 minute exercise in a timed writing. The prompt is in red. Might be a story in there . . . ]
I reached for the lost box from the far reaches of the closet. Sitting on the bed, with the box on my legs, I opened it and stared at the contents. Inside was a bunch of letters, yellowed and stained with age, wrapped with a bit of twine, a few wrinkled wads of cash, loose coins some silver and gold, and a cloth drawstring bag pulled tightly shut.
I lifted the bundle of letters and glanced at the one on top, addressed from my father to my mother while he was away in Vietnam. Setting them aside, I sifted through the cash and coins: Krugerrands, shillings, German marks, and a few Yen. Detritus of a life lived abroad.
Then my hand settled on the bag and I pulled it out. It felt heavy, heavier than it should, I suppose. With my fingertips I pulled the drawstrings loose; it gaped open like a drunk’s slack mouth. Tipping the bag over, the contents fell into my lap. My eyes narrowed as I stared.
Of all these things that defined my father’s life, this was perhaps the most significant – a Smith and Wesson 38 caliber revolver. I snapped it up, and popped open the cylinder. All chambers still loaded, but for one. That was all it took, to end a life of adventure and travel, and all because of a secret – me.