I carefully open the old family Bible, the pages stiff and fragile with age. Long years it spent tucked away in the trunk amidst letters from home penned early 1900 by those long forgotten. The binding creaks as I lay it flat upon the bed beside me, eager to unearth treasures sealed within its pages. Faded pictures depicting familiar bible scenes weave the story, and bring to mind lessons from my childhood. A photo, lovingly wrapped in parchment paper, adheres to a page, and dried fern branches speak of losses once deeply felt. Gradually I move through the books of the Bible exposing the contents long hidden from human eyes. And then I find it. Folded into a perfect square, and tied about with what appears to be a perfectly preserved braided lock of hair, its water-stained exterior denotes an age far beyond the other contents held captive between the pages. Placing the treasure in my hand, I gently stroke the braid, drawn, yet repulsed; touching a fragment of a life lived so very long ago. Unwilling to disturb the fragile parcel born in antiquity, I place it gently back within the pages of its tomb, wanting to protect the treasure held within.
© 2010 by Maureen Newman. All rights reserved.
Written in response to a prompt from Magpie Tales.