It’s always great visiting Grandma; she always make me feel I belong. With Charles here, it made the visit more enjoyable. But, there was something in the air that I could not place; a feeling that a storm was coming and when it comes, we would not be able to stop the havoc it would create no matter how much we prepared for it.
It was Uncle Woody who handed me the medallion that my mother was asking for. He allowed me to look and hold it once, then made me promise that it will stay in the box until I see my parents.
‘I don’t think I’ll have nightmares again, Uncle Woody. It has been a long time since I was five,’ I said jokingly.
‘Humor your uncle, Orville,’ Aunt Penelope, Uncle Woody’s wife and the twins’ mother said. Nobody in my family calls me Napster. Everyone, including the twins call me by my second name Orville.
As lovely and as traditional as Texas lasses come, Aunt Penelope with her blonde hair, blue eyes and Texas big hair, could easily pass for a California girl with her very modern point of view. She is the reason why the twins and I, though we were raised in the harsh environment of the Texas desert love water sports.
While growing up, every long weekend or school breaks, we would go either to South Padre Island or to San Diego California to go surfing or water skiing. And, though I am not her own son, she had always made me feel that I was one.
“Madison might have given birth to Orville, but he is one of my boys. I have triplets, not twins,” Aunt Penelope would tell her friends. So, though my parents are very unconventional, between Grandma, Uncle Woody and Aunt Penelope, I had a normal childhood.
It was this feeling of normalcy that brought me to the attic in my Grandma’s house. It was our hideout. As boys, the twins and I used to hide our ‘treasures’ in here. That’s when I saw the rusty dagger. I did not even know it was here!
I remember how Charles found it. It was the summer after I arrived here in Midland. All three of us were inseparable by then, so both sets of parents agreed that the twins should come with me when I visited my parents in an archeological dig in Europe. That was when Charles got hold of the dagger. No one knew he had it until we arrived back in Texas. And it was only to Bradley and I that he showed it. It was our secret, a secret that lasted until today.
“You should bring it with you,” Charles said quietly. His presence did not surprise me. I knew he would be there the moment I laid eyes on the dagger. “It’s high time that Aunt Madison and Uncle James got it back. And hopefully, my nightmares would go away.”
And before I could say anything, Charles pricked his finger with the tip of the dagger, which was surprisingly clean, and rust free; let a few drops of his blood land on the blade and without warning, he knelt with one knee in front of me, held the dagger with both hands, his head held low, he said, “It has been a long time. It’s time you get this back my Prince.”
Surprised, I accepted the dagger;it was just like when we were kids. The twins were knights and I was a prince in disguise.
I followed downstairs after 5 minutes, hiding a few of my grown up treasures that were better left here than in my suitcase.