We are back from France, and I couldn't wait to test that stone key.
"Wow! looks like its gonna fit, Mom."
Ren, of course, was as curious as I was.
It slid right into place as if it was made for it. We heard the door creak eerily behind us.
I turned and saw a ghostly figure dressed in ancient garb. Ren raced to the door, and I was right behind him.
He stopped short right inside the doorway, but I was in my element, and stepped confidently up to the spectre.
I started my 'you've lived a full life' spiel, but she silenced me with a word.
"Hush now, young mortal, and listen. I and my companions have been trapped here, we know not how long. You have broken the seal on the door and set us free. For that we are grateful."
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Ren engrossed in the ancient writings hanging on the wall.
But the apparition wasn't finished.
"I have but one small favor to ask of you." She glanced back and forth between me and Ren at this point, as if unsure to which of us to address her request. "Take our ashes to their final resting place, a place out in the wind and sun, and beneath the stars, so we can finally be at peace. Too long have we been underground and far from the things we love."
She turned and began to float away. Disconcerted, I called out.
"But how will we know the right place?"
As is from far away, her voice drifted back.
"The pendant... let the pendant guide you...."
I stared down at my pendant in amazement. It was very warm, and glowing more brightly than I had ever seen it. As the spirit retreated, the glow gradually faded until it was only a pendant again.
Ren and I just stood there in awe, staring at each other, for several minutes.
Ren was the first one to break the spell.
"Uh, so... I decided where I want to go for my birthday..."
We are all excited about the place Ren found for his birthday party. The Bonzai Lounge in Bridgeport has opened a satellite club here in Riverview! Since Mel's birthday is so close to his, he reluctantly agreed to share his night with his little brother. There's Darla sitting at the bar, and Ren's girlfriend Maureen with the short blond hair.
Why does Mel always look like he is scheming up some way to annoy Ren? Even when he is supposed to be making a wish!
Mel's friend Francesca Lessen watches with a rapt expression. I think she is sweet on him, and he certainly is growing into a handsome young man.
Next it was Ren's turn. He was so excited. Of course, he gets excited over pretty much anything, but an eighteenth birthday really is a big deal.
My baby is all grown up, and ordering his very first drink. He looks way to serious about it if you ask me!
Lane and I left the youngsters to their fun and danced the night away to some awesome piano music.
After we arrived home, I had one more thing to attend to. It was time to pass on my pendant. I called Ren out to the Sunflower Pond, just as my mom had done for me. I had never heard of the pendant being passed on to a son, but I had no daughters, and besides, it just felt right.
I related to him the whole story of the pendant, as much as I knew. He already had a notion of how special it was, as he had seen it's response the ancient spirit and her request.
"Thank you for your trust in me, mom. To carry on our family name means everything to me."
"May it lead you to what you seek" I replied, just as seriously.
I knew I had done the right thing, when I saw the pendant brighten as Ren placed it around his neck. And just for an instant, I caught sight of Sunflower, smiling happily from behind the cattails.
"Max says thank you!" The words seemed to be a whisper for my ears only. The ghosts in the basement were finally free.