Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Creative Corner! - The Treasure Box (Descriptive Writing)

Salam everyone! Today's post will be the first for the "Creative Corner" section of my blog, so I hope you like it! The style of writing for this story is descriptive.

The Treasure Box

By Ahmad Fatih Affendy

I clambered clumsily up the sturdy metal ladder adjoining the door of the lofty, unvisited attic. I came upstairs armed with my weapons: a featherduster and a broomstick in one hand, and a bottle of multipurpose cleaning fluid and a rag in the other. My mission for today: spring-cleaning the whole attic to make it as spotless as possible.

I reached for the wooden trapdoor and creaked it open. I knew exactly what I was going to see. I was greeted with the sight of innumerable cardboard boxes and old furniture leaning against the whitewashed wall silently like mountains and hills. God knows how many items these boxes contain, it could be anything from piles of worn out clothing to dysfunctional electrical appliances that my parents decide to take with us when we moved in. The morning sun splashed buttery, yellow radiance into the dusty attic and the room smelled like decaying cardboard. I eagerly start cleaning, as I always believe that the earlier I get things done, the faster I finish. The floorboards sang and squeaked while I walk above them from box to box, wiping off layers of dirt. After an hour of slaving away like a maid, I decide to rest on an ancient rocking chair which used to belong to my grandmother.

Just then, I caught a glimpse of something in the corner of the room. I noticed a small, wooden box inconspicuously situated on a pinewood tea-table. From a distance, I could tell this was no ordinary box containing useless miscellaneous objects. It seemed quite familiar somehow, so I stood up and strode towards it with curiosity. As I closed on my target, I recognised it as an antique treasure box, and what a beauty it was! The box's lock shone like a star under the beam of sunlight, beckoning me closer, as if it was telepathically communicating to me. The treasure box was an intriguing handcrafted heirloom, caked with dust. One could plainly see that nobody had even touched it for a very long time.

I picked up the box and studied it carefully. Made from varnished tropical lumber, I thought. It was probably around the size of my head. The box felt rather heavy but I dare not to shake it, in case the contents were fragile. It had a lovely dome-like shape at the top, with intricate floral motifs carved upon it. At the sides, a band of gold was painted all around the box and in the centre, the golden lock was waiting for me to open what was inside. I searched around me for a key and found it inside one of the tea-table drawers.

Words could not express how excited I felt. What was I going to discover? Maybe some hidden, valuable treasure, such as jewels and pearls like in pirate movies. I shook my head and laughed at my silly imagination. Slowly, bit by bit, I turned the lock and prised it open.

By God! It was something I would never expect, all of my best childhood memories stored in this container! Before I left for college, I collected all of my most precious belongings inside it. For some odd reason, as time passed like a bullet train, I had completely forgotten about its existence. A stack of photographs enclosed within a transparent plastic casing was placed in the top-left corner of the box. The first photo was a shot of a smiling boy in his preteen years on top of a dromedary camel in a desert. I practically squealed with delight; it was a long-forgotten of me in Oman, where I used to live for six whole years. How I miss my old home there! Its beautiful sand dunes, majestic mountains and pristine seashores provided a perfect backdrop for my adventurous childhood. I still remember tumbling down a dune in the unexplored vastness of the Wahiba Sands and driving winded roads near jagged cliffs of Musandam peninsula. Oh how I wish I could return there, to relive it once more!

"...the unexplored vastness of the Wahiba Sands..."

I glanced over another set of mementos in the in the bottom corner of the box. I cast my eyes on glimmering, miniature, metallic landmarks which were souvenirs from all of the places I visited throughout the globe as a kid. A tiny rendition of the Eiffel Tower towered proudly above the rest, just like its real version in Paris. Ah, the nostalgia! I simply could not forget my last visit there, when I had a magical dinner in the restaurant at the first floor of the tower, overlooking the charming lawns of Champs de Mars. The view of the city was mesmerising; buildings and lamps below twinkled and sparkled a variety of flamboyant colours as if they were fireworks in the sky. After that wonderful meal, I met a kind French mademoiselle in a gift shop nearby and bought this trinket to always remember that night. It is truly amazing how a small item can have such a significant history behind it.

"The view of the city was mesmerising; buildings and lamps below twinkled and sparkled a variety of flamboyant colours as if they were fireworks in the sky."

My favourites out of everything inside the treasure box was my collection of national flags I accumulated since I was ten. My heart felt an immediate connection when I say twenty-or-so flags standing side-by-side: Japan's Hinomaru fluttered with honour alongside the Union Jack of Britain and the South African flag. Each of them tell their own story, and also my own, the story of my travels.

I felt grateful and thankful that God gave me the chance to experience a childhood that so many in the world will never even taste in their whole lives. I could go on reminiscing my past but I suddenly realised that the room was getting eerily dark. The sun was setting outside and I had been examining the treasure box for a whole day! I looked at it and saw that it was begging me to take it, not to be forgotten ever again. I nodded to no one, closed the lid and carried it to the attic door. I have much more to rediscover, I thought, and today was a day well spent. I only hoped my parents would not notice that  had not finished cleaning the attic at all.

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