[WP]One of your relatives just died. You help cleaning and emptying their house. While in the attic, you find something unusual. [Link to post.]
It was time for a break. I’d been working most of the morning trying to clear out my grandma’s attic while my mom, uncle, and aunts worked on the rest of the house. I sat on an old bar stool to admire the sunshine through the open window, while drinking from a water bottle. Despite my grandfather putting in the work to turn the attic into a bedroom, he passed away first. Then grandma defaulted to using it for storage. The bed was just as dusty as the boxes piled around it. Though I felt good about my progress, there were considerably less boxes than when I started. I looked to the three plastic bins beside me. Going through the boxes I sorted things into, “trash, sentimental, and garage sale” piles. No one would be surprised that the “trash” pile, full of TV guides and expired coupon sheets, was the biggest; grandma had a hoarding streak. I stood, set my water bottle on my stool and stretched in order to get back to work.
I moved the next box to the bed so I wouldn’t have to hunch over as much, then opened it. Inside was another box. It wasn’t the first box this morning to have another inside, but this second box was different. It was made of dark red wood, with a silver clasp on the front holding it closed. I pulled the inner box out but there was nothing under it. Just a box in a box. I threw the cardboard box into the “trash” pile, and focused on the wooden box. I turned it over looking for any sort of inscription or anything, but found none. The box felt heavy, like there was something inside. I shook it, but it made no noise. I flipped the latch and found out why.
Inside the box was the most beautiful ceramic pitcher I’d ever seen, fit snugly in lush, royal purple velvet lining. The pitcher itself was made of a muddy orange ceramic with gold embellishments circling the broad base, and a solid gold line up the middle of the curved handle. I carefully grabbed the handle and pulled it out to examine it better. Though the base was wide, it narrowed near the top. I tried looking in, but only saw blackness. I felt texture along the bottom and flipped it over, spreading my feet in case spiders came pouring out. Luckily it seemed to be empty. The texture I felt came from gold filigree forming the number 44 in large numbers on the bottom. I decided the pitcher definitely belonged in the “sentimental” pile. I moved to put the pitcher back in its case, but noticed a card in the velvet valley left empty by the pitcher. I held the pitcher with one hand and grabbed the black card.
“El Cantarito” it read, also in golden lettering.
“Duh,” I chuckled to myself. “Cantarito” was Spanish for “pitcher”. I flipped the card over and found instructions in Spanish. Despite being raised in a Mexican household, I’d lost my Spanish over the years. I could squeak by with relatives and patient store clerks, but reading was out of my league. “*I’ll ask mom later*,” I decided. Thinking of my mother prompted me to check the time, then I realized she would probably be up to offer me lunch soon. Instead of packing the pitcher back up, I set it on the stool to show it to her the first chance I got, and got back to work.
I set the next box on the bed, opened it, then screamed while stumbling backward. I’d disturbed a large brown spider, and he came out to check what the commotion was. My arachnophobia pushed me into the stool. While impossible to prove, I felt sure the spider laughed at me before crawling down the outside of the box to look for somewhere else to hide. After I bumped the stool everything, including me, hit the ground. I landed on my ass while the pitcher and water bottle landed next to me. The stool fell against the “trash” bin. After the pain in my but cheeks subsided, I noticed I felt wet.
“Great.” I complained to no one. Now I’d have to endure wet pants for the rest of the chore. While I wallowed in my bad luck, I noticed my pants continued to soak up moisture. Way more than the quarter bottle of water that remained. I looked down and noticed the water bottle fell into the pitcher; the pitcher rested on its side pouring out water like the old school water pump my grandma had in her yard. It kept pouring out while I watched it, until it occurred to me that I could stop it by lifting it up. By the time I reacted I found myself sitting in a giant puddle of water. I’m reasonably tall, but this puddle of water completely surrounded me from my feet to my rear, with four inches of water around me on all sides.
Instead of standing up right away, I sat in the cool water and pulled the empty water bottle out of the pitcher. I tilted the pitcher, guiding the spout into the bottle and poured. Water filled it up to overflowing.
“That’s gonna be handy,” I said to myself.