“Ooo, look at this nice cameo!” Sally crowed, gingerly lifting by its tattered ribbon a tarnished silver-framed pendant.

From the shelf, dust motes shot up like perturbed sparks. The antiques shop was crammed to the rafters with crumbling old junk, and in the dimness, I peered over my friend’s shoulder to admire her find. Sally had a knack for sniffing out the best bits of forgotten treasure.

“Ah, you found it!” a reedy voice piped up just behind us. “I always liked that piece. An old beau gave it to me, you know, once, long ago.”

We turned, thinking to make some polite reply to the eager shopkeeper.

But in the narrow aisle of the jumbled, dusty old shop, no one was there.

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“Souvenir” Copyright © 2021 by Valerie J. Barrett. All rights reserved by the author.