A/N: Yeah, so I came up with this short randomness here for this English assessment, and the theme was 'childhood'. I deeply apologize for its plainness and length, please enjoy the story (and please review)!

Melodic Memory

As I was rummaging through the pile of old and dusty cardboard boxes in the attic the other day, I found that it's very interesting to go through your own childhood and try to remember things. When I opened one marked 'TOYS' right across the top of the box, it felt as if a big wave of childhood memories was crashing down on me that would wash away everything else on my mind, my worries, my trivial daily concerns. But it felt nearly unendurable too, almost like a punishment, really.

There were quite a few things in the box, most very familiar. It hadn't been that long since I graduated from college, and yet some of the things in the box I didn't even remember were there – which, I thought to myself, was pretty depressing.

The first thing I saw when I opened the box was a beautiful Victorian china doll, placed right on top of the other items. The golden locks that fell around her shoulders didn't have a strand out of place and her face was still beautiful enough to look at for a good couple of hours. Her frock had no creases or wrinkles, her hands were by her sides. The person who had put the doll in the box must've loved her quite a lot and been extremely careful with her, since her body had been laid down perfectly straight in the very centre of the box. Everything about the doll was absolutely perfect. Who did this doll belong to? Had it really been mine? It might've belonged to other members of the family . . . either way, I didn't remember.

I picked the doll up and placed it on the ground next to me, the dust from her body flying off and fluttering down like tiny snowflakes in the sunlight pouring through the small window of the attic, causing a sense of wonder before it landed on the floor and died. I sighed after a while and continued through the box of toys.

The next thing I found was a masquerade mask, half of the silver glitter fallen off and losing its sparkle with age. This seemed vaguely familiar, as if I'd seen it somewhere before, but where I couldn't recall. Had someone use it for festivals or parties, perhaps? I traced the curves of the mask with my thumb, made to fit the shape of a face far too small to be an adult. Feeling downhearted for some reason, I bought the mask up to my face and hoped that I could remember something. Nothing happened. Again, I placed it on the ground – next to the china doll.

I felt the surfaces of the miscellaneous nicknacks in the cardboard box as I searched through it some more. Rough, smooth, soft, hard . . . I wasn't aware that all of those objects shared a memory, a life, a treasure. Eventually my fingertips fell over something that caught my attention. Smooth and bumpy, as if it were hand-made, and it sent a chill through you hand when you touched it – some kind of metal. Without taking it out of the box, I felt the outline of the object with my fingertips – as if I were challenging myself a guess of what it was. A relaxing melody fell into my ears as I brushed my hand across the object. Fascinated by the sound, I pulled the object out of the box through the pile of toys. Excitement built up inside me as I wondered what the mystery object was . . .

A lyre. A beautiful, silver lyre with attractive designs of birds and flowers carved into the metal, the curves and lines in the exact places where my memory told me they were supposed to be. Its gold-coated strings were rusting with age, but still sounded melodic enough to play. I looked at it for a while, thinking that I'd never seen anything like it before – but hit myself when I finally recognized it.

Most children have dreams. Something like, "I'm going to be a fireman when I grow up, just like my dad!" or "When I get older, I'm going to travel the world!" These are not only dreams, but they're also goals you can set and, quite possibly, goals you can achieve – if you try. I wanted to be a famous musician, touring all the time and well known to everyone in the world. I tried, of course, and studied music in college. I wasn't sure about touring and being well known after that, but at least I tried.

I remember when I first picked up this lyre. It was given to me from my grandparents, as a birthday present when I was about five or six years old. I loved it so much I took it everywhere with me – to picnics, hidden in my bag at school, even on trains. I loved the sound of the lyre and from then on I started playing many other instruments. That's when I decided that I wanted to be a musician when I 'grew up'. It was thanks to this lyre I made success with my life.

I brush my hand across the rusting strings once again, and let the sweet melody flow through my fingers as I plucked and strummed the strings. I sat there for quite a while, playing the silver lyre, and thinking how lucky I was not to lose this memory, unlike all the others. Then I stood up and put the doll and the mask back in the box, closed the lids and walked downstairs, clutching the lyre to my chest.

I won't lose you again.

(c) JuicyRainbow