The sticky summer air came alive with the rhythmic shrill of cicadas as I walked up the dirt road.  Natures background noise was an instant relief from the silent, somberness of the house.  When I asked Evie if Alex was okay, she just said that he had come down with something and the doctor took care of it.  Her story felt like a lie.

The Hamlin’s house seemed more secluded from other residents in the area-plenty of thick forest encasing them.  It was about a half a mile after I reached the main road before I even saw another driveway.

There were a couple antique shops, book stores, and the little music box place that I saw when I went shopping with Evie my first week here.  I walked at a casual pace, taking pictures along the way.

I passed by the harbor on my way to the ‘Turtle and Owl’ book store, making a mental note of where to meet Alex later.  The fine hair on my arms stood tall as I recalled my brief visit at the Harbor Master’s office, and I quickly looked away, shoving the unpleasant memory to the back of my mind.

The town was more enjoyable now that I wasn’t rushing from place to place, or forced into ridiculous dresses.  The brick buildings that lined the rolling streets, gave the town and old-timey feel to it.  Just as I was patting myself on the back for not getting lost, I walked up on an intersection that resembled a star more than it did a roadway-four or five streets converging at a single point. I turned circles at a corner, completely baffled.  I finally threw my hands up in defeat, unable to decipher which sign was meant for which street.

Fortunately, a silver-haired woman took pity on me and was able to sort out the chaos that is ‘Down Town Camden’. 

I spent a couple of hours just looking through knick-knacks and books.  I even remembered to buy David and my dad souvenirs.  I found an antique brass nautical compass for my dad, and David was getting a Schooner in a bottle.  Kind of cheesy, but it was either that or another tee-shirt that would soon be used to wash their cars.  My dad and David aren’t exactly the souvenir t-shirt sort.

‘Bird Box’ is what the sign out front read.  It was the music box shop that Evie didn’t want to go to.

Lacking coordination always makes me nervous to enter stores with expensive looking items.  My dad always joked that he could never take me anywhere nice because it was like a setting a bull loose in a china shop.  The memory made me smile.  I couldn’t wait to hear his voice again.

I was greeted by a string of oversized Christmas bells jingling from the top of the door as I entered.  The little shop had a faint, old, musty smell to it that was poorly disguised by woodsy incense.

I took my time looking through all of the shelves and cases.  Most of the music boxes were newer.  It was the collection of antiques that really caught my attention.  I wound up one box at a time, holding it close to my ear so I could make out each delicate melody.  The complexity behind a music box always intrigued me-a good mix of magic and science.

I walked towards the back of the shop, where a girl sat at a display case piecing together what looked like a necklace.  Tilted to the side of her curly golden hair sat a tiny top hat, decorated with various gears, a skeleton key and exotic feathers.  She worked quietly, her pale fingers moving diligently and steadily on soldering pieces of metal together.

Occasionally, she peered over the top of her glasses at me, probably making sure I wasn’t stealing anything.  I walked to the counter to get a closer look at her unique creations, when I spotted in the display case, a small, deep violet crystal box with a silver plated gramophone.  It was in desperate need of some T.L.C., but was otherwise exquisite.  I fell instantly in love with it.

Not even looking up from what she was doing she said bluntly, “It’s not for sale, just display.”

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