Acrylic on 4' x 6' panel
Painted by Lyle Hehn
Spring 2015, Portland, Oregon
Three sisters have discovered an old trunk in the attic of their family home. The trunk is locked and the sisters can see the key to the trunk hanging just inside the fireplace. Before they can reach it, the ghost of their ancestor, Squire Boone, appears in the form of a hovering flame that settles just below the key, making it too hot to touch.
Old Squire challenges the sisters to a game of chess, and if they win, he'll allow the key to cool off. The game goes quickly and it appears that Squire isn't really trying. Now his Red Queen is about to be toppled and his King is boxed into checkmate.
Just knowing that the trunk will soon be opened has already stimulated the telephones to grow new lines, and even disconnected lightbulbs to grow. Creeping flower vines from the other side of town grow inside between the rafters as if to eavesdrop upon the historical discovery.
The trunk contains family papers from the Civil War era. Tucked in with Confederate bank notes are stacks of old correspondence, including the last letter form a doomed Rebel soldier. Another facet of the family's legacy is revealed.