Women Of The Book This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Ten years old. It felt like a turning point, finally two digits in her age. A wonderful day. It was decided that Sapphire would take the day off from school and spend it with her mother. So they were up bright and early, and planned to spend the day in the city. The weather was cool, the leaves bright reds and oranges, they were cozy in their car. Sapphire was excited not only because it was her birthday but because something seemed so different. She was tingling from head to toe. She felt almost magical.

As they left the estate Sapphire looked back on the place she called home. She realized how lucky she was. Her house, as well as everyone else's on the street, was decorated for Halloween. Their house was the only one whose gardens had not been harmed by the frost.

Still she was curious when they continued turning off roads onto even more deserted ones. Finally they arrived at their destination. Sapphire vaguely remembered this place but it did not come to her immediately.

She felt dizzy as she recalled coming to this place ten years earlier. Her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother had been there, chanting over her in a tiny cradle by the lake. A breeze, just as there was now, not from any direction, swirled glitter all around her. This time though it was just she and her mother, since her grandmother and great-grandmother had passed away years ago.

They were in the heart of what seemed to be an enchanted forest. There was no noise whatsoever, no birds or insects or rustling of leaves, just a sound of church bells in the distance.

Her mother turned and smiled, realizing the confusion on Sapphire's face.

"What's going on? Aren't we going shopping?" Sapphire asked with a nervous smile.

"Relax dear. This is for you, but first I must tell you a secret and share a treasure with you. Hundreds of years ago a woman was wandering through the mountains in search of food for her ailing father when she got lost. Scared and hungry, she stumbled across a cave and, seeking shelter, she entered. Inside she found the walls lined in gold with an old man sitting before a large banquet table loaded with food. He motioned for her to sit. When she had finished eating he withdrew a thick book from his pocket. All he said was AUse it wisely,' then he disappeared, and with him went the food and the cave. Left lost and confused in the middle of the woods, she found all that remained was the book. The book looked a million years old and was detailed with flowers and jewels, with a pattern of a treasure map with the jewels set equally apart in a path leading toward an enormous diamond. For ten years she wandered the woods, read the book and mastered the spells that were held within it."

Sapphire let out a laugh at the mention of spells. How childish, she thought, this must be a ghost story or something, but to humor her mother she kept listening. She did have to admit that she was completely caught up in the story.

"That's right, spells" her mother continued. "It had been a book of magic. She cast a spell upon herself, thereby creating the first witch - a woman with powers of sorcery beyond all others. The title and rights are passed on from mother to first-born daughter. After this was complete, she returned home, married and had a daughter. She named her Ruby. The rights passed onto her and she had a daughter, naming her Emerald. Emerald's daughter was Opal, whose daughter was Pearl, the mother of Amethyst. Amethyst was my mother. Your daughter will be Diamond. With Diamond the spell is broken. She will be the most powerful of all, so powerful that she will determine the fate of sorcery."

Sapphire was scared now. She interrupted by saying "This is crazy, I'm tired of this. Let's go."

"You have to hear me out," shouted her mother. "Believe me, you are very powerful. This is your gift. Anything you want is yours. I'll show you." Saying this, she closed her eyes. Suddenly Amethyst and Opal were there as they had been at her birth, smiling at her. At this point Sapphire believed. Still scared, but totally excited, she wanted to test her powers. Her mother and grandmothers laughed, handed her the book, and disappeared.

"Cool, can I do that, too?" But there was no answer, no paths, no sounds - only Sapphire in enchanted woods. Frantically she looked behind every tree, but it was fruitless. They had left. Crying and scared, she clutched the book in her small hands, when she noticed a cave. Entering, she found the walls to be covered in gold. At every turn was a portrait of a beautiful girl with blonde hair like her own, the same big smile and tiny nose, the only difference was the eyes. There were no names but looking at their eyes and following the book they didn't need names. Sparkling red eyes was Ruby; green for Emerald, and so on. At the final turn was a frame, beneath it a never-ending banquet table loaded with food, a chair, blankets and a roaring fireplace. She could hear the church bells. She sat in the chair, wrapped herself in the blanket and with no desire opened her book and began to read.

Now, ten years later, she looks up from her book, sees her frame and smiles. It now contains her picture. She stands up and walks from the cave, transporting herself home.

Home was as it had always been, but now it was just her. She knew she was never really alone. All her sorceress ancestors were just a magic second away. 1


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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lover-girl said...
Dec. 16, 2008 at 4:29 pm
Wow, this is an amazing story. You could turn this into a novel!
 
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