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The Gem of Life

Even before her sword turned to rubber, it seemed to Kay that a win in the battle was clearly inevitable.

The monsters hunting down the gem were closing in on her and Luke with incredible speed. Kay ran up the stairs and locked the doors to her sisters’ room. She had hid the gem in a bag of dirty laundry, hoping it would cover its irresistible scent, but the smell was still too overpowering. She hid it under her sister’s bed, in her shoe bin. The shoes in that bin always reeked of year-old eggs and fungus. Finally, the scent was covered, but just then something started pounding on the door. The monsters were here at last.

Luke brought out his sword, preparing for a battle, as did Kay. Swords at the ready, they hid in different places, hoping for some kind of sneak-attack advantage. Kay hid in the closet, behind a bunch of long leather dusters, and Luke hid behind a small, moth-eaten armchair.

The pounding on the door got louder, until at long last the monsters charged in. Even hiding in the closet behind the dusters, Kay could feel their magical presence radiating off of them like steam coming from liquid hydrogen: cold and powerful.

“We know you’re in here,” one hissed. Their voices sounded so menacing it sent chills down Kay’s back. “Come out, give us the gem, and we won’t hurt a single hair on your head.”

That’s likely, Kay thought.

“We know you have the gem,” the second hissed. “Hand it over. For the greater good of your people.”

That’s going to happen.

Kay’s heart was racing. Beads of sweat formed on her face. She caught a glance of Luke, who was behind the armchair right in front of her. His eyes told her one thing: It’s time.

They jumped out and swung their swords, but the monsters had seen this coming. Their neon green eyes caught glimpse of them, stepped back, and screamed a curse at them.

“Elasticó kómi!”

Mid-swing, Kay and Luke’s swords turned to rubber, bouncing harmlessly off of the monsters blue bodies.

From the outside, the only way you could tell that these things were monsters were that they had blue bodies and green eyes so bright; they made the sun look like a light bulb. But on the inside, they had (literally) no heart. There was (again, literally) a small black hole where their hearts were supposed to be.

“Ha-ha!” One roared, putting its hands on its big ugly belly. “Rubber charm! Never gets old!”

But Kay knew just the spell to set them back. “Makarios!”

The swords turned back to normal, and Kay struck with all of her force at the beasts. They dissolved into nothingness, leaving nothing but a pair of bright green eyes behind.

“Ugh,” Luke said, picking up the eyes with a t-shirt that was on the floor. “I hate spoils of war.”

Kay nodded in agreement, then picked up the bag from under the bed. The powerful scent of the Gem of Life was released once more, and Kay inhaled it. It smelled like everything good in life: blooming roses, the ocean, freshly mowed grass. Unwrapping it from the bag, Kay thought of the powers it could give her, but pushed the thought out of her mind. She had to work for the good of her people, not herself.

The Gem of Life shone brightly in her hands, a stone of aquamarine about as big as her fist. At least it and its powers would be safe for a little while longer.



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