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The Jade Necklace

By , Pasco, WA

There is a legend long forgotten with time of beautifully enchanted jade that was made by the great humble Kaliko the god of masonry with the help of his brothers and sisters. Kaliko carved the earth with his steel chisel looking for the most stunning jade: green, orange, yellow, brown, lavender, white, grey, red, and black. He gave the best jade to his brother Neamjo and sister Jomaen the twins of imagination. Neamjo and Jomaen were split personalities Jomaen was an inventor, she came up with the idea of stars so the night sky could be lit up at night as opposed to the black night with the sole light of the moon. It was Neamjo who painted the stars on the sky He painted them every day on a canvas the spread across the Earth. Later with the help of his older brother Dathsa the god of wind who made the wind a strong tempest to bring Neamjo’s canvas meet the night sky. When Kaliko got his jade back on the third day of the winter solstice back from the twins to see each piece jade had been carved into separate body parts with swirls on them like a breeze was captured in the precious gems.

            There was a torso, a pair of arms, eyes and legs and no head was to be seen in the pile of the jade. There were some anomalies in the pile such as two swords. Each piece was made from a different color of jade. Later he had them endowed with different talents, but now one knows what these powers are or if these items really exist until now but this legend does not end well. When their Father saw the Earth all dug up, he punished each of his children who helped Kaliko make these enchanted items by forcing them to destroy their most prized possession like the twin’s paints and Dathsa’s pet phoenix, but rumor has it Kaliko did not shatter the jade items but hid them along with himself on Earth.

            A girl with a leather eyepatch in boyish looking clothing was outside on the stone road in a city named Feratuna known for being the only place to contain the rarest plant in the world used to make a cure for incurable diseases like cancer. The girl was at a witch shop as a brown clad man comes up the street, about 60 yards from her. The heaving of his lungs and feet slamming down on the stone road to give off the effect of a stampede of antelope being scared off by a pack of hyenas. He was a heavy man, a pig faced man with a doughy body clearly in no shape to run unless needed to. She goes to open the door quickly with urgency so to avoid getting bulldozed into a pancake by the plump scared man. She then steps inside the witch shop with a jingle of the bells that the door had attached by a black ribbon to alarm any workers that there was a customer. She walked a few more steps in the strange shop filled with jars filled with liquid or herbs which the only one she was familiar with was Wolfs bane. The girl’s father used to take her on walks in the woods and Wolfs bane grew in great quantities in the woods, she remembers how he would tell her that he planted them there to keep the werewolves away from his little starlight. The shop was a cozy wooden lodge used to hold herbs, books full of incantations, talisman cures or poisons. The girl looks through the window of the shop to see the man run past the shop in a panic and a few seconds later a triad of men wearing the same insignia of the king, but something is different about it though it could be the blur of speed at which they ran.

            The girl stares at them as they run away toward the fat man who was soon caught.  The triad tackled the fat man and pick him up dragged him off somewhere. She assumes that the fat man was an offender of the law so she browses the shop without a question. A shelve of books looked promising to find the right recipe to deception as she was enlisted to find for the company she works for. Looking at the shelves, she noticed that there were no titles pressed on the sides of them and were full of blank pages; grimoires yet to be filled with spells but these were all fake. The girl sighs and slams the useless red book she had in her hand shut.

            She looks around noticing no one has come up to the counter and try to convince her to buy something. She lifts an eyebrow to the aura of the shop; quiet, eerily so. She goes up to the door and turns the knob. It’s locked, but the girl remains calm on the outside, but on the inside she is anxious to escape thinking about this world. This world so easily forgets the dead and builds on top of them. When her father died of the plague no one batted an eye as a farmer bought up the cemetery to grow his crops on top. The apple trees he grew had teeth made of the bones of the dead and maybe her father’s bones were deeply embedded in one of these trees. The farmer died as well of the plague and maybe that was a fortunate coincidence. The farmer could only grow bad fruit even when he cut off the branch of which the bad fruit came from it was all the same. People that passed through the orchard gawked at the branch less, barren trees filled with bones at their roots. He lost his farm and his life. His wife left him for a man who could support her and their children. One could say his life was full of misfortune, but not for the girl, her life is just going to get more interesting. As she looks around the shop going around the counter to see if there is a back way out or a window she could open. If not, she planned to break the window in the front of the store or break the door knob on the front door. She pushes her wavy chestnut hair behind her ear as she bends down to look through the counter’s drawers to see if maybe there is a key of some sort, but no luck just some papers with orders, tabs and a poor dead bug spread on top of the papers. She closes the drawer with a defeated look in her eyes. She goes back further into the shop where she finds a set of stairs going up, but she doesn’t remember this shop being a two-story building why from the outside it was actually the shortest building on its block. The top of the stairs is brightly lit as though someone left the door to heaven open. The girl ignored this fact, not wanting to exercise the effort to climb the long stairs so instead she looks for the heaviest object in the room. The jars would not do, nor the books, but maybe a stone talisman if there was one big enough. She looked through the shelves full of talisman, but without touching them because there might be a talisman with a bad engraving and could backlash by exploding into dust by the unstable magic that’s been forced into it. Looking through them, she found a strange talisman made of white jade in the shape of a human eyeball. This perked the girl's interest. It is as though the ball of jade is calling towards her almost as though it is claiming her and it even seem it give off a subtle silver glow.

“Like that talisman there young girl?” A raspy pleasant voice says.

The girl surprised whips around to see an elderly man in priest garb with messy white hair, but this is a witch shop which is frowned upon by the church. The man laughs “Cat caught your tongue? Yes, I see your confusion as plain as day with the clothes I wear and me running a shop devoted to witchcraft, but what people question brings more confusion, so I started this shop to see what type of people it would attract whether these people are evil or good. Sometimes the line isn’t that clear, so why are you here? A young girl like you should be pining over young men.”

The girl finds her voice to speak the truth “I’m sorry it is very unusual to see priests inside a witch shop unless they are breaking things, most of the time they are protesting outside.  Also I am orphan, you see my father died from the plague and mother died giving birth to me so now I’m just looking for an ingredient I was sent to get you see I work for a company that supplies witches and wizards so I can be sheltered and fed. Though it's not like I have time to pine over men and most of them don’t talk to me because I am disfigured.” She pointed to her eye patch to make her point, then continued by saying “Furthermore I have not found what I was searching for also when I tried to open your door again, it seemed locked”

The elderly man’s eyes soften and he smiles at her “My dear, at such a young age and you’ve gone through so much sadness. God must smile down on you to have brought you to me also don’t say you are disfigured why god never makes a child ugly just a little troubled is all. And bah! That door is a moody piece of wood you just have to give it a few good pushes and it’ll open. That talisman, there the one you were looking at does it interest you?”

The girl looks at him with wide eyes, but quickly fall back into their usual look of sadness “I was just looking at it since it is very beautiful, but I know I do not have enough money to buy it and if I don’t find what I need by nightfall I might have to walk back home at night. I have a deadline at 7 PM, so I get out of your hair.”

The humble elderly man just could not let her leave knowing she was a troubled child of god so he took it upon himself hand her the jade eye. His shaky hands against her small, fragile ones gives her a sense of the sympathy he feels for her. He tells her “If there is truly nothing more I can do for you, take this talisman it was made by some long forgotten gods in a legend that is true and may they look after you. Come visit me whenever you can so I can teach more about magic in which to defend yourself and this talisman which is more than just an enchanted rock.”

The girl with tears in her eyes touch by this kindness thanks the elderly man but he will have none of it. When she goes to open the door, she gave the door a couple pushes and it opens just like the elderly man said it would. She waves goodbye returning on her search.

She did eventually find what she was looking for and returned home in time to give the ingredient to her overseer who was waiting at her home. He nodded in approval and left without a word. When she got into her humble abode she looked for a piece of twine and braided it into a necklace with the white jade talisman. She hung the necklace on her delicate pale neck, then she went to the woods and picked all the Wolfs bane she could find on the edge of her home with gloves on, of course then she put them in a vase on a cabinet. She ate hard, stale bread with cheese for dinner, then went to bed, holding on to the pale talisman the whole time as though if she let it go, she might lose it forever.

Years later she would’ve visited the elderly man many times and even adopted the name of grandpa to call him. On his death bed he had her inherit the shop and she did with deep pride.
 




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