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A Bed of Emeralds- an excerpt

1911

Penelope woke up in a dank, rancid room. As she opened her eyes, she instantly felt a stabbing pain above her brow line. She winced, and slowly moved her cut up hand to her brow. She pulled her tiny, delicate finger away from her forehead and examined the dark, rusty flakes of dried blood. She blinked her dry, filmy eyes once and tried to sit up, but her broken ribs erupted with red hot pain that forbade her from moving at all. She lay on the floor trying to remain motionless as she tried breathing lowly and quietly. She didn’t want to wake the old woman.

Penelope’s stomach twisted nauseatingly. It had been at least a week since her last meal; maybe ten hours since her last drink of water. She was so thirsty. With shaking arms, she reached for the rusty cup that was sitting just and arm’s length away from where she was laying. She strained her muscles as she tried crawling across the floor; only to find that the cup was completely dry. Her shoulders shuddered violently as the coolness of the room chilled her skin and bones.

The end was coming close for Penelope; she could feel it in her skin. Her eyes grazed over to one side of the room, and she watched as three rings glittered in the faint light coming from the dusty windows. All the rings were made of the same thick, gold band, and were carefully displayed upon a blue velvet tray. Penelope’s eyes focused on the ring displayed in the center. It was by far the most beautiful piece of jewelry anyone could ever lay eyes on. The thick gold band was crowned with a small, single white diamond that lay in a bed of emeralds. In a way, the emeralds seemed to give the ring a mysterious appearance, along with the strange swirls and symbols on the golden band. The other two rings, the sister rings, were very simple and less complex. Each one was given the same large cut diamond. These diamonds were very strange, though, because they contained delicate emerald green swirls within them. If anyone looked closely in any of the rings, they would see fine blood red flecks. As beautiful as these rings were, no one would ever suspect that deep inside the souls of these rings there was a dark, evil spirit.
Penelope cried.

100 Years later


All I could see was the swirls of light flickering all around me. The images flew faster and faster until my vision was blurred. Everything suddenly went black, and my ears hummed from the rapid beating of my heart. A soft, delicate voice whispered in the darkness.

“You have been warned.”
My eyes snapped open the second the voice disappeared. Warned about what? I nervously glanced across the unusually chilly dorm room to see if my room mates were awake. My breath caught in my throat when the alarm clock let out a piercing beep.
“What the heck!” my roommate, Danielle, whined, “It’s two in the morning!”
Her cold grey eyes narrowed in on me, “What did you do,” she said demandingly.
“It was supposed to go off at six thirty,” Lana, my nicer roommate, sighed sleepily.
Danielle rolled out of bed and slammed the top o the alarm to shut the sound off. She tinkered with the alarm setting on the outdated digital clock, and I watched as a puzzled look fell across her picture perfect face.
“That’s odd,” she murmured, “It says it should have gone off at six thirty…”
“Like I said,” Lana stated as she curled up in her comforter, “just go back to sleep. That dumb clock probably just freaked out because it’s so old.”
By this time, I had forgotten why I woke up before the alarm went off in the first place. My gaze stayed steady on the ceiling as I tried remembering. All I knew was that it was important. It was probably an hour or so later when I finally dozed off. By the time the morning sun came through the rain streaked window, none off us remembered the night before. At least, we didn’t remember until one night that changed our lives forever.



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