Fantasy Science Fiction Speculative

He landed in the backyard of a man one evening. A man, a painter by trade was preparing a canvas when he looked out the kitchen window of his small cottage and saw what he thought was a glimmering puddle in the saffron field. He went out and saw him sitting in a beam of moonlight, tracing the stars with a dazzling finger. The man brought him inside and show him to the woman.

"You must cover him up. No one can know about him!" the woman said.

So, he painted the diamond boy's face and arranged dyed wool on his head. The diamond boy looked so much like the man’s own son and daughter that he fit in perfectly with the family.

A short while later, as the man, woman, and eldest son gathered around the kitchen table while the younger ones slept, the woman declared to the man that the creditors had come that morning and threatened that if they don't receive payment in three days, they would seize their small cottage, and sell them all into servitude. The eldest son suggested selling the diamond boy. The man refused at first but was persuaded to sell parts of him, just enough to pay the back taxes. The woman, weeping, handed over to the eldest son her wedding ring which housed a tiny diamond because only diamond can cut diamond.

The eldest son took the ring, went into the bedroom of the sleeping boy, and chiseled away at the smallest toe, diamond dust falling onto the floor. The boy didn’t flinch being deep in sleep. The next day, the eldest son sold the toe to a blind, old jeweler in the village and came home with a pocket of gold, sheep, oxen, paintbrushes for his dad, and gifts for everyone.

"Well done, my son," the man said, slapping his shoulder jovially.

But the diamond boy entered the room with a strange look. He told everyone his toe was missing.

“And there is a crack that runs up my leg. Every step I take the pieces break off and the schism gets worse.”

Sure enough, the others saw a sparkling trail of dust where the boy had walked.

That night, when the cottage was still, the woman rolled over and lit a candle. She shook the man awake. “The crack will get worse. What if it creeps to his heart?”

“We will call for the blind, old jeweler,” the man said.

“But then he will know our secret. We'll have thieves at the house in the blink of an eye and the boy will be gone.”

“No, woman. We shall tell the old jeweler that whatever breaks off in his examination of the boy, he may keep for himself--only if he promises to keep our secret.”

The eldest son heard it all while he listened at the crack of the bedroom door.

The next day, the old jeweler arrived in his crude wooden glasses and his raw walking stick. He examined the crack and claimed his reward. His advice was to keep the boy in bed and treat him like he had a deathly illness. If not the, the crack would kill him.

To the woman and her daughter, the boy confided that night, “The jeweler made it worse, you know.” He showed them a deep gorge up his belly where diamond was missing. The women and her daughter fell on him and wept, knowing he would soon die.

For days, the eldest son, fed and cared for the boy, but being sorely tormented by dreams one night, he fled the cottage into the wilderness and fell on his face in the mud on the bank of a moonlit pond. The man, who had seen him running and had followed, fell to his knees. “Son, what is the matter?”

The eldest son moaned and sobbed.

"What ails you, my son. Please tell me!"

He lifted his mud-spattered face. “I saw the crack at first and should have stopped cutting the toe but did not. I disguised myself and came as the old jeweler and deceived you all and stole more diamonds. I chip away at the diamond boy as he sleeps every night after I bring him his meals." So he ran; too full of shame to behold his father's bewildered visage. The son wasn't seen for many days. But when he returned to the cottage, the diamond boy lay in bed in the same cracked condition. The eldest son stood at his bedside holding a wooden chest.

“Here, brother, are the pieces of you I stole and sold. I’ve retrieved every last one from the old jeweler--the real one--and have sold myself as a servant in his shop. I will serve him for the rest of my life, but it is still not enough to pay back what I have stolen.” He opened the chest and there lay all the pieces of diamond which had fallen from the boy’s body. The eldest son, with the family looking on, carefully put each piece back in its place.

After hours, the very last piece, the diamond toe, he placed on his foot; as he did, the toe became flesh, warm and full of life, and the eldest son’s fingers, at the same moment, became hard, shiny and cold—diamond. The fleshly change went up the boy’s leg and through his body; his hair fell naturally onto his head and his painted eyes became round just as the eldest son, from his fingers to his eyes and ears, became diamond.

The boy leapt up and grabbed the arms of the eldest son whose face shone like a star. “Brother, I forgive you! And I shall protect you. Do not be afraid, we shall never permit you to be cut into pieces!”

The eldest son, lost for words, allowed the man to paint his face. For the rest of his life no one knew, not even the blind old jeweler--the real one--as he worked in his shop, that the eldest son was no longer flesh and bones, but solid diamond. 

June 13, 2024 03:26

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David Sweet
04:02 Jun 17, 2024

Extremely clever story. I enjoyed the fairytale quality of the piece. You may want to go back and proofread. You are missing a couple of words in places. You may also want to show the reader more through dialogue and revelation from character perspective rather than just telling us the story, but it kind of works here because of the fairytale nature of the story. It is a wonderful first piece for Reedsy. Good luck with all of your writing.


Markisha Clark
18:22 Jun 17, 2024

Thanks for the feedback, David! I think I fixed the missing words issue. I'm so glad you understood the fairytale style in which this is written. I normally don't write like this, but, as you said, the nature of the fairytale called for a "telling" sort of narrative. Thanks again for reading!


David Sweet
18:38 Jun 17, 2024

Never a problem


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