Ida and I were walking along the beach and I saw a beautiful purple shell. I quickly picked it up before the waves took it. My father always used to give me shells...
“Whoa, this is so pretty!” I said. Ida had also found a beautiful shell, and hers was light blue.
“Let’s keep looking around,” Ida said. I wanted to go look for my father, but I humored Ida. We waded in the water every so often, picking up shells here and there. Something shone in the sunlight, and I stooped to retrieve it. I grasped a small charm and pulled a long chain out of the sand. A small diamond lay encircled in beautiful silver vines. I gently held the beautiful jewelry in my hands.
“Ida, look at this!” I called. Ida, a few feet away, started to walk over.
“Ida, come here please!” Joe yelled from the tents. She turned to leave, waving.
“Wow, that looks expensive,” I whispered to myself as I stared at the shining gem. The way the sun was reflecting almost made it look like the gem was glowing. I felt a white-hot pain beneath the small charm and dropped the diamond on the ground. A shout sounded from the camp.
“Get away from it! Get away from it now!” Joe’s commanding voice rang over the beach. Ida ran over and I, scared, backed away from the necklace. The Joe I had known would never yell unless it was an emergency… “Sorry to scare you ladies, but that is a very dangerous necklace,” He spoke out of breath, his hands on his knees as he wheezed.
“Is this what you’ve been looking for?” Joe nodded slowly, and his eyes narrowed.
“How did you know that I was looking for things?” He asked suspiciously.
“Well, you just talked about it sometimes, I don’t really know,” I sheepishly stared at my feet. Joe nodded, a bit calmer.
“I suppose you want me to explain what’s going on with this necklace?” Joe asked. Ida and I both nodded, and he pointed toward our tents. “Let’s go sit by the fire and discuss it,” We followed Joe to our tents, and sat on the logs we had dragged up. “So, as you have seen, you can’t touch this necklace. I looked at the burn mark left on my hand.
“Yes, I’ve noticed,” I said. Joe held up the necklace, a thin cloth pinched around it.
“The first person to find it after one hundred years will get a burn on their hand. You are the first person to find it,” he continued, “That is very good, because that means nobody has used it that shouldn’t have,” I nodded, still confused.
“Why can’t you hold it if it’s already burnt someone?” I asked inquisitively.
Joe spoke almost immediately, “Only you can use it. If anyone else touches it, they will feel a prick in their hand,” This makes no sense at all, but I guess I should let him continue…
“One question. What exactly does this necklace do?” Joe smiled widely, and I noticed a few missing teeth. “It allows you to know when someone is lying, Karina. Extremely dangerous, and very powerful. It is not a joke, and not to be taken lightly,” Joe spoke stiffly, as though it were rehearsed.
“Why were you looking for it?” Joe looked at the ocean blankly.
“I wanted to protect it. There are many pieces of jewelry out there that have other powers, all are required to have silver leaves and a diamond,” Joe said. Ida remained quiet, staring listlessly into space. Joe carefully placed the diamond necklace in my hand. I flinched, waiting for the pain. Nothing.
“How do I know someone is lying? How does it tell me?” The necklace shimmered beautifully in the light.
“It will feel warm. Not hot, but warm,” I stared at the necklace, the chain falling through my fingers. “Don’t tell anyone what it is, okay? Only you and Ida can know,” I nodded resolutely. “The consequences could be terrible, not everyone here is as they seem…” I really hope he isn’t talking about Sam or Ben. We’ve already had enough things happen these last few weeks.
“You said you were looking for parts… were you actually looking for these pieces of jewelry?” Joe nodded. “Why did you call them ‘parts’?” I asked.
“If you collect all of them, it makes a terrible weapon. It is not my intent to use them for that purpose, however,” Ida and I nodded, slightly reassured. “I’m collecting them to prevent people with… different intentions from finding them.” Joe spoke with finality. “We’ll be leaving quite soon since you’ve found it,” My face fell.
“But what about ou- uh, my father?” I cringed inwardly, sneaking a glance at Ida. She didn’t seem to have noticed anything amiss, so I continued to study the necklace.
“I’m afraid he’s not here, Karina. Surely we would have seen him by now, or some sort of sign of another person?” Joe shook his head sadly. “He’s not here Karina, I’m sorry…” I stood up and walked toward the mountain. In the days we’d been here I had really wanted to climb the mountain, which we had not done. I stomped over to the base of the mountain, and rushed up the side of it as quickly as possible. Dirt covered my bare feet, and sticks scratched at me, getting stuck in my hair. I neared the top, sweating profusely, when I stepped on a rock. My ankle twisted and popped, blood pouring out. I cried out in pain, but I was too far away from everyone.
“Help!” I screamed, “Help me!” No one came. My ankle is throbbing, and I don’t know how to set it. My bone is most certainly broken… Oh, I wish Ida was here… “Help!” My voice echoes, and nobody comes. A stick cracks nearby. “Hello?” I grunt in pain, grinding my teeth together. From the bushes I see a dirty foot come toward me. “Please, help me!” Ida must have followed me… A man steps out of the brush. I shriek and back away. His hair is knotted and tangled, slightly longer than most men’s hair. His beard is scruffy and thin. Dirt coats every inch of him, and he is clothed in threadbare cloth. I scream again. He comes toward me, his hands held up.
“Don’t worry, I won’t hurt you…” Through his matted hair, I can see his eyes. One is strikingly blue, the other dark brown.
“Are… are you Benjamin Santiago?” I ask. He raises his eyebrows.
“Yes… how did you know that?” I shift my foot and grit my teeth. The pain is almost overwhelming. “Sorry, sorry. Questions later. I’m going to fix your ankle for you, alright?” He bends over. “Can you tear a strip of fabric from the second layer of your shirt? I need it to bind your foot. I nod and tear a strip of fabric from my shirt hem. My ankle is burning, and I cry out.
“Sorry, it just hurts so bad!” I scream once more and tears pour down my face. My father… I found my father! He pulled out a container of water and set it on my foot. The cool water numbs my foot a bit, dulling the pain. He walks off. “Wait, don’t leave me!”
“I just have to find a good stick, I’ll be right back,” He walks silently back into the forest. After all these years, my father is here! There's nothing I can do, so I sit, my ankle burning furiously, and wait for my father to come back.