Chapter 7: Precious Gems
Just as I was starting to explore the study, I heard a loud rumble followed by a brief scream. Snapping into attention, I went back into the hallway I came from, trying to find the source of the disturbance. I remembered Felrain heading into the kitchen, so that is exactly where I went. Except that there was no kitchen; instead, there was a gaping hole in the middle of what used to be the tiled floor.
"Sis?" I called out, hoping to get a reply.
Silence greeted me, leaving me to assume the worst. My eyes widened as I prayed to whoever would listen that my sister was not harmed.
"Felrain!" I shouted this time.
"I'm ok!" She shouted back.
I let out a breath I didn't realize that I was holding.
"What happened?" I had to ask, after all this was an old house, so there was a risk that more holes would appear throughout the layout.
"I don't know," she replied, sounding confused. "The floor just collapsed as I tried to leave."
Jesus, I thought. It was definitely time for us to leave. Regardless of my curiosity, it was not worth getting squished by rotten material.
I crouched on my knees, bending to get a better look at where Felrain was at. It was pretty dark, with a lot of dust covering the ground and some of the bumpy matter. My nostrils flared in irritation as some dust particles entered my nose.
"Hey sis, if you can manage to stand on top of those bumps, I can pull you out."
Felrain nodded in agreement, however she froze abruptly as she stared off into a corner.
"What is it?" I inquired.
"I don't know," she answered, squinting her eyes to get a better view of whatever it was that had caught her attention.
She made her way towards a corner that was out of my line of sight.
"Whoa Felrain, just what in the hell do you think you're doing?"
She looked up at me with a serious face before breaking into a grin.
"I'm gonna explore, what do you think?"
"Now wait a minute!" I demanded. "Don't do something stupid, and just come back here."
She didn't listen to me; instead, she went deeper into the darkness that held the mystery. I groaned in agitation, but also in nervousness as I became wary of the walls. If a wall or ceiling collapses on me, I'm coming back to haunt Felrain.
The sound of footsteps brought me back from my brooding as Felrain's tall profile came into view. In her arms were two chocolate brown boxes with some detailed decoration on them. I couldn't tell what they were as they were too far away.
Huffing, I took a deep breath, preparing to give her a long speech, but she interrupted me before I could even begin.
"Ok, bring me up."
I blinked, not knowing how to react. What the hell?
Shaking my early stupidity, I glared down at Felrain.
"Oh, so NOW you take my advice? What's that in your arms anyways? You could have gotten us killed!"
She shook her head, hiding a smile.
"Well, at least we both have souvenirs from our 'expedition'," she said, raising the boxes into the air.
I sighed, running a hand through my hair.
Doing exactly what I said earlier, Felrain climbed on top of one of the bumps and raised one free hand, the other clenching the boxes close to her chest.
I grabbed her free and pulled her up, grunting as my arm took in the extra weight. With Felrain safely on the main level floor, I punched her shoulder rather hard.
"Ouch!" She winched, rubbing her shoulder.
"That's for being stupid." I gave her a strict look which quickly failed when Felrain gave me a sheepish smile. I sighed; what am I going to do with this crazy woman?
We both stood up and mutually agreed that it was best that we left the house while it was still standing.
Fifteen minutes later, we arrived at my two-bedroom apartment in a suburban part of the city. Nothing special, but it was home.
I dropped onto the couch, sighing loudly as I stretched my sore muscles. From the corner of my eye, I saw Felrain sit down on a chair, pulling out the leg support upon which her legs settled. She had the boxes with her. As I looked closely, I realized that they resembled a jewelry box. She noticed me looking at the boxes and smirked at my curious expression.
"You want to see them dontcha?" She stated, cocking an eyebrow.
I stared at her blankly, refusing to give in to her game. Her hands reached towards the openings, just waiting to let out the secrets hidden within their coverings. Eventually I gave up and looked away, scowling at the random painting on the wall.
Felrain chuckled lightly as she opened the first box. A click sound invaded the silence and I turned my head towards the source. From my position, the cover was covering my view of the inside, but from Felrain's soft gasp, it must have been something unique. What is it? I wondered.
As if reading my thoughts, Felrain took out the boxes content. What I saw got a gasp even from me.
It was a necklace! It was mostly made of gold with a few garnet gems that scattered across the circle. On the end was a medallion of sorts with the symbol of a dragon with flames coming from its nostrils. A fire-themed necklace, huh? Interesting.
I focused my attention to Felrain and saw that she was engrossed with the piece of jewelry. I've never seen her so fascinated with something like that; I agree, the necklace is amazing, but it's just a necklace.
She glanced at me then back at the necklace. She unhooked the necklace and put it around her neck. Once it was secured, she stood up and walked towards the full-body mirror I had on one of the walls. I followed her, just for the sake of curiosity.
"It looks so beautiful on me Shazz!" she exclaimed.
I just stared at her reflection; indeed it was beautiful, but only because it was on my sister.
"Hey sis," she said, "how come you're not opening your box?"
I was snapped out of my trance as the reality of the situation weighed in on me.
"Felrain, it's not 'my' box, just like that isn't 'your' necklace. We have to give them back."
Felrain turned around slowly and looked at me as if I grew another head.
"Are you nuts?" she exclaimed. "How can you say that when there's an awesome necklace here? I bet the other box has one too. And besides, do you really want to go back to that house? It's obviously abandoned, so whoever owned these necklaces won't miss them."
I hated to admit it, but Felrain had a point. For whatever reason, the previous owner of that necklace had left it along with the house. Maybe it was ok for us to keep them. Besides, there's no way I'm going back to that mouse trap.
I sighed in surrender, smiling a bit as Felrain jumped a little bit in joy.
After examining her reflection a bit more, Felrain took the second box and gave it to me.
"Whenever you want to Shazz, you should open this box. Who knows what's inside it"
"Yeah yeah," I said. "I will."
She grinned and hugged me tightly before grabbing the other, now empty box, and walked towards the door. She opened it, but turned around to look at me.
"You should get some rest sis," she said gently. "I know how much you're hurting, even if you don't show it."
My eyes softened at her kind words. I was lucky to have a sister so strong, yet there were moments, like right now, where it seemed she was trying to push something back. She still acted goofy and all, but I could tell that something was bothering her.
Her look disappeared and was replaced with a farewell nod as Felrain stepped through the door, shutting it behind her.
After she left, I took the other box and went into my room. After I changed into some comfortable clothes, I sat on my bed and examined the box. It was actually black now that I paid closer attention. I hesitantly positioned my hands to the lid, before shaking my head and opening it all together.
Inside was another necklace; however it was made of white gold and had blue stones decorating all around. Must be sapphire, I thought. Sapphires were my favorite gem stones, aside from amethyst. On each blue stone, there was a snowflake that resided on each center. In other words, it was simply gorgeous.
I carefully brought it up to eye level and delicately touched each gem. They were cold to the touch; well that was weird. Must be because of all the time it spent in that dark abyss.
As I continued to stroke the beautiful stones, I vaguely wondered about the reason they were down in that basement of sorts in the first place. It almost seemed like someone was trying to hide them. Maybe something's wrong with them?
I shook my head; get a grip Shazz! They're just jewelry.
Eventually I felt the starting point of exhaustion creep at my brain. I gently put the necklace back into its box and set it on the night table beside my bed. I turned off the lone lamp that was lit, and shuffled myself comfortably under my sheets. After such an emotional day, the events had finally caught up with me. I closed my eyes and slowly started to enter the dream world, the necklace completely removed from my mind.