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    Written by Ghost Archer. No comments Posted in: Characters, Fiction

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    500 Words: Jewelry: Write about a piece of jewelry. Who does it belong to?


    How do you capture the fact no two snowflakes are the say?  Magic, that’s why I was sitting in a tavern looking across a table at a mage.

    “A snowflake … that changes every few seconds?”

    She wasn’t questioning my impossible request but rather running the problem through her head.

    “It would have to be laen,” she said almost to herself.  “Only thing with a strong enough inherent magic.”

    “What is laen?”  I had to ask, after all it wasn’t my world, or even universe for all I knew.

    “Like adamant, diamond you call, it only a million times harder.  It has this inner light, they say the Light of Varda.”

    “Sounds perfect but if it is that hard, how do you cut it?”

    She waved a dismissive hand.  “Cold forge, it gets soft enough to cut at low temperatures.”

    Magic was such a difficult concept for a 21st century man used to cars and jets.

    “How big do you want it?” the mage asked.

    “Small, maybe a half inch.”  I held my finger and thumb at about the right size not sure of what system of measuring she would use.  “How much will it cost?”

    “That size?”  She thought a moment.  “Say an ingot of gold so big.”  She demonstrated the size with her hands.  I nodded.  Then she dropped the other shoe.  “At least ten thousand of those.”

    I’m a very rich man, on my world, but I doubted I could come up with that much gold without robbing Fort Knox.  She laughed.

    “Oh, James, it’s for Pam, right?”  I nodded.  She touched my hand with her fingertips.  “Then accept it as a gift.”



    The night before Christmas the fireplace had waned to the dull red orange of coals.  Pam and I were on the couch with our legs on the coffee table toasting our stocking feet.  It was hip deep in snow outside and the full moon on the clear northwestern night made the view through the floor to ceiling windows of the chalet was nearly as beautiful as the girl nestled against my chest.  Hot chocolate steamed on the table at my elbow and the lights of the fifteen foot Christmas tree twinkled.  It was probably the most perfect setting I could have asked for.  Except for one thing.

    The door groaned under what could only be described as a full on assault.  Three times something the size of a small car rammed the thick oak.  Pam was on her feet and backing away, her blue eyes wide in fear.  I’d already laid a track of ice from the couch to the door and stood beside it ready to kill whoever burst through the door.

    “Ya aren’t gonna let me freeze all night out here are ya?”  A gruff voice demanded.

    The narrow windows that flanked the door was packed with snow to my waist but over that I could see a crimson broad-brimmed hat with a two foot long bright blue feather sticking up from the brim.

    “OH!” said the voice.  “I’m supposed to say HO HO HO!  What ere that is!”

    Pam gave me a puzzled look, no doubt thinking it one of my surprises.  The look I returned her said ‘not me’.  I pulled the door open.

    A thick man of about four feet tall stood surrounded by packed snow as though he’d been standing there since the snow started and had just let it collect.  If Santa Claus had been a dwarf, this would have been what he looked like.  Stocky, full white beard, ruddy face, bulbous nose, red suit trimmed in white fur and black boots had to have been intentional.

    “Ho ho ho,” he said, his baritone voice reverberating off the stone of the fireplace.  “Got something for a frozen dwarf?”

    “Hot chocolate?” I offered.

    “What’s that?”

    “Warm sweet milk with …”

    A hand stopped me.  “Ya lost me at milk, boyo.  Look, here be that thing Laure made for ya.”

    He shoved a very small carved wooden box into me hands then tapped his finger against the side of his nose and turned, plowing back into the snow and disappearing as it fell in behind him.  Pam came up behind me and pressed herself against me back.

    “Who was that?” she whispered.

    “Santa dwarf?” I replied.

    “What did he want?”

    “Delivery dwarf,” I replied and turned to face her, the small box held up between us.  “I had hoped to have it wrapped before you even knew about it.”

    Slim fingers accepted the box then turned it slowly.

    “I doubt anyone could wrap it any better,” Pam said.

    It was true, the box of some nearly white wood had been carve in bas relief on all sides with each depicting a different scene.

    “I’ve never seen anything so beautiful,” Pam whispered.

    “Look inside.”

    Carefully she separated the top and gasped.  Inside, nestled on deep blue, a tiny snowflake the size of my thumbnail sparkled.  Even as we watched it changed shape and a new snowflake lay there.  Watching her I could see the light of the gem reflecting in her eyes.

    “Oh, James,” she said.  “Where did you find it?”

    “I have a friend …” I smiled.

    “It is too much!” she declared, as I knew she would.  “You shouldn’t be spending all this money on me like this.”

    I plucked the tiny necklace from the box and unhooked the clasp.  Pam turned without another word and lifted her mess of golden hair allowing me to loop the chain around her neck.  When she let her hair fall and turned I know the gift was perfect.

    “I am going to change your answer now,” I said.

    Pam had worried that she had nothing for me for Christmas then gave me a small piece of paper.  It read ‘You may change the answer to any one question to ‘yes’, ‘no’ or ‘maybe’ that you wish’.  I had asked her to marry me and she had said no.

    “Will you marry me?” I repeated.

    She smiled very shyly and whispered “No.”

    “That’s the one question.”  I held up my piece of paper.  “I think I will change your answer to yes.”

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