JWMS Newspaper Club
Sapphire: A Fictional Story by Aiyla S.
Updated: Jan 13, 2021
Sapphire’s cousin had been missing for days now. The police had finally agreed to create search parties for her cousin, her only living relative. Both Sapphire’s parents and her cousin’s parents had disappeared together after setting out on a perilous excavation for their jobs as paleontologists. The four parents had prognosticated the dangers of the escapade beforehand but decided it was safe enough to go. Sadly, they had been wrong, and their grave mistake had made the cousins orphans. At least the two girls still had each other.
Ever since that indescribably terrible day two years ago, Sapphire and her cousin had decided to live together in Sapphire’s house, since it was more well-supplied than her cousin’s old residence when they had each lived separately with their parents. Sapphire’s house was also more casual and inconspicuous, and they didn’t want to attract any attention to the fact that they were minors living alone. The police still hadn’t figured out the young girls’ situation, so when Sapphire grimly reported her cousin’s disappearance, she had gone to the police station prepared with a mouthful of excuses as to why she seemed to be the only one looking for her cousin. Sapphire had squirmed and perspired as she lied, but unexpectedly, she had gotten through it.
The police were doing the best they could to find Sapphire’s cousin as quickly and safely as possible, but by now, when all of the constables and cops Sapphire knew were out searching for her cousin day and night with no luck, Sapphire was growing more anxious. Impatience and worry for her poor younger cousin was consuming her.
Sapphire was starting to get a dreadful notion that she would have to be her cousin’s savior this time, no matter how dangerous it would be. The police might be concerned, too, but no one knew her cousin as well as Sapphire did. In fact, Sapphire was beginning to realize that her cousin might have run away of her own accord. But . . . why?
That night, Sapphire tossed and turned. As expected, she didn’t catch even a wink of sleep that night. The whole week, she had been scared and restless and sleepless. Tonight was no exception. If anything, her worry was only growing. Each night spent without her cousin in the house was a night something could have happened to her cousin.
The next day, Sapphire made a resolution. The choice was made, and she was determined not to go back on her own word. At the crack of dawn, when she was obviously still awake from the long night before, Sapphire had groggily yet fiercely vowed to herself that she would officially start searching for her lost cousin. Once she promised herself, instead of feeling a tiny bit better, as she had expected, she felt quite the opposite. Instead, Sapphire just felt like an idiot. Now that she had made that promise to herself, she realized the vow had been inevitable anyway. Why had she been afraid and naïve enough to wait in fear for her cousin to suddenly return? The police weren’t trying hard enough. Something had to be done, and Sapphire would be the one to achieve it. She had known that in her heart the whole time, and after almost an entire week, she finally decided to go after her cousin. Sapphire wondered to herself if she had been selfish to harbor such reluctance.
Sneaking out of the house was easy. The whole neighborhood was quaint yet rather bland, although not in a necessarily dull way. But every house looked almost identical to the next, so naturally, Sapphire and her home blended in.
When she strode glumly out of her house, she walked right past a cluster of huddled children and chattering adults who paid her no heed. They never did and never would.
After strolling down a block or two, Sapphire stumbled upon a lovely grove leading to an even lovelier meadow. Vivid, ravishing flowers, beautiful reeds, and aged trees dwelled serenely in the meadow. And right in the center of it all, in a plush, kelly green patch of moss, sat---
A . . . jewel?
Not just any jewel. It was her namesake. A pulchritudinous sapphire was nestled in the stunningly fuzzy halo of moss. It gleamed and sparkled in the slanting sunlight, and Sapphire gasped at the dazzling sight of the sapphire. Its rich, sapphire blue shade colored it in pure beauty. Sapphire couldn’t believe her eyes, which were bulging with disbelief. She had never seen a jewel in her life, much less even more than a couple grainy photos from years ago, which had deeply understated the beauty of a real sapphire. Amazingly, she was amazed beyond amazement.
And then something even more amazingly amazing happened, amazing her.
Later, in retrospect, Sapphire would have described her account of what happened next as surreal, unreal, and anything but real: The jewel moved. It physically moved.
Sapphire gasped about ten times louder than her previous noise of astonishment as the impossibly gorgeous, alluring sapphire floated upwards, somehow majestically levitating. It floated in a slow circle first, but then a flurry of cool air swept past her and towards the astounding jewel. The chilling breeze somehow must have miraculously gotten caught in the enchanting whirlpool the jewel had formed a moment ago by starting to levitate and spin. The sapphire continued to oscillate entrancingly right before Sapphire’s eyes. There was only one explanation that came to her mind when she tried to make sense of it, albeit it was impossible. But still---it had to be . . . magic.
Sapphire didn’t believe in any nonsensical or unrealistic things like magic. But there was no alternative explanation that her clever brain offered. So then it was magic.
Sapphire was suddenly very curious to learn about this magical jewel. Millions of questions flooded her mind. She couldn’t think straight. She could barely think, period.
Suddenly, as if this weren’t already impossibly magical, the jewel began to not only swirl in a circle, it began to surge forward. As if it were leading her somewhere. And it wanted her to follow.
So she did. What else could she do except oblige when all of her instincts were pointing at the sapphire? The sapphire seemed to have potential with its “magic,” so what did she have to lose? If anything, she might find her cousin. It was ludicrous, but there was a tense yet definite feeling rooted in her gut, imploring her to amble on and follow the jewel.
She trekked through greenswards and waded through boggy marshes and marshy bogs. She stumbled through thick thickets and miry undergrowth, pushing intervening brambles out of her path. She kept going, refusing to relent, even though when she didn’t seem to be getting anywhere, it occurred to her that she had been foolish enough to follow a jewel, an inanimate object, that was floating ahead of her, in the hopes of finding her cousin. Her plan was ridiculous. The thought brought hot tears springing to her eyes. She had lost everyone, even her cousin.
Just as she was beginning to quell all of her efforts to keep up with the jewel, though, the sapphire began to spin even faster, and it took on an uncanny, supernatural glow. Sapphire gasped yet again and clasped her clammy hands over her open mouth, backing up several steps. The glow became brighter until suddenly there was an alarming pop! sound.
The glinting jewel duplicated until there were four glowing sapphires. They each emitted a cloud of air and transformed into four tiny fairies with fluttering wings and faces that looked so familiar. She couldn’t place them, like they were part of a muddled dream. Or a memory.
Sapphire felt enticed to go forward and follow the four fairies, who had started flitting ahead. She clambered after them until they mutely led her to a desiccated, barren field. A hole was dug two feet away with a shovel sunk halfway into it. And inside the dry, rocky ditch . . .
Sapphire nearly fainted with shock and relief. “J-Jade?”
Her cousin turned and did a double take. “Sapphire!” She paused and cocked her head.
“You found me,” she finally stammered, scrambling to embrace Sapphire.
“I-I did,” Sapphire agreed. She narrowed her eyes. “What are you doing in an excavation site?” The moment Jade averted her gaze, slouching sheepishly, understanding dawned on Sapphire. “Wait,” she said. “You came to their old excavation site?”
“I had to,” Jade struggled to justify. “I had to see if I could finish their work.”
“If you could---!” Sapphire yelled. “We’re kids, Jade! You can't just do that! Our parents weren’t paleontologists as kids! How could you finish the work they didn’t?” she said incredulously.
“The fairies told me.” Jade stated it casually, as if they were discussing the weather.
“The fair---” Sapphire caught her breath, screwing up her face. “How did you know?”
“Know what? My parents, and yours too, led me here and said they’d bring you too.”
“But we’re talking about the fairies, not our parents!” Sapphire yelled.
“But, Sapphire,” Jade explained, “the fairies are our parents.”
“What?” Sapphire’s voice was now hoarse from rebuking her cousin.
“There were four sapphires that led you to me, were there not? Four fairies, four parents. They’re . . . ghosts, in a sense. That’s how they knew you were looking for me.”
“Their faces,” Sapphire panted. “They looked so familiar, but I couldn’t . . . That’s why I recognized them. But I should be able to know it’s them. Why didn’t I? And why didn’t you bring me with you instead of telling me where you went and skipping all that fearmongering? And how did you know about the fairies, and the sapphires, and the magic? Is it some secret in our family?”
A beam tugged at Jade’s lips. Grabbing Sapphire’s hand, she began to walk back where Sapphire had just come from. “I knew you’d figure it out. Come on, let’s go home. There’s so much to tell you.” They strolled back home, led by the fairies that were their parents.
Sapphire could have sworn she saw one fairy wink right at her before it darted ahead, leading the long way back home.