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Chain of Pearls: Part One


by shadowcristal

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The pure, white pearls blinded her, as she gasped at its marvelous beauty. The item lay in front of her in a pretty rosewood box, but the box was nothing compared to the necklace. It consisted of many round, milky-colored pearls that had a slight rainbow-y luster when rays of light were cast upon them. Between each of those perfectly spherical pearls there was a grey, shiny dot, a miniature pearl, and the whole thing was strung together by a silver chain that had a touch of steel.

     "This is the Chain of Pearls," Natasha the purple Bruce said, lifting up the gorgeous necklace. The practical nanny frowned when she saw Trisha's frivolous reaction.

     "Ooh... It's so pretty!" the green Eyrie named Trisha exclaimed as she tried to snatch it away from her practical nanny, who had been with the child long enough to know that this was going to happen.

     "It is a treasure for the females of your family, miss," the Bruce said. "As a faithful servant, I now present this family heirloom to you, upon your coming of age. Tomorrow you will no longer be a child, but a responsible adult..." Natasha rolled her eyes when she saw the Eyrie's dazed face. If the Bruce had been the one to decide the coming of age, she would certainly not have allowed Trisha such freedom tomorrow... Not for the next few years, for sure. That Eyrie was still a child, only seeing the necklace's lovely exterior but nothing of the protection that lay within.

     "Can I show it to everyone? Please?" Trisha asked, already regarding the Chain of Pearls as hers. The Bruce sighed as she put the simple but stylish necklace back in its wooden box.

     "Tomorrow," Natasha said. "But heed my words... This item comes with a great deal of responsibility. There is only one of these, and your parents left it for you before they left."

     "Why did they leave?" the Eyrie asked, though she somehow sensed the answer. Her parents had left when she was very little, and Trisha could no longer recall their faces. The sadness that this subject brought was something that diminished with time, for if she could not remember, and didn't think so much, then it wouldn't hurt... In any case, she had decided to be carefree and joyful instead of some of those sulking pirates on the ship that she was on.

     The wooden ship moved a bit, and the two pets listened in silence to the noise that the waves caused. Sometimes they were good, and sometimes they were... less good. The sea was not evil today, and did not desire any malicious whims.

     "That is a long story," the Bruce said after a moment. "And someday, when you're ready, you might understand... Not today, but-"

     "Tomorrow," Trisha interrupted, knowing that the word she had uttered was her nanny's favorite word.

     "You must take good care of it," Natasha warned. "If you do not handle it well, the sea might punish you for that."

     "Of course," the Eyrie said, still rather delighted at the present she would receive, and already thought of it as hers.

     -

     The coming of age was a special thing among pirates. It was celebrated with a shower of gifts, dances and songs and general happiness. But it wasn't all fun and games. The one who was no longer a child would have to leave afterwards, to prove oneself worthy of adulthood, to mature and grow...

     Natasha felt like hitting her head on the table every time she heard the Eyrie sing with her crewmates. The Bruce knew very well that Trisha was not aware of the hardships that awaited her. For the Eyrie, life had only been fun and games, for she had been the most important child on this pirate ship, being related to the captain. Natasha had to remind herself that the child wasn't evil, she was just careless and curious, and quite spoiled, on top of everything.

     The nanny had been too inattentive, for when she returned to reality from her train of thoughts, she found the Eyrie standing on a wooden crate and holding up the Chain of Pearls to show everyone.

     Immediately Natasha ran over to the place where Trisha was located. This celebration was getting out of hand, and that proud child getting too arrogant. The Bruce had suspected that her little girl wasn't aware of the power of the sea and the chain...

     "Stop!" the nanny cried out in horror, trying to get up on the crate. Everybody else was down there, mesmerized by the beauty of the Chain. It swung so freely in the air, reflecting the soul of the child that was still holding it. Even if the child wasn't considered a child anymore, Natasha knew that the Eyrie was still a child in heart.

     Trisha was very much pleased with the attention she was receiving. They hadn't been so impressed when she showed up today, but they had celebrated her like tradition required. But when she had brought out the Chain of Pearls... the Eyrie giggled. To have them begging at her feet to share that beauty...

     The Eyrie swung it around in the air, exhilarated from today's events. This old family thing was sure useful... She placed it around her neck, feeling the coolness of the pearls. For a moment it vanished, the necklace being tugged at by the breeze. Trisha felt as if she was falling, but the next second she stood firm and the item around her neck simply glowed of beauty.

     "Vain child," Natasha muttered, rolling her eyes. When she saw the wind and the way the child had lost her balance, she knew that it was a warning from the sea. "Heed the signs!" she cried, but the thing that crazy Eyrie did next astonished and horrified her beyond imagination.

     Unclasping the Chain of Pearls and holding it up once again, the Eyrie declared proudly, "See this? I'm the most beautiful creature of the seven seas, the goddess of the sea!"

     "Oh woe!" the Bruce cried out below her, curling up to a ball. She knew that the child had without doubt provoked the sea, and invoked things beyond imagination. "You arrogant, selfish, vain child! You have brought the punishment of the sea upon you!" Natasha hoped that she wasn't about to get punished too, since she had brought up the child and decidedly had a part in this. But never in her whole life had the Bruce broken any rules or committed acts of foolishness of this magnitude.

     The clouds in the sky grew darker and thicker on the spot where Trisha was standing. Thunder rumbled far away, but the intervals signaled that it was coming closer. Pets started to feel the enraged waves shake the ship, as they scurried away from the source of the trouble.

     The Eyrie shuddered, but kept holding the necklace. She felt a bit disappointed when she saw the pets run away... Didn't they want to see the beauty? Was this it? Suddenly Trisha felt a tad bit stupid for having acted like this, but what happened next completely cleared her confused mind.

     A white-yellowish streak of light descended upon the chain, splitting it apart and letting those perfectly round, shimmering pearls scatter by the whims of the wind. The electricity shook the Eyrie badly, but she was still conscious enough to reach out a weak paw and catch one of the falling pearls. The silver chain that had glimmered so beautifully was now in pieces, and the pure white pearls were plummeting into the deep, dark sea, whose waves eagerly swallowed them.

     The Chain of Pearls was destroyed. Holding that one pearl in her hand, Trisha fell on her knees as she watched the remains of her beautiful necklace disappear out of her view. "H-how..." she managed to utter, but was too stunned to continue.

     "This is the punishment of the sea," the nanny said, finally getting up. She said it in such a I-told-you-so voice, so the Eyrie felt like hitting her. "I warned you, and the wind warned you... Foolish child, to not listen..." Natasha took a deep breath, as she too felt the presence of the pearls vanish. This was bad, but she had to tell the child. "The Chain of Pearls was not merely a necklace. It was a talisman, offering protection for all of us on this ship. It was with the help of this magical item we won the few battles that have been fought on deck, and now that it's gone..." The Bruce gulped. "In any case, that is one rare, magical and powerful item that was not meant to be for a child whose whims and desires are to be beautiful. You didn't act responsibly, and this is your punishment... the one bestowed upon all of us!"

     "H-how do I get it back?" Trisha whispered, her voice shaken and shivering. It was only now that the Eyrie realized what she had done, the problem she had caused for her ship... And to destroy a precious item, a memory of her parents! Tears rolled down the green Eyrie's face, and she wiped them away. She wasn't sure of what to do, but that necklace was irreplaceable. Now she had to repent to the sea... Hope that it would give this treasured item back. Despite all its luster and beauty that Trisha recalled, the Chain was surprisingly, elegantly simple and probably served a different purpose than the one she had used it to.

     "Please!" the girl cried out, grasping her nanny's fin. "I'm so sorry! How..." she sobbed, knowing what horror this would be and finally understanding what she had put the Bruce through all those years, "How can I get it back?"

To be continued...

 
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