Reads: 21

She liked exploring. It was the one way she was able to understand how the others lived. She would go into the forest—or if she were feeling extra brave, into town and find the old houses left behind.

In town, she had to go at night and sneak around like a bandit, which she wasn't. She could have stolen anything she wanted from those abandoned places; she left them as they were…when they were left for fancier, nicer homes or estates.

Fancy country houses are where she went the most. The houses in the forest were safe in the daytime, for no one else ventured there.

One day, she came upon the most beautiful country manoralmost like an estate in town. A huge dirt clearing sat oddly in the wood where the home had been built, probably long ago, its old stone now withering away.

She tread the path to the door, which as always, was open, and went inside.

There were old wooden dishes and silver knives for eating. A couple colorful tapestries with exotic patterns lay in lumps on the floor.

And also on the floor was a gold chain.

She brought up the chain, half of it hidden beneath a tapestry, and saw on one end a maltese cross carved seemingly of gold. It was the most exquisite piece she ever sawfor of all the jewelry left behind, most were bare chains without ornament. 

Not this one.

For a moment, she wondered what it would be like to feel like a noble. She turned around, looking quite guilty, as if someone might see. Then she spread the chain and brought it over her head, ready to feel beautiful.

And immediately, she felt completely weighed down. The pull on her neck made it acheand the necklace ceased to be beautiful.

She brought it back over her head and hid it under the tapestry. She decided it was too much of a burden to try to be beautiful.


Submitted: November 12, 2022

© Copyright 2022 B.J. Vancheyson. All rights reserved.


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