Chapter 6: Ruby

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 219

So, how was your gals’ day?” Chloe asked one night. Celeste smiled and continued brushing her short hair, which now hung down to the base of her neck. I wanted to say something about the long golden locks I missed, but I couldn't.

“Good, Jade kissed a boy.” I said instead, Chloe and Katy oohed, begging for us to tell who.

“Who? Was it… Donny?” Katy questioned, Celeste shook her head.

“It was Colby!” I blurted, I couldn't help myself.


The next day was filled with sadness and heartache.

We decided to go visit the river in the woods so that we could discuss details of the plan better.

“Do you hear that?” Celeste stopped us all, “It sounds like…”

“Clover…” I finished. We ran to the river bank, and there she was, and Picasso...


He lay by the bank, his fur matted and a few arrows sticking out of his pelt. I leaned toward him and reached for his face. Clover watched me closely as I lifted his head and held it to my chest, she had been protecting him.

“Meow?” Clover questioned, she got closer and purred sadly. I sat there for a minute, holding Picasso to my heart and silently mourning him, I never noticed when Celeste, Brock, even Aidan came and comforted me with warm hands and kind hearts, all I could hear was my lost friend's barking.

I set Picasso’s head down and Clover returned to guarding the lost dog. Clover had been catching mice and birds, leaving half for Picasso, as if an offering; or maybe a bribe for him to come back.

We sent Picasso away down the river, Clover wouldn't leave the spot of his death. She pushed all the halves of dead creatures into the water and let out a final yowl.

Celeste picked her up gently, setting the once white cat on her shoulders.

“Farewell, dearest Picasso…” I heard Celeste say, we stood in silence for a little while longer.


After the loss of Picasso, I was quieter and didn't laugh and smile as much; Celeste seemed to be noticing.

“Ruby,” she would say if we were alone. It would be “Alyssa,” if others were there. She understood what I was going through-Always placing her hand on my shoulder, I always waited for more, but she only ever said my name.

“Celeste,  I’m okay, really. I’m just a little shocked.”

Clover was living at the edge of the woods, Celeste would visit her often, sometimes I came along. Clover only reminded me of Picasso.

“Alyssa,” Celeste said one day while we were in the courtyard, placing her hand on my knee. “Who's that boy?” I turned slowly to where she was gesturing, he was a round-faced teen with shaggy black hair.

“I don't know, why?” I asked, she shook her head at her lap, then lifted it back up.

“I think he's watching us…” she glanced over discreetly, I did the same.

He was watching us all right; I wanted to confront him, but Celeste stopped me.

“He might be bad news, mi Arack,” she gasped lightly, I gaped for a second. “Alyssa, I said ‘my Alyssa.’”


The next day a boy greeted me as soon as I left the room I shared.

“Hello, my names Cole,” he smiled, I smiled back awkwardly.

“Hi… I'm Alyssa…”

“Nice name, and… do you accept this gift?” he took in my hand quickly and placed a dove carved out of wood in it. I looked at it carefully and nodded.

“Thank you, Cole.” I turned around immediately and went back into the room.

“Jade, a boy just gave me a gift… what does that mean!?”

“Oh Alyssa, that means he likes you, he's pursuing you, and he's going to ask you to marry him,” she said simply. “In nine days, I don't know why you're being pursued, though…”

“Maybe because I'm pretty!?” I said defiantly, Celeste didn't think I could ever be pursued. I humphed and sat on a cot.

“Alyssa, it's not that I thought you wouldn't be pursued, I just figured no one would notice us…”

“Well, how come a boy isn't pursuing you?” I asked rudely.

“I don't know, maybe they don't like my haircut,” she winked. I looked away sadly. Her hair wasn't a happy joke, it only reminded me of where we started.

“Don't remind me,” I begged. I had to live every day reminding myself that I couldn't remember all of the friends I had had, and all of the jokes and pranks we made.

“Alyssa, you will receive a gift every day for nine days, if you accept all of them, he will ask you to marry him, you have to say no.”

“What if I truly fall in love with him, though?” I asked as if it would happen.

“That's unlikely, men here mainly marry for land,” she answered.

“Well, it could happen.” I stated, then left her behind and walked away. I wanted to prove that I wasn't second class here, I wanted to prove that men here married for love, mainly though? I wanted to prove Celeste wrong for once, I wanted to see the look on her face when she made the mistake, and when she couldn't have any help from me to pick up the pieces.

Mostly I was just angry and still hurting from Picasso’s abrupt exit from my life.

Submitted: January 24, 2016

© Copyright 2021 S.M.T.. All rights reserved.


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