"The Violet Necklace": A short story

I drag my feet down the deserted high street, and sigh. I’m on my way home from dance lessons, and I’m pretty tired – all I really want is to go to sleep. It’s late, and most of the stores are closed – there’s barely anyone around. I’m glad, though – I like it when it’s quiet and peaceful.

I’m walking past the supermarket when something catches my eye, a little further ahead. There, sandwiched between the clothes store and the bakery, is a small shop. That’s strange – I’ve never seen it before. I’ve been living in this town all my life, and I’ve been walking down this street for years – how could I have missed it?

As I get closer, I see that the shop looks very old. The windows on the front display are smudged with dirt, making it impossible to see inside. The paint of the door is peeling off, and the sign on the door saying the shop’s name is so dilapidated I can’t make out what it says. There’s a worn looking sign on the door that says ‘open’. Apart from that, there’s nothing to explain what the shop actually sells.

Overcome with curiosity, I step up to the shop’s front door, and place my hand on the doorknob. I hesitate. I should get back home soon, or my parents will get worried. But I have to know what’s inside this mysterious store. I open the door, and step inside.

The first thing I do is sneeze. The air is so dusty I can barely breathe in here. Eyes watering, I look around. There’s not much to see: hardly any light can get in through the windows, and there don’t seem to be any electric lights, so everything is extremely gloomy.

“Hello there.”

I jump, and whirl around. To my right, I can make out the shape of a counter. Sitting behind it is an old woman. Through the gloom, I can see that her face is creased with hundreds of wrinkles, and she’s dressed in a black shawl. Her blue eyes are sharp, though, as she looks at me and smiles. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you,” she says, her voice strangely scratchy. “Would you like to buy something?”

“I…uh…” I stammer. “I was just looking…”

“I have something that I think you’ll like,” says the old lady, and pulls something from behind the counter.

I take a step closer to her, craning my neck to see the object she’s holding up.

It’s a necklace, with a long golden chain and a heavy-looking pendant. The pendant is a light violet colour, circular in shape, and it seems to glow in the murky light of the room. It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.

Without realising, I’ve stretched my hand out to touch it. The old lady laughs. “I knew you’d like it,” she says. “It’s only five pounds, if you want to buy it.”

I pause. I have five pounds in my pocket, but that’s just for emergencies. I shouldn’t spend it on something like a necklace. But it’s so pretty… I have to have it. I make up my mind and hand the five pound note over to the woman. She gives me the necklace, and I hold it in my hand. I can’t take my eyes off it.

I check my watch and gasp. It’s gotten very late while I was in here. I thank the lady, stuff the necklace in my pocket, and run all the way home.

To my relief, Mum is still making dinner when I get home, and Dad’s not back from work yet. My little sister Christie is sprawled on the sofa in the living room, watching cartoons. I sit down next to her and pull the necklace out of my pocket. The violet jewel reflects the light, and it looks like it’s sparkling on its own…

“What’s that?”

Christie’s leaning over my shoulder, staring at the necklace in my hands.

“Nothing,” I say defensively, hiding it against my chest.

“It looks like a necklace. Where’d you get it?” asks Christie.

I glare at her. “It’s none of your business,” I snap. My sister annoys me so much; she keeps asking questions all the time.

She glares back at me. My sister and I are quite similar, physically at least. We have the same long, light brown hair, and blue eyes. We’re both skinny, and on the small side for our respective ages. The similarity doesn’t stretch to personality, though. I’m quiet and a bit shy; Christie never shuts up.

“I wanna see it!” whines Christie, sounding like a three-year-old and not like the ten-year-old she actually is.

“Fine!” I say, holding it up. “Happy?”

She looks at it for a while, then snatches it out of my hand.

“Hey!” I complain. “Give it back!”

“But it’s so pretty,” she murmurs, holding the chain and swinging the pendant back and forth. “Can I keep it?”

Now that I’m not actually holding the necklace, it doesn’t seem all that special. It’s just a necklace, after all. I sigh. “Fine,” I growl. “Keep the stupid thing.”

Just then, Mum calls us to dinner and we both go to the kitchen to eat.

***

The next morning, I stumble down the stairs to have breakfast, yawning. It’s Saturday, which means no school and no homework. I can spend all day doing nothing if I want to.

Christie’s already in the kitchen when I come in, which is odd, because she’s never up this early on a weekend. “Morning,” I mumble.

Christie turns towards me. Her eyes are black, expressionless. “Good morning,” she says distantly.

I frown. There’s something strange about my sister’s behaviour. I guess she’s just half-asleep from waking up so early. I get my breakfast and sit down next to her at the kitchen table. She’s eating her cereal in a strange, robotic way, her eyes fixed on the wall in front of her.

“Are you all right?” I ask her.

She turns her gaze to me. “I’m fine,” she says, still in that distant voice.

“What’re you going to do today?” I say.

“I don’t know,” she answers.

This is really weird. Normally, my sister never stops talking. Why is she being so silent?

She finishes her breakfast and leaves the room quietly. I push aside my own bowl of cereal and go after her.

“Christie, are you sure you’re all right?” I press her.

“I’m fine,” she insists, not turning around as she enters the living room.

“Why are you behaving so strangely?” I ask.

“I’m not!” she says, and turns around.

I gasp, and take a couple of involuntary steps back. My sister’s eyes, instead of being their usual blue, have turned violet. I stare at her in shock for a while, and she stares expressionlessly back at me.

Then I notice the gold chain around the neck. It’s mostly hidden under her shirt, but I can just see it. “Christie, are you wearing that necklace?” I ask.

“What necklace?” she asks unemotionally.

“The one I gave you yesterday!” I say.

“Oh,” she says, fingering the chain like she’d forgotten it was there.

“Take it off,” I tell her. It has to be the necklace that’s making her act this weird. It must be controlling her in some way. I remember how spellbound by it I was yesterday.

“No,” she says flatly. “It’s mine.”

“Just take it off!” I’m scared by this new Christie, with her violet eyes and emotionless voice. What’s happened to her?

I have to get the necklace off her, but she’s not going to make it easy for me, that’s pretty clear.

I lunge forward, reaching for the chain around the neck. She steps back, avoiding me. I reach out again, this time managing to hook my fingers around the chain. She shoves me back, and I tug sharply at the necklace.

The chain snaps, and comes away in my hand. Christie stumbles back a few steps, blinking dazedly.

Then all the colour leaves her face, and she crumples to the floor. She doesn’t move.

I look down at the necklace clutched in my hand. Once again, I’m struck by how beautiful it is.

I shake my head and look away from it. I can’t get caught by its spell now. I have to get rid of this thing.

I run out through the front door. Between the pavement and the road outside my house is a small hole that no one ever bothered to fix. I kneel beside it. It takes all my willpower to force myself to open my fingers and drop the necklace into it. I watch the necklace disappear into the darkness.

Then I remember my sister lying motionless on the living room floor. “Christie!” I yell, running back inside.

My parents have woken up, and are leaning over Christie, who’s still passed out. Mum is calling an ambulance.

“What happened?” Dad asks me. “She looks like she’s fallen into a coma.”

I don’t say anything, because to be honest, I’m not sure what happened either. All I know is that if something serious has happened to Christie, it’ll be because of me. If she never wakes up, it’ll be my fault, because I was the one who bought that stupid necklace in the first place.

As the ambulance comes to take my sister to hospital, all I can think is that I wish I’d never even thought about buying that necklace.

***

The next day, when I go to visit the mysterious shop where it all started, I find there’s nothing there. Between the bakery and the clothes store there is nothing but a brick wall. See, there never was a shop between the clothes store and the bakery. I don’t understand how the store where I bought the necklace could have appeared and disappeared like that, but it has. It’s long gone, and so it the old woman who sold me the necklace.

At least I’ve learnt something from this: never go into a shop if you don’t know what it sells. You never know what might happen.

                                                                                                 

I hope you enjoyed this piece of writing, if you did please leave a comment, I love getting feedback on my work!

-Indigo

Comments

  1. Hey this is pretty good! It made me curious about the old woman! "I have something I think you'll like"- talk about foreshadowing of the hold the necklace would have on the wearer!
    This was really good, you should definitely post more stuff like this :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I'm really glad you liked this!
      If you'd like to read more stuff from me check out my "writings" tab, all of my stories are there :) And I'm definitely going to be posting more!

      Delete
  2. This has to be one of my favorites.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This has to be one of my favourite comments. XD I'm so glad you liked it! :)

      Delete

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