Author: Rebecca Fyfe
Genre: Middle Grade
Title: The Necklace
Genre: Middle Grade
Title: The Necklace
Sandra rummaged through the attic. It smelled musty in there, and she really just wanted to go watch some tv, but she needed to find some things she could sell at the school charity auction. They were trying to raise money for a local no-kill animal shelter. Sandra’s grandmother had left a lot of junk up here, but Sandra was hoping she’d find some things worthy of the auction.
She sneezed as some of the dust from her moving things around drifted into her nose. Her allergies were going to be plaguing her for weeks after this. She moved a box full of dresses to the side to go through later. Jackpot! she thought as the saw the label on the box below. It read “jewelery.” There has to be something worthwhile in here!
She opened the lid and started unwrapping the tissue from around the contents. The first thing unwrapped was an onyx ring. Sandra had no idea if it was sterling silver or just silver-plated, but, knowing her grandma, it was probably sterling silver. The next thing she unwrapped was a charm bracelet. Again, it was probably sterling silver. It had five charms on it, a high-heeled shoe, a lucky four-leaf clover, a coin, a heart, and a star. Sandra liked it, but she wanted to help the charity so she added it to the pile of things to go to the school auction.
The third thing she unwrapped from within the box was a silver necklace. The necklace itself was a twisted rope chain and the pendant on the necklace was unusual. It was a five-pointed star, and in the center was a round stone. The stone was almost white but it shimmered and sparkled with different colors. Sandra thought that maybe it was an opal, but she was surprised that it was in such good condition after spending so many years in the box up in this attic. With most of the other jewelry she had found so far, she could tell that they needed polishing. But this looked like it had just been polished and shined. It looked like it was new and just bought at the store.
The opal mesmerized Sandra, and she felt as though she couldn’t help but put it on. Once she had put it around her neck and closed the clasp, she realized it felt oddly comforting. She left it there and continued sorting through the rest of the jewelry in the box. She’d have to check with her mom to make sure she didn’t give away anything her mom wanted to keep, but by the end of her work in the attic, she felt as though she had done well.
She went down the stairs and found her mom in the kitchen preparing dinner. “Hi, Mom,” she said, “I’ve got a bunch of stuff for the charity auction at school. I need you to look through it and make sure I’m not giving away anything you don’t want me to, okay?”
“Sure, hon,” her mom said, but then Sandra heard her say “Great! Another thing to add to my long to-do list!” in a sarcastic voice. The problem with hearing this is that Sandra had been looking right at her while she’d been saying it, and she hadn’t moved her lips or acted as though she was speaking at all. She hadn’t actually said anything, yet Sandra had definitely heard something.
“Mom, did you say something?” she asked.
“No, honey. Go get cleaned up. Dinner is almost ready,” her mom replied, and then, with her mom not saying a word, she heard her mom’s voice saying, “You are such a mess from playing around in the attic!”
Sandra thought about what was happening for a few minutes but then decided that she must be imagining it. That’s when she noticed that the necklace was glowing. She walked into the bathroom to wash her hands and looked at herself in the mirror. The necklace was definitely glowing. But the glow was fading. She wrapped her hand around it, without even thinking of what she was doing and it felt warm in her hand. She was very curious about the necklace, but she decided to just go and enjoy her dinner with her family and think about the necklace and its strangeness later.
Dinner was really tasty. Her mom had made tacos and Sandra loved tacos. It was one of her favorite meals, but no matter how much she enjoyed her dinner, Sandra couldn’t stop wondering about the necklace. Where had her grandmother found it? How did it glow? Or was Sandra just imagining its glow and that strange warmth coming from it when she held it? Had she really heard her mom’s thoughts? And if so, what did the necklace have to do with it?
Jasper, her family’s dog, a huge Burmese Mountain dog, started barking loudly, interrupting dinner. That usually meant that someone was at the door. Sure enough, the doorbell rang. None of this surprised Sandra, but what did surprise her was the fact that, along with Jasper’s barking, she heard another voice, like a little boy’s voice, saying, “Someone’s at the door! Someone’s at the door!” over and over. It took a few minutes before she realized that the voice was Jasper! She was actually hearing Jasper’s thoughts! How was this possible?
Sandra suddenly knew that it was the necklace. It had to be! She looked down at the necklace hanging around her neck and that subtle glow was visible again. How was the necklace doing this? She could hear her dog’s thoughts. Could she hear the thoughts of other animals too? While her mom went to answer the door and her dad and brother were busy talking about other things, Sandra covertly unclasped the necklace from around her neck and slipped it into her pocket. She didn’t want to hear anyone else’s thoughts right now because the whole thing was freaking her out. She’d try and figure out more about the necklace and what was happening later, when she’d gone to her room for the night.