I stumbled down the alleyway as fast as my tired, blister filled feet would let me. The only protection I had was the pair of boots I was wearing. But even those weren’t much help, all the running I had done had left them worn down and pretty much useless. My close were not much help either. My charcoal black dress was ripped at the bottom.
As I ran, memories from the funeral flipped through my mind. Her cold dead body in the glass coffin, the tears that were shed. The grief that everyone felt. The tension in the funeral home. I remembered hearing the words “it’s going to be okay,” more times then I could count. But they didn’t understand, no one did. They hadn’t been there when she died. No one would ever understand the grief, and confusion that I felt the night she died.
No matter how hard I tried to forget, her last words still burned in the back of my mind. My thoughts began to surface. I tried my best to push them back. I didn’t want to think about it, not now not ever. “Jenny,” she had said “listen to me, no matter what happens when I am gone. You can’t let them take it.”
“Let who take what?” I said.
She gestured for me to lean closer, what she then whispered I knew I would never forget.
“Protect it for me Jen!” she said. With that she was gone, and in her open palm was her gold bracelet
I shivered at the memory, looking down I saw the bracelet still shimmering on my wrist. I hadn’t told anyone about what had happened the night that Cleo died. Even if I did I knew no one would understand. It wasn’t till the day of the funeral that I truly understood why that bracelet was so important, and more importantly why I needed to protect it.
Cleo’s funeral had been held outside, in honor of her love for the outdoors. The sun seemed to make the coffin glow with light. I gave my speech, and the others spoke, tears were shed. Then at last it was time to say our last goodbyes, we went up to the coffin to say our final words to her. Unfortunately I never got the chance to say goodbye. I closed my eyes and tried to remember. It had all happened so fast, it was hard to keep track of all the details.
As I came near the end of the alley I slowed to a stop. I looked around for a place I could sit down and gather my thoughts. Finally I spotted an a pile of newspapers behind a trash bin off to the side of the alley. I walked over and sat down, my head hurt from all the stress. I took a deep breath and started to go over my thoughts.
I knew that at the funeral I had seen a young man, he looked about 25 walk up to the coffin and look inside. When he looked away his expression was confused and angry. When he turned around and looked at me the anger in his face grew. That was when he came at me, that was then I started to run.
I had been running since then. Barely escaping his grasp more than a few times. Finally I had been able to escape him. I wasn’t really sure where I was going, but I knew that as long as I was away from him I was safe.
My thoughts were interrupted by the sound of footsteps rushing toward me. I held my breath, waiting. I had managed to escape before, I only hoped I could do it again.
As the footsteps grew closer I stood up and got ready to run. At what I thought was right moment I ran out from behind the trashcan and back toward the sound. My only hope was to sneak past the man getting closer with every second that passed. As soon as I was sure I was free, I felt his strong hands pull me back. I didn’t fight back, I knew it would be no use.
“Give me the bracelet!” he said. I sighed and gave him the silver bracelet that hung on my left wrist. “Don’t try to trick me,” he said. His voice grew louder with every word he spoke.
“I’m not!” I lied, “I promise.”
“I have been after this bracelet for as long as I can remember. I am too close to give up now.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I lied again, trying my best to sound sincere. “This is the only bracelet I have.”
“Then I am afraid you leave me no choice, you’re coming with me.” With that he guided me back down the alleyway. I went willingly not wanting any trouble. Even though it didn’t seem like it. I had a feeling that things would get better.
The next thing I knew I was in front of a golden gateway. I tried my best not to be impressed but I couldn’t help myself. The fanciest thing I had ever seen, was my Grandmother’s old jewelry box. Little did I know the golden gateway was only the beginning.
As we walked further into the mansion we passed more and more valuable things. As soon he caught me staring at all the beautiful things we were passing. Without a word his grip grew tighter around my arm.
“Here we are,” he said. We were standing in front of a tall wood door. Although it’s surface was smooth it felt old and worn down. Without another word he opened the door and shoved me inside, locking the door behind him. I opened my mouth to protest but nothing came out. I turned around cautiously afraid to turn my back to the door. Sitting in the corner was a small bed. Nothing special just a mattress in a wood bed frame with a single quilt draped over it.
I looked around at the rest of the room. The walls were painted a simple beige color. The dust covering every inch of the floor was the most exciting part of the room. I was so distracted that I didn’t hear the door open behind me. “How did I get into this mess?” I asked out loud. I wasn’t respecting a response, but to my surprise one came.
“You get used to it,” a voice said behind me. I whipped around to see a girl, she looked about my age maybe a little older. She wore a pair of jeans and a black tee-shirt. Her blond hair was pulled back in a ponytail, half covered by a blue bandana.
“Who are you?” I asked.
“I’m Andrea,” she said calmly, reaching out to shake my hand “And you are?”
“Jenny,” I said. Shaking her hand.
“So how did you get here?”
“It’s a long complicated story,” I said. Not sure if I should trust this girl.
“You can trust me,” she said, as if reading my thoughts. “When you’ve been here as long as I have you learn to keep a secret.” It would be nice to tell someone else, I thought. But I had just met this girl. Could I really trust her with something so important.
“Fine I i’ll tell you, but you have to promise not to tell anyone about this.”
“We might want to sit down for this,” I said. Gesturing toward the bed. We walked over and sat down. I took a deep breath and then started. I told her about the bracelet and the funeral. I told her about the man who had brought me there. It took me 20 minutes to finish. But once I did, I felt a weight lift off my shoulder. “Wow,” I said “thanks for letting me dump all that on you.”
“No problem,” she said “What’s the point of having a secret if you can’t share it with someone”
I laughed “I guess you’re right,” I said. “Even though I have no idea where I am, at least I have a new friend.” She smiled, but her smile soon faded. So did mine as we heard the door creak open. A man wearing a uniform and a serious expression on his face, stood in the doorway.
“The master will see you now,” he said.
Andrea got up without a word, and headed toward the door. As she left she dropped a small piece of wood she had been hiding behind her back. Leaving the door a crack open. I held my breath, I was sure he was going to notice. I sighed with relief as the two of them left the wood unnoticed by the guard.
This was my chance. The second I could no longer hear their footsteps. I rushed over to the door gently removing the piece of wood. After taking one last look into the quiet hallway, to make sure that the coast was clear. I slipped out the door, making my exit as quiet as possible. As I left I gently put the wood back into its place.
The second I was out I began to run the way I thought I had come. I was almost to the front entrance, when I heard voices. The closer they came the more panicked I got. At the last minute I spotted what looked like a closet. I hurried inside just in time. I heard the guards clearly now as they slowly passed my hiding place. My heart beats began to slow as I heard their voices continued down the hallway.
But my relief had come too soon. My heart nearly stopped as I heard deep booming voice say my name. I didn’t have to turn around to know that this wasn’t a closet, and whatever it was I was not alone.
“Jennifer is her name?”
“Are you sure, you have the right girl?”
“Yes, she had the bracelet on her wrist.”
“And you took it?”
I looked down, sure enough the bracelet was gone. The sound of two new sets of footsteps entering the room caused me to look up. Slowly I turned around, bracing myself for whatever I was about to see. From where I was, I could see Andrea and what appeared to be the same guard that had taken her from the room.
I knew I had to get that bracelet back, and I couldn’t leave until I did. What I didn’t know was how I was going to get it. I snuck out the room before anyone noticed, I had to get back to the room. Just then an idea came into my head, and if I was lucky it just might work. I snuck back down the hall, when I got to the room I bent down to remove the piece of wood, it was stuck! Just then I heard footsteps coming quickly. I was able to get the piece of wood just as I heard the footsteps begin to round the corner. I almost had to throw myself inside to avoid being seen.
I rushed to the bed sitting down just as the door opened, Andrea walked in the door closed and locked behind her. “What are you still doing here?” she asked.
“They have the bracelet,” I said as I stood up.
“I know, wait how did you know.”
“I heard him say so,” I said trembling a little remembering the sound of the Master’s voice.
“I thought you would have gotten out by then, what were you doing in the Meeting room?”
“I thought it was a closet and I needed to hide,” I confessed. But that is not the point. The point is that they have the bracelet and I have to get it back. I have a plan, but I need your help.”
“Okay, I’ll help, what is the plan?” I told her, when I finished. She nodded, “Let’s do it,”
“Andrea,” I said “We both know why I am here, but what are you doing here?”
She looked at me, I could see the excitement in her eyes quickly drain to sadness. “I’m sorry, you don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to.”
“No, it’s okay, It’s just hard to think about that’s all. A few months ago my father was kidnapped, when I found out he was here, I came to rescue him. As you can see I got caught and have been here ever since.”
“Andrea, I am so sorry. That must be really hard for you.”
“It is, but there is nothing I can do about it. So I try not to think about it.” she said looking down.
“I’m sorry I brought it up.”
“No it’s okay. Ever since I was little, I always counted on my Dad. Ever since Mom left he’s been all I had left. But I’ll be okay, I mean now I have you don’t I?”
“Yeah, you do.” I said smiling. “So what do you say? How about we go get that bracelet. And see what happens?”
“Let's do it!” With that we snuck out the door and down the hallway. After a few more minutes we came to a black door.
“Are you sure you want to do this.” I asked, I knew it was my idea but I was a little nervous. What if this didn’t work.
“Jen, don’t worry about it. I got this, besides if I can’t be free i’m glad you can.”
“Thanks Andrea,” I said as soon as she did she pulled the door wide open. An alarm instantly went off red lights were flashing everywhere I looked. Before anyone could catch me I snuck back around to the same door I had thought led to a closet. Before going deeper into the room, I stood still for a moment. Just to make sure no one was there. No one was, everyone was running to the chamber of treasures to stop whoever was robbing it. I smiled to myself, the plan was going perfectly.
Before I could hesitate I ran to the throne. I felt around on the bottom searching for the button. Finally I found it, a secret drawer came into view. Inside was a bracelet, I grabbed it and ran. I thought I heard footsteps behind me but I didn’t look back to check.
Before I knew it I was outside, I looked around frantically. Had Andrea been able to get out. It was hard to see the dark, but it didn’t take long for me to spot Andrea running towards me. “Let’s get out of here!” she said running past me.
I ran after her, we kept running until we reached Andrea’s apartment. “Hey,” I said once we got inside. “Is it okay if I stay the night? I have no idea where I am and I am so tired.”
“Yeah sure.” I smiled, then laughed out loud. “What is it?”
“When my sister gave me the bracelet she told me that there was a man known as the Master. No one knows his real name. Anyway, apparently his family has been after this bracelet for as long as anyone could remember. The bracelet has been passed down in my family for generations. Everyone who wore it protected it from what they might use it for.”
“What would they want to use it for?”
“Apparently, this bracelet was a gift from a Pharaoh, given to my great, great, great, great grandfather for the work he did in Egypt. It is believed to be good luck. Plus it is extremely valuable.”
“I didn’t know you had family from Egypt.”
“Well, until a couple of days ago, I didn’t either,” I said. “I don’t know about you but I am exhausted, I am going to bed.”
“Okay, you can sleep in the guest room down the hall.”
The next morning I woke up early I got a piece of paper and a pencil. I wrote Andrea a note saying that I had forgot something at the mansion and needed to go and get it. I told her not to worry and that I’d be back in about an hour. Then I snuck out.
About two hours later, I came back in. By now Andrea was up. “What took you so long, I was worried sick.”
“Like I said, I had to get something, someone actually. Come on in,” I said. Andrea’s burst into tears when she saw the man standing in the doorway.
“Dad? Is that really you”
“It’s me,” he said. Beaming from ear to ear.
Without another word Andrea ran into her Father’s arms. After a long hug, they both turned to me. “Thank you,” he said “I know I could never return the favor you did for me and my daughter, but maybe I could at least drive you home.”
“That would be great.” With that the three of us walked out the door. I looked down at the bracelet still shimmering on my wrist. It’s weird to think that all this commotion was caused because of a simple gold Bracelet.