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On the dark streets of Portland, Oregon, a homeless man sat in front of a large towering mansion. In the building, a happy family was celebrating Christmas, as almost everyone was doing on Christmas Eve. The man turned his head from side to side looking to see if there were any witnesses, before reaching into his pockets and pulling out a deep red colored rock. The insides of the rock swirled like a tornado and it pulsed with such intensity that if any regular mortal touched it, they would be dead instantly. The man rang the doorbell and laid the rock on the doormat for the next person to keep. To keep the tears, sorrow, and loneliness that came with the rock. But also the victory, money, and power if used to its full extent. As soon as the rock settled onto the mat, the homeless man disappeared, and the door opened.




“Amber, go get the door!” my mom yelled. Who could possibly be outside our door right now, I wondered. All of the guests that we invited to come to our party tonight had already arrived and most delivery services were closed today. I walked step by step in my white dress and white heels. My mom had picked this outfit for me because she said that it brought out my flaming red hair and bright blue eyes. I peeked out the window for a look and saw no one there. Huh, that’s weird, I thought to myself. Someone must have just dropped something else. I opened the wooden mahogany door and immediately realized that something was off. The only thing that was there was a strange little red rock that captured my attention. It looked like a swirling Christmas light that flashed on and off. I looked at it and it just stared right back at me until it started to levitate off the ground. I tripped backward and fell down against the wooden floor of the hallway.

The rock came closer and closer until it settled against my neck. Almost immediately it felt like a brand was being burned onto my skin. I started to scream out in pain. The guests and my family came running over only to stop right in their tracks. “Please help me!” I yelled as I cried and clutched my throat. They looked straight at me and ran the other way. Everything dissolved into anarchy as the guests tried to find an exit because I blocked the front door. The pain went away considerably as the guests screamed louder and louder almost as if their fear was helping take the pain away. I stood up and started to walk towards my mom. She cowered away into the corner of the house and whispered, “What did you do to my Amber, what did you do?” over and over her voice ascending louder and louder every time. “I am Amber, mom” I calmly told her, hoping to lower her hysteria.

“No you’re not,” She yelled back, “You’re a monster!”. I stumbled backward. What had happened? Why was everyone so scared of me? I slowly walked to the mirror next to my doorway and froze when I saw my reflection. My softly curled hair had frizzed up. My bright blue eyes shone with insanity and red lipstick had smudged around the outside. I was still wearing the same dress as before but now it was ripped and smudged with dirt. And my face… my face was covered with bright red scars and the skin was cracked. I opened my mouth in shock to discover that my teeth had changed into spikes as sharp as daggers. I noticed then that a red light was flashing from my throat. Maybe if I can get the stone out, everything will be back to normal I thought to myself.

I touched my neck and felt the stone. Suddenly, lightning flickered outside and rain started pouring. I adjusted my hand over to the left a little and almost immediately the weather changed to become warm and welcoming, embracing me with open arms. This is like something out of a fairy tale I thought to myself. I put both my hands around the stone and thought to myself, I wish everything was back to normal.  The stone grew hot into my hands but nothing happened. I tried again with something else. I wish I had a chocolate bar in front of me right now. The stone grew hot again and in front of me appeared a chocolate bar. I looked at it in awe for a few minutes. With this rock, I could have everything I could possibly want… except… what I really needed; my family.

I pondered over this for a few minutes before I got up and walked over to the kitchen to pick up a small knife, just big enough to get the stone out. I breathed in and then out. Everything would be fine after this. It would just be a little pain, and there was no way that it could be worse than it was when the stone had been pushed into my skin anyway. The sharp cold tip of the knife dug into my skin and it hit the rock. Almost immediately, the burning sensation hit me again like a wave. I gritted my teeth and tried to keep on going through the pain. Lightning crackled outside and the lights flickered on and off. A small voice whispered inside my head, Amber, think of what you could do with all of this power. All of your dreams could come true but then shook the thought out of my head. I wanted nothing to do with this rock. All I wanted was my family and friends back. I wanted my old life back. I dug in deeper until the rock was flicked away from my skin. The knife was covered in blood and I felt dizzy, but I looked in the mirror again and saw myself; my true self. A smile spread across my face before everything went dark.


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