E. Paige Burks
Jewels for Gemma - Part One
This week I wanted to give you guys part one of a short, science fantasy called "Jewels for Gemma".
The night was dark as Gemma walked down the sidewalk. She had become used to the slow pace of normal life since her son had been born. She sighed as she thought back to her days as a member of Earth's elite task force, GLOW. Those had been some of the most exciting times of her life. She'd seen so many different planets and eventually met the love of her life, her husband, Jared.
Gemma sighed shortly, pushing the thoughts away. She wouldn't trade the life they had now for a million GLOW missions. She turned her eyes to the cell phone in her hands, checking the time. She should be home just in time to meet Jared's parents, who were bringing their son home from a weekend away with them.
As the apartments where she and Jared lived came into view, a bad feeling suddenly washed over her. Confused and on edge, she whipped her head to glance quickly over her shoulder. In doing so, she misstepped, twisting her ankle and crashing to the ground.
She felt vulnerable as she sat there, but she knew from experience to trust her feelings. She glanced around the brightly lit street, the one she'd walked a thousand times before. There was no one. Gemma scowled, feeling silly as she sat in the grass.
There was no one else around; no one after her, and, more importantly, no one to have seen her fall. Embarrassment flooded her as she gathered the contents of her purse from the sidewalk. She was reaching for her GLOW honorary retiree badge, which had fallen into a crack in the sidewalk, when a faint, blue glittering caught her eye.
She drew a confused breath as she shoved her badge into her purse and reached slowly for the glow. Shock filled her as she plucked a large blue gem stone from a patch of weeds.
"What?" she breathed, staring at it.
It had to have been the most beautiful stone she had ever seen. It fit easily into the palm of her hand, emitting a soft blue light. It was a perfect princess cut. More confusion swamped Gemma as she moved to her feet, glancing around.
Who would own something so large and valuable, and why would they have thrown it in the grass like this? It was impossible to lose the thing. It was huge.
Gemma shook the thought away, tucking the stone in her bag. She would deal with it later. She needed to get home.
It didn't take long for her to reach the complex, and she waved her ID, which opened the entry gate. When she caught sight of three figures coming toward her, a smile lit up her face.
Gemma couldn't help the elated feeling that filled her chest as a curly-haired boy ran to her and threw his arms around her hips. "Hi Benny," she said, wrapping him in a warm hug. "How was it at Granma and Grampa's house?"
"It was so cool!" Benjamin yelled.
Gemma listened to him tell her excitedly about the farm Jared's parents lived on. She unlocked the door and followed them into the house, nodding in all the right places.
But, in the back of her mind, that blue stone felt unusually heavy in her bag.