RayBradbury52SS52W Week 2 The Golden Roses Ruby

This is a longer version of my flash fiction Golden Roses Ruby

I’m not one for intros but I can make an exception, the name’s Vera. Deep Sea, Crawford, and I come from a long proud line of pirates. My mother was a pirate who took over this ship. Overthrew dear father and tossed him to the fishes after he’s caught cheating. No, no, not that kind of cheating. He’s just broken our family code one too many times, which is a particularly not one you want to. But I won’t bore you with such details. All that matters is the predicament we are currently in and what we seek. My crew and I hear yer able to see future things in that old ball of yours. Why don’t you tell ole Vera what you see in mine? I spoke.

My crewmates call it all a coincidence and that old mystic hogwash. I disagree with’em after all the old ball was accurate about the attack of a sea monster. Yer probably wondering why we’re at sea. Since I am a pirate, I must do all the buccaneer things. Which is what we are currently in. Its back fin and tentacle thrash against the haul of the Golden Rose. As other tentacles try ripping things off old Rose. With the waves, turn into tsunamis hurling towards us.

We use anything and everything at our disposal to break this old leviathan’s grasp. We endure the fight for another hour before being knocked onto the shoreline. I see various shades of green apple-colored trees up ahead, reminding me of fine white wine. We build a bonfire for the night. Until we can check how damaged our ship is before setting sail again.

One of my mates stumbles upon an old dagger, its sheath made of pure copper and gold mixed. The blades are a sharp shiny gold color too. A beautiful spider’s web motif on its cherry wood handle. After a bit of semi-drunken storytelling by fire, we fall asleep. A short time later strange portals phase in and out of view as I dream. All the colors float through.

The stars are bright; they reflect like a mirror. Against, the soft pale pastel backdrop that hurts my violet eyes. It feels real in front of my face. The sheer burgundy headscarf floats against my face as I float around weightless. 

When something grabs a hold of the red sash around my waist. Gaze behind me to see one of my shipmates got the waistband. Ahead of us, two or three bright oval lights form into a circle and a strange portal opens up to somewhere strange. Aqua trees float through the air. As orange sand lays against a lavender backdrop as teal & magenta waves.

When without warning turns pitch black as deafening noises so bizarre startles us all. Everyone turns back and tries to go back through the portal opening. As it is closing on us fast, we squeeze through in time. Land back onto the sand so hard you can feel every bone in my body vibrate. I sit up and bolt to my feet, my eyes bloodshot and tired. I realized we all dreamt it. We spend the next day or so repairing Golden Rose before settin sail again. Seas are calm, as the soft air steers us away from the shore of the mysterious pale sage sands. 

Three or four days at sea we finally arrive home and I pay the old mystic ball another visit. As I approached the inside of a beaded curtain doorway, I flung the dagger I’d found on that island against the wall close to her head.

Old mystic seems a bit—frazzled and rightfully so after everything my crew and I’d been through. Thump, thump, scrap, scratching my boots against the old rickety wood floor. Come up behind her as she’s turned toward the wall. Pull out the dagger, catapult it towards the wall, and hit an old map center.

So, you’re back again to see the old crystal gazer? Mystic said, turning back to the seat. The taunt skin along her boney finger traces the crystal ball as she sits down. As mystics hand motion for me to take a seat before’ em. The old woman stares at the globe entranced so deep I can’t rouse her out of it. The pupils of her amber eyes dilate when she peeks over that blasted ball with a peculiar face. Her facial expression changes as fast as storm clouds. When she utters, we will find great troubles in lands of shiny orchids on the mountain.

I try to call her bluff believing the old woman’s lying. The mystic sees through it. Warning me once more. She watches me place the dagger back into the sheath; I rose to my feet. We return to the Golden Rose and the rest of the day’s uneventful as we prepare for another expedition.

I made an offer to take her with us on this journey to the troubled lands of orchids. Of course, even after her warning she declines and tells us we’re on our own. She wouldn’t shed a tear for whatever may happen to us. Washin’ hands of anything spoken. Taking a slight bow on my way back to the ship where we disembark heading back into the unknown.

Once away from the mainland, out into the shades of turquoise seas, a peculiar light opens the skies above. Our derelict ship’s thrown and twisted about a ruthless surge of waves. Blue lightning marbles from beneath the dark seas. Something’s pulling us through a strange cloud that now surrounds the Golden Rose. My crewmates and I are unafraid of what’s coming, we’ve been in worse conditions. We are looking for the rarest of all the rubies in this world. They are also the largest in the world to date and perhaps the darkest one worldwide. I have sought it for as long as I can remember. Can the land of shiny orchids be the Ruby we’re seekin?

We’re all wondering where Golden Rose’s steering us to now and by what unknown force. We cannot see it and cannot hear it. Eerie silence except for the occasional creaking of the ole rose and breaking waves. After a few minutes, she comes to a full stop and the strange fog clears the surrounding air. Feeling a sense of uneasiness, we stand ready with our swords in hand, in a circle as if we are awaiting an enemy ambush. The hearts pounding in our chests as sweat seeps through our clothes. We form a circle on high alert as an unfamiliar place is appearing before us. We lower the ramp stepping out on it. As we peer through what’s left of the heavy fog, the land reminds us of Madagascar.

Everything seems contrary to the beautiful jungle appearance. Strange somewhat deteriorating buildings in a material we’ve not seen before. We remain in our tight circle for what’s feeling like a lifetime, afraid to move, fearing the mystic’s right. Even though we wish to explore our strange new surroundings. After no one appears to come for us we decide with caution to disembark from our Golden Rose. While, most of the crew keeps their weapon at the ready. The flora is unlike what we’ve ever seen before.

Rather brilliant and beautiful colorings of turquoise, yellows, pinks, and oranges. We spot bright foliage scattered throughout this otherworldly forest. Strangely no sign of the land of shiny rubies within view. I use my telescope binoculars to view what awaits ahead of us. So far nothing appears. No people, no animals of any kind. Could she be uninhabited or not?

One mate pulled out her compass in the hopes it’ll steer us on the right path. An odd polygonal shape up ahead of us, coming into view through the chorus of blossoms. The stone surface appeared battered and rough. As we’re approaching it, a very dark, almost magenta light emanates from the top of it toward the skies above. What can make such an oddity? Markings run across the top and sides of what we are feeling is a doorway to the inside.

We study the markings and try to decipher as we feel around the walls of it. Nothing happened after several minutes until our luck. A sudden change, the doors opening all by themselves to our amazement. We waste no time once it is wide enough for entering. Once inside, more strange markings cover the walls. Lit fire sticks going down each passageway. We stumble onto the source of the light after what feels like an eternity. Oddly, it is the one thing I have been searching for. The rarest ruby in all the world, and it is more magnificent than I could ever conceive of.

Quickly I look for booby traps above and beneath us as we shuffle our way to the glorious prize. All the while pensive, what’s it doing here in this place? Could it be possible some force is listening in on us and giving us exactly what we want? Is it a trap, will we ever return home once again? What unseen brought us here, I whisper into the silence. This cannot be right, this isn’t right.

Who is here? I demand you show yourself.

The reddish hair on my body stands as a frigid chill rushes past us as the place’s filled with the same strange clouds. We choke on the salty, acidic air as we collapse one by one. Yet I remain steadfastly upright, straining my way toward the jewel.

 My body betrays me with every step until I’m on my knees crawling toward it. I pull myself up the column that holds the precious stone struggling to reach out to it and can’t touch it at first. 

Until I knock it off the pedestal finally as I try grabbing a hold of it. The gem rolls down the steps across the floor, stopping short of one of my crew members.

We all fall into unconsciousness, waking a short time later upon our ship. As we rose to our feet, I realized the rubies are my possession. The strange entity from before is now gone, leaving us right where we began. How is this possible? When did we arrive back at the Golden Rose?

So many questions race through my thoughts as I peer around us, puzzled by the experience. The hours and days pass by as we regain our bearings after the encounter. I’ve never figured out what or who brought us to that strange island in the middle of nowhere.

Nor have we figured out how we returned. This may remain a mystery, regardless. This will be the most recalled voyages of our lives for our future children’s generations. How I found the rarest jewel in the world and conquered the extraordinary deep sea.

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