In search of Inspiration·Inkling Inspirations

The keys in the bookcase – Chapter 4

Where they read an intriguing poem

4. The story of the two sisters

Sara pulled the journal from Alex’s hands. 

“Which poem did you mean?” she asked, flipping through the journal. “Oh, this one I guess,” she said as she turned to a page decorated with small flowers all around the edges. “Petunias and clovers,” she sighed.

It was a long poem. Written in elaborate verse, adorned with colorful descriptions, it told of a tragic love story that took place long ago. For a moment Sara was lost in time, completely entranced by the poem. 

“Well, what does it say,” Ben asked. Sara looked up at him. She could tell by the look on his face that he was strangely annoyed by her long silence.

“Oh, I’m sorry, I was still reading. It’s a long poem you know,” she said.

“Let’s all sit down for a minute,” Alex proposed. “Let Sara read and then she can explain it to us.” 

“Okay,” Ben still looked a bit irritated. “Better continue quickly then.” 

Sara shook her head. She didn’t want to get caught up in an argument now. 

“Can I read it too?” Connor asked as he pulled up a chair right next to Sara. She nodded and pushed the journal a little closer to him. 

A good fifteen minutes later Sara leaned back and looked at Connor. He was as taken by the story as she was, that was obvious from the look in his eyes.

Connor broke the silence first. “Well, she sure knew how to take revenge, that one.” 

Sara nodded. “She sure did.”

“Oh, come on,” Ben said. “Spill it, what’s in that poem?” 

“Yes, please let us in on what’s going on there,” Alex said. “And does it say what the amulet means?” 

“It’s a lucky charm. Or an unlucky one. It depends.” Sara shrugged. “If the amulet we found is the same as the charm in this poem of course.”

Connor took a deep breath. “There is this girl, Bree, she’s madly in love with some man called Theodore,” he said. 

“Yeah, and then there is also Emmy, her sister. She’s in love too, but he isn’t into her,” Sara added. 

“Can’t end well then,” Alex said dryly. 

“Nope,” Connor agreed. “And this guy is really sort of stupid, so there you go.”

Sara punched him in the arm. “It’s the other sister’s fault, not his,” she said sharply.

Connor rubbed his arm, gave her a weird look. “If you say so.” He wasn’t in the mood for arguing either it seemed.

“Now I still know nothing,” Ben said.

Sara and Connor started taking turns in telling the story of the poem. How young Bree was so in love with Theodore, both of them unknowing of the fact that Emmy had fallen for him too. One day Bree had asked her sister to bring Theodore a beautiful small painting she made. 

“She was so shy, you see,” said Sara fervently, “She was not sure what he’d think of it, she didn’t dare to give it to him herself.”

Connor continued to tell how Emmy, who had grown more and more jealous of her sister’s infatuation, went to alter the painting Bree had made.

“She painted petunias all over and around the clovers that Bree painted so delicately,” he explained. 

Theodore loved the painting, and asked Emmy to tell Bree how much he appreciated the gesture. When Emmy saw the warm light in his eyes as he spoke of her sister, something snapped inside of her. She couldn’t stand the idea of him being with Bree for the rest of her life, leaving her behind alone and heartbroken. 

“Emmy must have had a heart of stone, you know,” Sara said, “because she then pointed out to Theodore that there were petunias in the painting. Telling him that it was a sign of resentment and anger, not of love.” 

Alex let out a sharp sigh. “Really?” 

Connor nodded and continued on. The hidden message turned Theodore’s love into despair. Emmy fueled his sadness, all the while making sure she was supportive and comforting, so eventually he fled in her arms, thinking she was the kinder of the two sisters. 

“That won’t have sat well with that Emmy sister, right?” Ben said. 

“I didn’t,” Sara agreed. “But she didn’t understand, because Theodore wouldn’t listen to her. Only years later, when she found that painting, hidden in a closet, she suddenly understood. And she knew immediately who had been behind it all.”

Connor took his turn continuing to tell how Bree, who had stayed alone for all those years, unable to give her heart to anyone else, devised a plan to take revenge on her sister Emmy. She seeked out a strange witchy woman, known for her gift to create magical amulets. The woman listened to her story, then created a wooden amulet, enchanting it with the help of herbs and strange potions. Upon her leaving the witch turned to Bree once more. 

“She warns her,” Sara pointed out the lines in the journal with her finger. She then read them out loud to the others.

“Beware my dear,” the green witch said

“For she who has a heart of gold

Enchanted now she’ll not grow old

But she who’s heart is filled with black

Her pretty face will age and crack”

Sara looked at Ben, who stared at her. “Bree just smiled at the witch and nodded, you know. She had told the witch she needed an amulet to grant eternal beauty to her sister, claiming to love her so much she’d want her to have this magical gift.” 

“Oh, now we’re getting to the good part.” Ben had an evil smile on his face. Sara nodded.

“You can guess what happens next, right?” Connor raised one eyebrow.

This is a chapter in a story that originated with a post on Tumblr. I wrote a post about how this story began and how it developed into a ongoing adventure, where Writerdragon4 and myself take turns in writing the story. If you want to stay updated on more stories, subscribe to my blog.

Here is the next chapter: 5

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