She loved the silken sheen and subtle color of the large freshwater pearls. She hesitated about the golden medallion, just for a moment. Then she thought it might depict Hanuman, the Hindu ape god. Hadn't she read that the First Lady had learned about Hanuman while visiting India with the President?
Or perhaps it was the monkey king Sun Wukong, the most popular figure in Chinese literature, about whom operas were performed, a movie had been made. And wasn't there a game now available to be played on a Wii? She chuckled to herself.
She could check which one it was, because it had to be one or the other, then she could dazzle all her friends with her knowledge, as well as with her beautiful pearls.
So she bought it, took it home, laid it out on the flower-strewn dark blue cover on her bedside chair, and admired it. It would certainly be a conversation piece, whichever of the two characters it turned out to be.
Congratulating herself on overcoming the first feeling of hesitation, she smiled, and drifted happily off to sleep under her soft, warm duvet.
As she slept she realized, somehow, that the medallion depicted neither the Hindu god whose strength and caring made him beloved in India, nor Sun Wukong, still so popular in China that a children's book had been written about him so that little ones, too young to stay up to watch him in the Peking Opera, could read about him at home.
With the realization came the dreams, so horrifying she screamed in her sleep, then awakened, crying, and breathing in great gulps and gasps. The medallion would have to go, she realized, and the pearls would have to be re-strung.
The very next day she cut the medallion off, and threw it into a dumpster on her way to the jewelry store to have the pearls re-strung.
Her mind once more at ease, she slept well that night, and the next. Relieved to have solved the problem so readily, she picked up the pearls on her way home the third day, and tucked them into her jewelry case before she went to bed. She thought about them as she snuggled down, then decided to put them on the bedside chair again, where the dark blue fabric contrasted so beautifully with their deep, pinky grey lustre. Then she cuddled under the duvet again.
That night, as she slept, the nightmares returned. The medallion hadn't been the problem after all.
Posted for Magpie Tales.
To see what others had to say about the picture provided, click