Thursday, 20 June 2013

'Garnet' by Suz Winspear

It was a bargain on e-bay, a real garnet ring. There were no other bids, and she got it for £4.99, plus postage. She wore it every day, and almost everyone admired it.

Some people, however, told her that garnets were notoriously unlucky stones. She said this was nonsense, but sometimes she did wonder why hers had been the only bid. Still, she kept on wearing it. It was, after all, a beautiful ring; the stone was big and red and had lustrous sparkles within its structure. Yes, a few things had happened, but that was coincidence, nothing more. Her mother had died – but that was old age. Her aunt had died – ditto. Her cat disappeared – cats do that. The outbreak of e-coli following her sister’s wedding anniversary party was more of a shock. She was in hospital for a week, and three close friends died. But that was down to the caterers’ hygiene, nothing to do with the ring at all. How could it be? And the same was true of both car-crashes, the sinking ferry, the collapsing walkway, the flood, and the train derailment. She survived them all, and believed herself to be unusually lucky.

And then one windy November day, she was walking down the street when an advertising board blew off wall and struck her. As the emergency services retrieved the body, maybe someone noticed that the advertisement was for a jeweller, and the part of it that had crushed her skull carried an enormous photograph of a garnet ring just like the one she was wearing. But if they did, nobody mentioned it.

Two days after the probate had been settled, a new listing appeared on e-bay – a magnificent garnet ring, with an opening price of £4.99. What a bargain!

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