“Elena, I know we don’t usually start celebrating your birthday until dinner, but there’s a special gift I wanted to give you now.”
She pulled out a small box from her pocket and handed it to Elena. Elena took it and began opening it, smiling at her godmother.
She gasped when she saw what was inside: hanging from a dazzling silver chain was a pendant shaped like an upside-down tiara, with a tear-drop amethyst set in the middle of the pendant. It was the most beautiful necklace she’d ever seen – one she’d always loved – exactly like the one that her mother, grandmother and godmother wore.
“Wow! You mean I get my own? Really?!”
Isabel smiled at her.
“Yes, really. But there’s much more that comes with it. There’s a story behind the necklace that I want to share with you. The same story I shared with your mother on her Sweet 16 when I gave her her necklace. But one person is missing…”
As she said it, there was a knock on the door. Peter, Elena’s father, stood up.
“Right on time, as expected.”
Peter answered the door, and greeted his mother and father-in-law. They smiled at Isabel, and she gave Elena’s grandmother, Katrina, a big hug.
“It’s been too long,” she said. “But you’re right on time. We were just getting started.”
Katrina hugged her daughter and granddaughter hello, and then sat next to them, admiring and smiling at Elena’s necklace.
Isabel continued her conversation with Elena.
“This is the same story I shared with both your mother and grandmother when they turned 16.”
She let that sink in. As Elena realized what she had just said, she looked at Isabel, then her grandmother, confusingly.
“Wait a minute. How could you have told Grandma the story when she turned 16? You weren’t even born yet! What are you talking about?”
“I was the same age then as I am now, and have been for a very long time. Elena,” she touched her arm gently, “I’ve been on this world for over two centuries, as my mother was before me.”
Elena continued to look at her shocked. Isabel continued.
“What was your favorite story as a child?”
“You know that. ‘King Arthur.’ You gave me the book. What does that have to do with anything?”
“What if I told you that the stories are real? Arthur, Guinevere, Merlin, the Lady of the Lake, all of it.”
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