The Fifth Ruby

I don’t understand. I followed the instructions to the letter. I’m in the penthouse where the Three Fates.. Lena, Isabelle and Stephanie, live. Day before yesterday, i received a letter from Lena herself. The three sisters have been gone for about two months as far as anyone knows, but it could be longer because Chronos is also missing.  Fate and Time are wrong!  Two days ago, on Friday, i went to my mailbox at 6 pm like always, pulled out two bills i was expecting.. and the loveliest little yellow box. No card on the outside. I thought maybe it was from my ex boyfriend, Blake. We broke up three months ago. Well, actually, i dumped him. The jerk cheated. But, he’s called a few times and tried to talk me into giving him another chance. He doesn’t have a prayer. I thought this package was bribery of some sort.. then i opened it. Inside was a little note.. and a key. The kind of key Blake could never afford. It’s a fourteen carat unset ruby.. emerald cut. It’s gorgeous. The note from Lena said the ruby is a key to their penthouse, and it’s true, because i’m standing in their enormous living room. Lena said to come up here at 1 pm sharp on Sunday, which i did. It’s now 1:10, and i’m not sure what to do next. The item she wanted me to find isn’t where she said it would be!  It’s a lapis ring she said was hidden in a mug in a certain kitchen cupboard. It’s not there.

How do i get in touch with Lena to tell her?  I’m holding the ruby key in my left palm. It begins to glow and feel warm.  I hear a knocking sound behind one of the sets of bookshelves. It’s the set to the left of the fireplace. On the otherside of that wall is Lena’s bedroom. I know that because there was a tiny drawing on the note that shows the west half of the penthouse. Not sure why the drawing was included.  So three taps,  a pause.. then two taps. A full minute pause, then three, then two again. I walk closer to the shelves to check. I look up, and a book has started to blink on and off.  The ruby in my hand begins to blink and feel warmer. I reach for the book. It’s an old edition of A Study in Scarlet, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It’s on the second shelf from the top, and i have to stand on tip-toes to reach it. I touch it, and jump back fast because the set of shelves opens from the right. It doesn’t creak. Instead i hear Girls Just Want to Have Fun, by Cyndi Lauper. I laugh out loud. Maybe Fate is playing a trick?  I look into the open space and see a set of stairs. I count twenty four. Then i hear a voice. It’s a man’s voice. He says, hello, Lorraine!  Scorpius here! Come on up!

*****

M. Raynes

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