Fan Fiction – The Emerald Green Pendant

Before we begin: This is my very first attempt at fan fiction. I have chosen the characters from the show – The Originals.

“Mary, please…”, Hayley pleaded. “You have to let both of us go.”

“I said NO”, Mary replied sternly. She closed the door of the wardrobe with a crisp and held the dress she has pulled out to Hayley. It was black in color. But it wasn’t the mournful sort of black that Hayley had got used to wearing. It was inky. It reminded her of the endless night sky during a new moon – ready for the beginning of a new lunar phase. She took it from Mary and held it against herself and looked in the mirror. The material surprised her. She had expected it to be silky and velvety. But instead it was soft and warm. Florals circled around its waist like a belt.

“Thanksgiving is kind of a big deal with Elijah’s family”, she murmured running her fingers around all over the dress.

“Thanksgiving is an American holiday. Why are the Mikaelsons even celebrating it?”, Mary inquired, shuffling through more drawers.

“Well, their mother always wanted to settle in America. So, they celebrate it now instead, as a way of honoring her memory. It is a big deal to Elijah. He wants me to meet the family. This is the first time I’ll be meeting them.” As Hayley said it, she realized her skin had gone pale. The whiteness of her body stood her in contrast to the dress she was clutching against it in both hands.

Mary came up behind her and gently pulled the dress away from her grip. “And isn’t that pressure enough for you, sweetheart? Without taking Hope along too?”, she asked.

“Elijah specifically asked me to bring Hope. They are all looking forward to meet her too”, Hayley protested weakly.

Mary sighed, “You know how I feel about that…”

Hayley felt herself chilling from within. “What happened was an accident, it – “

“But it still happened”, Mary interjected. “Now, I cannot change the past and I certainly cannot stop you from your future. Which is why, you go. Have a lovely evening. Enjoy the dinner. Once Hope is old enough, she can meet the family later. Just not now. Besides, she’s just a year old. She’s not going to remember what happens today. Now, here…wear this.”

Hayley looked down at the small rectangular box that Mary extended. She didn’t need to open it to know what was inside. Instinctively, she stepped back. “I couldn’t…I can’t…”, she murmured. She could feel the pinpricks of tears threatening to start from the corner of her eyes. “It’s – “

“The pendant that Jackson gave you at your wedding,” Mary finished. For a minute, they both looked at each other and Hayley saw the memory rise crystal clear in her mind. The tired face of the Mary in front of her was replaced by a Mary smiling with glee as she looked at Jackson and Hayley standing at the altar. Hayley had felt so sure about their life that day, when they had shared their first kiss as husband and wife. She had looked over at Mary, covertly swiping at her eyes and giving her son and daughter-in-law a proud and happy smile.

The Mary back in the present swiped quickly at her eyes too and rubbed her hands on her skirt. “It is the pendant that Jackson gave you at your wedding. Which means it is a good luck charm. I know he would have wanted you to wear it today.”

She extended the box to her yet again. Hayley took it with shaking fingers. She had put away everything that had a memory of Jackson attached to it. It was too much to bear. It was too much to look at without collapsing in on herself. She was never good with grief. She had lost her parents when she was very young. She didn’t even remember them well to grieve them properly. But Jackson was someone she had shared almost ten years of her life with. And he had promised her that there would be more years to go. More sunsets and full moons to gaze at. And they were so content together. They were expecting a baby – a girl. And then they were hit – out of nowhere.

Overnight, Hayley’s life changed. She remembered she had heard screams of pure terror all the while when she was pulled away from the car wreck and rolled into the ER and the nurse shook her violently to shut her up, because she was the one screaming, and she was the one who couldn’t breathe and her precarious condition had put the baby at risk.

She had thought she had lost them both that night – Jack and their child. The next day when she opened her eyes, there was this man sitting next to her bed. Tall, somber and wearing a suit. He said his name was Elijah. That it had been one of his company’s trucks that had hit their car last night. And that he could “handle” the damages and wanted to help the family. And that he was sorry for her loss. Her loss…

She couldn’t even bring herself to think about what she had lost. It wasn’t just her husband or her best friend. She had lost a reason, a will, the need to live. And she had no desires at all, until three months later, her daughter, Hope had come into the world.

Strangely through all this, the tall suited guy who called himself Elijah was always there around her. He helped her with the insurance, he helped her move out into a different apartment, he took her to visit the doctor.

He was the one who drove Mary to the hospital the night Hope was born. Mary was stuck in a heavy rain with a broken-down car and it was 3 am in the morning. Elijah had gone to get her and at first, she had refused to get into a vehicle with the person who was indirectly linked to what had happened to her son. But for her granddaughter, she had complied.

Gradually, as Hope grew up over the year, Elijah and Hayley’s relationship became deeper. They never spoke about Jackson. Elijah always spoke about Hope and the future. And Hope liked him too. Her face lit up whenever he visited, and Hayley felt something shift inside her. Elijah could never replace Jack. But he helped dull the pain that Jack’s absence left behind.

Of course, she knew Mary didn’t approve of it. Even though she never tried to stop Hayley and Hope from seeing Elijah, she could feel her annoyance. Her withdrawal whenever Elijah was around. So, when he invited her to Thanksgiving to meet his family, to literally take the next step up in their relationship, she knew that this would be too much to ask for. Especially since Mary was already helping her babysit Hope for the day.

She opened the box. Inside was a pendant, the size of a pebble – the kind of pebbles she and Jack would collect whenever they had beach dates. It was emerald green. She picked it up and held it. The tiny gold chain attached to the pendant glittered as it caught the light of the room. The pendant though, seemed to absorb the light within itself and let out a momentary glow.

Mary helped her fasten the chain around her neck and rest the stone below her collarbone. She looked at the Mary in the mirror, who smiled and said, “It brings out the color of your beautiful eyes.”

Hayley turned around and gave her a hug. “Thank you.”

“Go! Get dressed!”, Mary shooed her away. “Hope will be okay. The Kenner troop is turning up for dinner. She’ll be surrounded with family.”

“And what will you tell them when they ask where I am?”

“I’ll tell them – it’s time we all moved on.”

Too Much Sand

A philosophy professor stood before his class with some items on the table in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks, about 2 inches in diameter.

He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up the remaining open areas of the jar.

He then asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “Yes.”

“Now,” said the professor, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The rocks are the important things – your family, your partner, your health, your children – things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter – like your job, your house, your car. The sand is everything else, the small stuff.”

“If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take your partner out dancing. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party, or fix the disposal.”

“Take care of the rocks first – the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

Have you been spending too much time on sand?

The Lost Village

Curdi is a village in Sanguem that resurfaces once every year. Very less people knew about this deserted spot, but over the last few years it has been attracting a lot of tourists.

Our weekend mission

I had always wanted to explore this place since I find the story behind it quite alluring as well as disturbing.

Long ago, Curdi was a highly fertile land. It had a population of over 3000 people who lived off it by agriculture and fishing.

In the 1960s, the Government of Goa took the decision to build the Selaulim Dam to supply water to South Goa. The price of this decision, however, was paid by the Curdikars. Thier houses and lands would be submerged by the ambitious project. The villagers made this sacrifice for the greater good of thier fellow Goans and they were relocated to Valkini were till date they face water supply issues.

Today, if you visit this village, you will see echos of the past. Lots of houses and structures have crumpled away leaving behind only thier porches and front doors.

In some places, the houses no longer stand but the Cross and the Tulsi still stand tall.

It is kind of eerie for me when I look around at the landscape and try to imagine what this village must have been like in it’s prime.

The old police station

An abandoned well

The villagers still celebrate thier roots here. Every year when the water recedes, they return for the Someshwar temple Utsav and the Feast at the Chapel, which lies above the water line at a hillock.

Someshwar Temple

A few kilometers away from the Someshwar temple was the Mahadev temple constructed during the Kadamba period. During the evacuation, the temple was systematically dismantled, over a period of 11 years, stone by stone, and relocated 17 kms away.

Dark clouds gathering

Barren soil

There is a calmness to this place that is hard to explain. It is not exactly at peace but it has sort of resigned to it’s fate.