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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Hide and Seek (08/07/08)

TITLE: A Pearl, A Ruby, and a Real Treasure
By Kristen Hester


Ruby Wakefield hobbled up the cracked sidewalk to her sister’s front porch. She banged on the door with her cane. “I know you’re in there. Open up!”

Inside, Pearl Wakefield glanced around her house, then shuffled to the door. She pretended to be surprised by the visit, but she’d been expecting her sister. “Hello, Ruby. What a treat,” she said with exaggerated kindness.

Ruby pushed her sister aside and walked past her into the small living room.

“You look upset, Ruby. What’s eating you?” Pearl asked.

“Very funny,” Ruby said sarcastically. Her eyes moved rapidly around the room. “Where is it?”

“Where is what?” Pearl asked, feigning innocence.

“Don’t play dumb with me,” Ruby grumbled. “I know you took it yesterday when you visited. Now hand it over.”

Pearl’s smiled faded. “Alright,” she admitted. “I took it, but what makes you think it’s yours? Mother would have wanted us to share it.”

“I’m the oldest. It was meant to be mine.”

Pearl folded her arms across her chest. “Well, you should have shared it.” Suddenly, her face lit up with an idea. “I tell you what. If you can find it, it’s yours.” She smiled smugly, confident it was hidden where Ruby would never find it.

Ruby narrowed her eyes at her sister. She stared at her for a moment, trying to gather any clues her expression might reveal. “Well, okay,” she said as she started slowly around the room, her eyes scanning the shelves.

Pearl picked up a Mature Living and sat down on her sofa. She pretended to read as she watched her sister over the top of the pages.

“Your magazine is upside down,” Ruby said as she poked her cane under the worn leather recliner.

Embarrassed, Pearl quickly turned the magazine right side up. For the next hour Ruby made her way from room to room in the small house while Pearl observed her from the sofa. She didn’t think Ruby would be able to find it, but her sister’s determination made her nervous. Pearl had no intention of returning the family treasure. She was angry that her sister had kept it for years without her knowledge. She felt justified in hiding it from Ruby.

Suddenly, the oven timer beeped. Both sisters stopped and looked at each other with wide eyes. Then simultaneously they hurried as fast as their aged bodies would carry them to the kitchen.

“I can’t believe you made it," Ruby panted. "That wasn’t smart, Sister. Now I’ll find it for sure.”

Pearl tried to hide her fear as she removed the dessert from the oven. She placed it on the stove and was momentarily distracted by the sweet aroma. When her sister reached for her cannister of sugar, Pearl yelled in alarm, “Nooooooooo!”

Ruby smiled as she stuck her hand in the sugar cannister, expecting to retrieve what she’d been seeking. Nothing. She dug deeper. Still nothing. Finally she walked to the sink and emptied out the contents, but found only white sugar.

Pearl peered into the sink, confused.

Ruby turned to her sister. “Where is it? I’m tired of this charade.”

“I don’t know. That’s where I hid it, I promise.”

The sisters sat down at the kitchen table, exhausted and defeated.

“I’m sorry I never shared it,” Ruby said after a pause. “The memories of me and Mother cooking it together were special. I didn’t want anyone else to make it. That was selfish, I know.”

Pearl was silent while she pondered her sister’s words. “I guess I understand. But you could have made it for me. You know it was my favorite, too.”

“I know. And now, because of my actions, we’ve both lost something special.”

Pearl reached across the table and grasped Ruby’s hands. “Would you like a piece....as a peace offering?” She chuckled at her joke. “We’ll search for the recipe together after we eat.”

“I’d like that very much.” Ruby answered.

Pearl cut each of them a slice. The two sisters raised their forks. “In memory of Mother,” Ruby said.

“In memory of Mother,” Pearl repeated as they each took a bite of the decadent dessert. When they finished what was on their plates, they got more.

The two continued eating until not a morsel was left, never realizing they were also digesting the sacred recipe. Unbeknownst to Pearl, it had fallen into the batter and was disintegrated by the blender. The hidden treasure they sought was gone, but a friendship was renewed.

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This article has been read 932 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Schultz 08/16/08
I suppose one of the sisters could have written the recipe out for the other, right? But on the other hand, I am preserving the fading pages of my mother's old scribbler filled with her recipes as thought they were the Dead Sea Scrolls.

I love the disintegrated-in-the-blender touch.

Good story.
Joanne Sher 08/16/08
Great title. Love the feistiness of these two ladies, and the reconciliation at the end (along with the twist!). Good stuff.
Allison Egley 08/17/08
Oh, this was so cute. I could just see the sisters interacting. But it's too bad they don't have the recipe anymore. I kind of guessed it had fallen into the batter, but I thought they would find it. :)
Yvonne Blake 08/17/08
Ah! NO!! It can't end like that. Now, we'll never know. Very creative.
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/17/08
And I wanted the recipe! You captured the feisty sisters so well with their words and actions. At least, they had the special dessert one more time and repaired their friendship. Good job.
Laury Hubrich 08/17/08
You should write more stories using these two characters. There are wonderful!
william price08/17/08
Great, great, great characterization. You are getting so good. God bless.
Catrina Bradley 08/17/08
These two sisters are a hoot! I was expecting one of them to come up with "whatever" on a fork full of pie, but the lost-in-the-blender ending was a cool twist I didn't expect. And I was still guessing what was hidden until the end. Nice job with this topic!
Lauryn Abbott08/18/08
I really enjoyed this story and the two sisters. It was fun to read and I'm guessing it was fun to write too! Thanks for sharing! :)
Ellen Dodson08/18/08
I loved these characters immediately. Pearl's upside down magazine and look of surprise when her sis doesn't find the recipe in the sugar are as rich as the dessert they devour. The names for these two work well with the title. I feel like you might have told us a bit too much in the ending. I'd like to end with just the two of them. But that might not have emphasized your theme enough.
Patrick Whalen08/18/08
What a sweet and touching story! And quite interesting that you included a foreshadowing to the next week's challenge topic ;)
James Dixon08/20/08
These two are classic tragic fools. Great job.

The only spot of red ink I could find to add (since you asked) would have been to make them realise their mistake- perhaps to find the last scrap of parchement when they served the lst slice?
LaNaye Perkins08/20/08
I loved your two sisters. They were just adorable. Your story kept my attention from beginning to end. Great writing my friend.
Betty Castleberry08/20/08
I knew after I read the first few words that I was going to love this. Anything with seniors, especially senior *women*, ranks high with me. Your characterizations are wonderful, and the message is, too. Two thumbs up.
Joy Faire Stewart08/20/08
I enjoyed the realistic dialogue and vivid details that place your reader in the scene. I loved the sisters!
Marlene Austin08/20/08
Nice plot, great descriptive details of setting, and super characterizations. :)
Heather Sargent08/20/08
Nice touch on the title and naming the characters. I was sad at the end that it was disintegrated, although, I found it quite amusing. Nice work.
T. F. Chezum08/20/08
Great characters, great story, great job ... Did I mention I thought it was great?
Joshua Janoski08/21/08
Oh man, I didn't see that ending coming. I had a feeling that what they were searching for had something to do with food, but I didn't expect it to be a recipe that ended up cooked. Very deserving of the highly commended award given to it. You are definitely a master of words, Kristen.
Sharlyn Guthrie08/21/08
Another great story by one of my favorite writers. This one was a hoot. Congratulations on your EC!
Chely Roach08/21/08
This was so rich in characterizations...I loved the sisters. Congratulations!
Jason Swiney08/23/08
Congratulations on the EC! Your descriptions made it easy to picture these two stubborn sisters, and nice wrinkle at the end.