Garnet & Jewel: The Magic

They were running so fast that they could barely catch their breath. The wind had swept up. The cold, winter air enveloped them as they dodged past the old, decrepit barn. Suddenly, they found themselves in an open field. It was glazed with a thin layer of ice and dusted with fresh snow.

In the distance, they saw it. The moon’s light cascaded down on its bell tower, and the spotlight nestled in the barren branches of the old maple illuminated its splendor. Garnet and Jewel stood still, intent on the structure that stood before them. It was majestically alone, yet its presence welcomed you warmly.

They could see their breath as they admired the architecture before them. The clock at the top of the tower was glowing — its gold numbers sparkling with the short arm on seven and the long one just past 15. For a minute, it was so eerily quiet Garnet thought she could hear the melodic hum of tick, tick, tick, tock.

She turned, looking at Jewel, and smiled.

“Did you hear that?”

“Hear what?” asked Jewel.

“The ticking of the clock,” Garnet said wistfully.

Jewel looked at Garnet and chuckled.

“No, Garnet, I didn’t. I think you hear things. There’s nothing out here but the silence of the night.”

“Perhaps you’re right. Maybe I was just mesmerized by my thoughts again. What do you think? Should we go check it out?”

Of course, we should!” exclaimed Jewel.

Garnet and Jewel had been friends since childhood and shared a love for exploring and respect for curiosity. Their spirits full of enthusiasm for life — and often mischief. They particularly enjoyed adventures during the winter. It was invigorating, and they never tired of discovering new places and roads less traveled.

Tonight was no different.

Garnet and Jewel took a deep breath and carefully trekked across the snow-laden field, occasionally hearing the crunch of ice below their feet. Their hearts were quickly beating as they neared the building and the shadows cast in the moonlit night captured them.

The old maple looked like a giant creature hovering over them as they approached the building’s front. The double wooden doors – adorned with a fresh evergreen wreath on each side – welcomed them. As they surveyed the entrance, Jewel noticed the granite bench, its back engraved with the words:

Sit here, my friend, and take a rest and beauty you will find. For the magic of the darkest night can be so quite divine.

Jewel couldn’t help but feel compelled to sit, but Garnet desired to explore inside.

Come on, Jewel, please. Can we go inside first? There’s just something about this place. “

Okay, Garnet. You win. Let’s go.”

Together, they walked gingerly up the old stone stairs glazed with ice. Garnet reached out her wool mitten-clad hand to open the wrought iron door handle. As she pressed down on the lever, she felt the heaviness of the door. She tugged and stumbled back a bit. So Jewel squeezed herself between the doors and then pushed from the inside. They had always made a good team.

As Garnet entered and Jewel turned around, they both stood in awe. There were no signs that the building ever really had visitors or events, yet it was breathtakingly beautiful. It was empty inside, apart from the most magnificent Christmas tree. It must have stood 12 feet tall and the darkness lifted with its twinkling lights that cast an amber glow among the delicately placed ornaments. A beautiful gold star sat atop the tree — perfectly placed and glowing with hope. It smelled like a forest inside with hints of balsam and cedar. The floor was old, marble perhaps. And in between the shadows, you could see its age, yet it seemed so pristine.

Garnet and Jewel marveled at the fullness of such a vast room overwhelmed by the sense of peace they suddenly felt.

And then it happened.

From out of nowhere, they could hear someone singing, “Oh Holy Night.” At first, Garnet thought it must be her hearing things again until Jewel looked at her with tears in her eyes.

“I hear it, Garnet,” Jewel said. Her voice was quivering, almost in disbelief.

“I hear it too,” Garnet said.

Unsure of where the singing was coming from, they looked around. But no one else was to be found.

As Jewel approached the door, it was open. She was sure they had shut it. Strange, Jewel thought and poked her head outside the door. As she glanced around, the bench again drew her attention.

Jewel carefully maneuvered the icy stone stairs and walked over to the bench. She stood in front of it, admiring the words staring back at her.

Sit here, my friend, and take a rest and beauty you will find. For the magic of the darkest night can be so quite divine.

As she was about to sit, Garnet appeared next to her.

“The singing stopped after you walked out,” Garnet said.

You’re right, it did. I hadn’t noticed until now. We should sit here, Garnet. I don’t know why but there’s something about this bench.”

Garnet smiled at Jewel, “Of course. Let’s sit.”

As Garnet and Jewel sat down, the coldness of the bench seat sent a shiver down their spines. Yet again, a sense of calm and warmth embraced them. They sat peacefully in the exceptionally bright moonlight admiring the nightscape before them.

As Jewel was about to say something, she heard it again. Someone was singing.

There it is again, Garnet!” Jewel exclaimed.

Garnet nodded and smiled. She knew it was only a matter of time. After all, Garnet had always been able to hear it, and her heart smiled because now Jewel could too.

I know,” said Garnet. “Isn’t it wonderful?”

Where is it coming from?” Jewel asked.

From inside,” Garnet said.

Inside. You mean the building?” asked Jewel.

No, not the building, my friend. From inside your heart, your mind, your soul. It’s within you, Jewel. It’s always been within you. You just needed to open yourself to it.”

The magic?” Jewel asked, almost knowingly.

Yes, Jewel. The magic. It’s been there all along. It’s here in this space, in the night air, in the sunrise. It’s always around us, but sometimes we don’t see.

Or hear,” Jewel said, smiling.

Exactly,” said Garnet.


Laura Mikolaitis
Laura Mikolaitis
Laura credits her writing, which laid dormant for years, to her late mom, who always believed in her. Writing unabashedly from the heart and inspired by millions of moments, three tenets of evergreen advice that her mom always shared with her are her guiding principles. Whether it is poetry, fiction, or a personal essay, her love for the written word feeds her mind, body, and spirit. Laura’s creativity also comes to life in her passion for photography. Her ongoing love affair with the moon, her joy for family and friends, her connection to nature, and being a loving canine mom often become some of her best subjects. Laura has held many roles throughout her professional career, including Brand Manager, Project Manager, and Director of Global Business Development and Sales Operations. In addition, she has a background in consumer-packaged goods, manufacturing, and textiles. Laura currently works in biotechnology for Berkshire Corporation as their Product Marketing Manager. She holds a Master of Science degree in Communications and Information Management from Bay Path University and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from SUNY Oswego. Originally from Northern NY, Laura resides with her husband and canine child in a small town in Massachusetts that captured her heart years ago.

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