Day 17 of 31 Days. Click on the image above for Day 1.
“This is going to take some getting used to,” Jewel laughed. She felt a little dizzy standing in the vast cavern filled with the treasure that was to be her inheritance.
“You have the rest of your life to get used to it,” the prince said. “What do you think you should do first?”
“I don’t know…,” she said thoughtfully, walking among the jewels and touching them as she passed.
As soon as her fingers brushed the stones, they began to glow, almost imperceptibly at first. But then her hands lingered on a beautiful, flawless emerald. From somewhere deep within the stone, it came alive with light.
“Oh!” Jewel gasped, withdrawing her hand quickly. “What is happening?”
“Pick it up, and you will see.”
Cautiously, she cupped the stone in her hands and lifted it from the pile of gems. It was as large as a cobblestone, but perfectly cut so every surface glittered with light.
When she held it in her hands, the emerald seemed to respond to her touch. The same light she saw at first deepened, causing the gem to dance. Flickering green fragments reflected off the walls and reached all the way up to the arched ceiling. The longer she held it, the more beautiful it became.
Jewel looked at the prince. “Is it alive?” she asked.
He laughed. “No, but you’ve just stumbled upon a very important truth about the treasure in my kingdom. Not only is it vast and limitless, but it becomes more beautiful and more valuable the more it is used.”
She stared at him in disbelief.
“Test me,” he challenged, a grin sneaking into the corners of his lips.
Jewel chose an amethyst. Rich, purple hues spread slowly out from the stone and enveloped her. “You never cease to amaze me!” she cried.
“I hope not,” the prince answered, but his words were lost amid her wonder.
“Here, you try!” Jewel handed the prince a ruby.
As soon as it touched his fingers, brilliant red light shot out from every facet of the stone. It flamed with light, burning in his hands like an ember. The walls of the cavern became the inside of a fiery volcano, and every other gem took on the light and smoldered with it.
“How did you do that?” Jewel gasped. Her glowing gem looked pale in comparison to his.
“I am light,” he answered simply.
“What do you mean?” she asked, staring at the ruby aflame in his hands.
“There is no darkness in me–nothing evil, nothing hidden in shadows. Just light.”
She thought of the Enchanter, who gained power from darkness and strength from shadows, and she moved a little closer to her prince.
“These riches shine brightest where there is no darkness,” he added.
Jewel looked at her own gem, softly glowing in her hands, and she felt suddenly self-conscious. Just as soon as she felt the twinge of shame, the amethyst dimmed.
The prince did not look, but he said, “Do not give in to the shame of your poverty when you are standing in the very place that can make you rich.”
Jewel swallowed hard.
“Do you want to be rich, Jewel?”
She nodded, and he smiled. “I know you do. That’s why I brought you here. I have given you everything you need to become rich like me. Everything in my kingdom is yours to use for that end. Everything! But you have to use it. Surround yourself with my treasure, Jewel. Spend it, give it–wear it! It will change you until people will not be able to see you without seeing me.”
“It’s just that easy?” Jewel asked, hardly daring to believe that she could become like the prince simply by surrounding herself with the good things he had given her.
“It’s just that easy,” the prince said. “Of course, there is one little catch…”