Cracked by Michal Smelser

The opal shouldn’t have cracked. I was born in October. Who believes that old wives’ tale anyway? An opal won’t crack just because someone not born in October wears it. Even if it is the October birthstone. Who would believe that silly theory?

Not me. The opal cracked because it was old. That’s the only reason.

            Are you sure? You were born late on Halloween night… or so they want you to think.

Not true. The opal cracked because it was old. It belonged to my grandmother. She gave the necklace to me on her deathbed and told me I could give it only to another October. Only another October could wear her necklace; could carry on her legacy.

How do you know, though? You might have been born at the stroke of midnight. Who could tell?

I was born in October. I had to be. That was why grandmother gave the opal to me. She wanted me to carry on the October legacy.

How would she know, though? She was halfway around the world.

The opal cracked because it was old. It belonged to my great-great-aunt. She gave it to my grandmother when Grandmother was ten years old. A thumb-sized jewel strung on a thick gold chain. The last sane words she spoke were, “Never let anyone but an October wear this.”

Great-great-aunt was dead. She couldn’t possibly know.

I was born in October. I could never have gotten the necklace otherwise.

Were you?

The opal cracked because it was old. There is no other explanation. I have to be an October. How else would I have the necklace?

Because they didn’t know you weren’t an October.

The opal cracked because it was old.

Of course, it did, dear, the voice hissed. Or did it?

***

Michal Smelser is a senior at Rochester College. She has been published in Blackberry Winter, her school’s publication, and is the current fiction editor there.

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