“Everything comes with a price. What is to give light must endure burning”. That was the first line she read on what it seemed to be an ordinary little black book. Little did she know that the book was neither ordinary nor random.
It was the third of November precisely, a very gloomy day. However, Jade loved this date, not because it was her birthday but because it meant a new book as a present. And if there was one thing she loved, those were books. She lived multiple lives through them, conquered many fears, slayed dragons and even travelled the world.
Her morning ritual was always the same. As soon as the alarm wakes her up at seven thirty am, Jade jumps off the bed and goes straight to the bathroom. She starts off with a shower, then brushes her teeth, dries her short and wavy black hair. She puts a bit of mascara on to accentuate her beautiful hazel eyes and adds some moisturizer to her fairly tanned skin. Finally, she goes to her wardrobe and gets dressed in a comfy and casual outfit.
But today, something was different. Jade woke up half an hour late with a strange feeling as if something was about to happen. Something extraordinary. She could not explain this odd feeling but it was kind of like having a deja vu. She woke up and as every single third of November, she run to her desk to find the present that her mother carefully chose and wrapped.
This time there were two. Deep down she hoped that the second gift was her father´s. His name was Charles and he disappeared years ago. Jade loved her father. He was loving, caring and full of integrity. It was shocking when all of a sudden, he vanished of the face of the earth. The police classified his case as a mystery and archived it. He was gone but not forgotten. Jade always prayed for him to be safe and come back if he was alive. But that´s the thing about prayers, only some are answered and very few in the way we want them to. Even so, hope is the last thing Jade would give up on.
She picked up the first present and there was a note that read: “Happy Birthday, with love Mum”. It was one of her favourite books. A first edition of “The Alchemist”. She put it straight on her bookshelf and she went onto the next gift. It was a weird wrapping, as if someone did it in a hurry. As soon as Jade unwrapped it, she saw what it looked like a regular little black notebook. There was no name on it. Jade opened it eager to know who was it from. The first page read: “Everything comes with a price. What is to give light must endure burning”.
Jade was thinking and dwelling on that sentence she just read. Her imagination run wild. Who gave her the book? Why was it on her desk? What was that quote referring to? Which price will she have to pay and for what? She was picturing ten thousand scenarios but none was as confusing as reality. Jade came across the most astonishing book anyone could ever own, she just did not know yet.
“It must have been mom”, she said out loud.
Jade headed downstairs to ask her, but it was not her mom. She was completely unaware of the existence of a second gift. Jade did not want to worry her dear mom. She worries too much already, especially since her father disappeared never to be seen again. Jade run back upstairs.
There was it. The black book, completely blank on the inside with just that one sentence as a happy birthday wish. Suddenly, Jade thought that she could use it as a dairy. She grabbed the book and opened it, ready to start it off. But much to her surprise, now the second page was written and Jade read it out loud:
“Congratulations Jade, you found the key of what is going to unravel some of the greatest mysteries in human history. However, everything comes with a price. And we are afraid that you have to pay. You will get the answers that you seek soon enough. But for now, here´s a twenty-thousand-dollar check, in exchange for the vows you are about to make.”
Jade was trembling. That message scared her. She had so many questions and no one to talk to. Afterall, who would believe the story of a mysterious black book that magically appeared in her room, with some inscriptions and a sort of disappearing ink? Uh, and twenty-thousand-dollar check, let's not forget about that! Not even herself believed reality at this point. Jade decided to go back to bed and take a nap. Maybe she was not feeling well and this was all a product of her imagination. Isn't imagination a tool to escape reality? That´s the last thing she thought before falling deeply asleep...
A knock on the door woke Jade up.
“Jade are you oaky?” Said her mom quite worried as she never naps.
“Yes, ma. I was just feeling a bit tired. All good.” said Jade.
Jade jumped off the bed to go and see if it was all a dream but it wasn’t. She opened the little black book and what was written before was simply gone. She shook her head trying to make some sense out of it all. She went through the pages and realized that now the third page was written. The next thing will shock and startle anyone and it read the following: