OPAL JESSICA...that was her rel, full name for reasons she alone could fathom.
"It's a frivolous name," she would fret and later on would justify the essence behind it.
"According to the dictionary, OPAL had varying hues of red, green, and blue..." But despite
the complexities of the origin of her not so romantic name, she lauded that it was flattering
to be called after "a mineral consisting chiefly of hydrous silica."
"JESSICA would have been more serviceable!" she heaved a regretful sigh and pondered the history of their ancestors.
Her grandmother always thought of the BETTER DAYS. "Once Oakland Hall
belonged to us," she mused and reminisced those memories that could never be forgotten.
Because of this, Jessica was forbidden to go near the grounds of Oakland Hall even if she was mesmerized by the gigantic place.
But one dreary day, Jessica could not help her curiosity and indeed went to the grounds of the Oakland.There, she accidentally met Ben Honniker, the new owner of the place. It was
her mother who oriented her about the HONNIKERS having bought Oakland from their family.
Sizing up Ben closely, Jessica knew he represented anything but utmost luxury.
While they, the Claverlings, had a remorseless theme of poverty in their household.
Jessica stepped an inch forward and asked the fervent man, "What is your profession?".
"My dear, I'm an opal miner... he said lovingly and reached for her hand.
"What is that?!" she snapped, seeming uninterested.
"Every miner dreams he's going to find the most beautiful stones in the world.And there's nothing more beautiful than an opal."
"Where are the best opals?"Jessica queried with renewed energy.
"Australian opals are the best,they're harder and lucky stones..Long ago, people
used to believe opals brought good fortune.Another story was that they cured blindness."
"Oh...",Jessica seemed to blurt, apparently overwhelmed by the power of the stone.
"There sometimes comes a stone that no matter what it can bring you, you just can't sell. You get a sort of feeling for it.It belongs to you and you'd rather have it than all the money
in the world."
"Do you know anything about our old, ancestral home?" Jessica switched topics,and pined for hints about her forefathers."I think in very family there is one who is different , the one in the litter who doesn't bear much resemblance to the rest."
"I can tell you something about your mother," he guided her in her walk and tilted his
proud chin."She was found in the stream. She was lying face downwards..The water was quite shallow.It just washed over her."
Tears welled up in her eyes and she brimmed with angst and repressed anger. "They
let her die in the wasteland?".
"They don't bring suicides in consecrated grounds."
She began to wipe her hot tears. "She was good and meant no harm to anyone."
Still in tremor, she declared fitfully. "I shall clear her grave and grow plants on it and keep them watered."
After saying her hastened excuse to the visiting old man from Australia, she scurried to the Dower House and threw her ailments at her supposed mother.
"First, I should like you to explain why you have pretended to be my mother all these years and why why you made her life miserable that she drowned herself."
"The one she loved! cried my mother,"A thief,a seducer, and stupid girl."
"So you're my mother's sister...tell me, what happened to my father?"
"Your father had gambled away the family fortune.He stole a very precious opal!",
she said in hysteria,"And your lovelorn mother let him get away!".
"Show me her grave...where can I find the remains of my mother? Please, tell me..."
And so Jessica rushed to the towering bushes hidden from which was her mother's
"There, there she lies at last..."her aunt pronounced with indefinable mourning.
"Whoever lay in that grave not only bore my name but had died at the time of my birth."
"She never would fallen in love
love with the thief,"Jessica mumbled to herself in consternation.
love with the thief,"Jessica mumbled to herself in consternation.
Ben Honniker met again with Jessica not so long after and this time she was more adamant to dig into the heart of the matter.
"Who had stolen it?" she posed the precarious inquiry.
"Someone who knew the combination of the safe."
"Do you think he sold it?".
"Queen of Opals...there'll never be another one like her.Your family lost it forever."
"What do you mean?'
"She had a terrible fascination for everyone who saw her.In spite of all the talks of bad luck, everyone who laid eyes on her wanted her. GREEN FLASH MEANT DEATH."
"You talk about Green Flash as though she were a woman."
"I don't man the opal...the other green flash. They say there's a precise moment when
the sun goes down-just before it disappears-that there is a green flash on the sea.It's a rare
phenomenon.It's there and it's gone and you hardly know it's been.You've got to be in the right spot at the right moment."
"First, the stolen Queen of Opal.And now it's the Green Flash. It's all insane!".
"Why don't you confront your aunt about it.The fact that she's bitter about the past,
then she must know a lot."
Jessica goes to her aunt in an upfront manner and barraged her with incessant questions. Her aunt did not complain and instead served her feisty niece a heartwarming cup
Out of frenzy, Jessica was shown a jewelry box and there in all its splendor lay the
the Queen of Opals.
"I can't believe it! It's you! It was you all along. Not my father, not my father...!"she managed to say in short breaths.She was in a dizzying state.
"This stone ruined my mother's life and now I may well die because of it. I have seen it
and that is enough for I understand what it can do. There is evil in it and it has taken possession of this woman." Jessica narrated, quavering from the slight touch of the opal.
The most magnificent opal of all time, the stone which had shaped her destiny,the unlucky one, the most beautiful jewel she had ever or would ever see in her life was right there in front of her stunned eyes. It was impossible to put into words the qualities of that stone, there was the deep blue of the tropical sea and the brighter blue of the cloudless sky.
"I thought you should see it before you died", her Aunt suggested,staring at her niece with cold-blooded fury.
"Before I died...?"
"It was something I put in your tea, nice, peaceful sleep,that's all."
"It seems strange to be sitting here discussing my burial."
"You too, will die just like your stupid mother."
"My willpower is stronger than your drug."
"I'll never give her up!" her aunt wailed.
"It is mine by right. I share it with jointly with my mother.Perhaps it knows that."
Jessica saw the real fear in her aunt's eyes. "See how it shines for me. The Flash won't
hurt me because I'm the true owner.It's mine."
"No! Never!" she shrieked imperiously.
"It's only a piece of opal...silica deposited at some time in the rock. How can you attach
special powers to that?".
"How dare you call it just a rock!".
"YOU'VE BECOME OBSESSED WITH A STONE, BY A LEGEND. YOU'VE BUILT
ALL THIS UP IN YOUR MIND, BUT IT DOESN'T REALLY EXIST."
"You haven't lived with it.You haven't held it in your hands. Look now..."
"Yes, let me see it. Let me hold it in my hands."
In an instant, Ben Honniker appeared in the scene and glowered at the mad woman.
"Give me what you're holding in your hand..." he implored Jessica's aunt.
Before they could stop her, she had dashed onto the terrace.When they picked her up
from the stairs below, she was dead, but still clutching the Green Flash in her hands.
"We're taking the Green Flash to Melbourne and we're presenting it to a geological museum there."Ben Honniker pronounced authoritatively.