Catheel's Ruby

by

Monica Winn

The treasure is a smooth oval shaped stone called Catheel's Ruby. The Ruby is about three inches long, and blood red. It was said to have been left in Ireland by a sorcerer named Catheel in the early 1200's. It is also supposed to contain amazing magical powers.


Alisha Vensky

My main character is a rather odd 16 year old girl. She has wavy chestnut brown hair that usually falls loosely over her shoulders. Her eyes are a sparkling blue, she is quite tall, about 5'10" and she weighs 170 pounds.

She is a very social girl, but most people seem to avoid her. When she does make friends they know she is loyal. Also she loves to help others. She hates peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, honey, and broccoli. She is always wearing some odd color combination like yellow and green, or purple and brown. She has a habit of biting her nails and chewing on the tops of pens. She loves to talk, and has a cheery disposition despite the fact that both her father (a Russian immigrant) and her mother (an Irish immigrant) disappeared when she was only 5. She is completely obsessed with cooking and loves to make cookies-especially sugar cookies.

Alisha is a kindhearted girl and rescues animals from shelters. Alisha has only one pet peeve: when people wear matching colors. She also has two phobias: fire and the dark. Unlike many girls, she loves watching football, and while she does she wears clothes affiliated with the team she is cheering for. Her favorite sport is soccer, and she plays for an elite team (she hates the jerseys because they match). She loves jazz music and listens to it all day long. When her parents disappeared, Alisha was left in the care of her guardian, an old woman by the name of Mrs.Withernet. She always been kind to the old woman, and has helped her with whatever she asks.

Alisha and the Mrs. Withernet live in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. They live in a house on 41st street. It is a rather small house with a small yard. Alisha's room is plain; it is furnished with a bed, a desk, and a chair. There is also a closet in the left corner that is actually shaped like a triangle so that it will fit in the corner. Alisha is not very tidy and the floor is often covered in clothes and garbage.


Pittsburgh and Ireland

Pittsburgh

Alisha and the Mrs. Withernet live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh is a very busy city with lots of lights, cars, and people. Pittsburgh has very cold winters and quite warm summers. The fall weather consists of cool nights and warm days. The spring has many rain showers and a good amount of sun. Alisha lives in a house on 41st street, with Mrs. Withernet. Her house is rather small with a small yard. Her neighborhood is rather quiet compared to the rest of the city. There are a few trees here and there, but the neighborhood is a very tightly packed sub-division so there is not much room to grow things. Alisha's room is brown with purple yellow and fuchsia polka-dots; it is furnished with a bed, a desk, and a chair. There is also a closet in the left corner that is actually shaped like a triangle so that it will fit in the corner. Alisha is not very tidy and the floor is often covered in clothes and garbage. The kitchen, Alisha's favorite room in the house, has yellow and red striped wall paper with a silver sink and refrigerator. The kitchen table has a very bright purple table cloth and a big teal ceiling fan making the kitchen so absolutely hideous that it was painful to look at. (Alisha did the interior decorating herself.)

Ireland

Alisha stays in Ballinskelligs, Ireland while she is searching for the treasure. The town is mostly farms and it is very quiet and peaceful. The landscapes around Ballinskelligs are mostly flat green planes stretching for miles across the rural countryside. Ballinskelligs also holds the ruins of a tower house, called Ballycarberry Castle. Built by McCarthy Mor in the 16th century, it was used to protect the bay from Pirates. The tower house was used as a manor for the Sigerson family in the early 17th century. The castle was not the biggest in the world, but it had many windows and a square tower off one wall. There are also the ruins of a priory in Ballinskelligs. The Priory was built in the 12th or 13th century, for monks who traveled from the mainland, and was dedicated to St. Michael. Sadly this priory was disbanded by King Henry VIII in 1538. The priory has an arched doorway, a few small windows, and it is rectangle in shape. Inside the priory there a number of two story tombs all of which have been open and explored. They were filled with coffin fragments and bones. Outside of the priory is a little graveyard with a few engraved tombstones. Some of them are very intricately designed, with Celtic crosses adorning the tops. Others are very plain, simple, rectangles with rounded tops with no engravings at all. Who these graves belong to, is unknown.

The bay, on which Ballinskelligs is located, is quite large and very blue. It has a beach and a reef. It is filled with rocks and is in a sheltered area. The climate in Ireland is very mild. They do not have extremely hot summers nor do they have freezing cold winters. They do have quite a bit of rain though, and the wind is always blowing.


Holly Withernet

Holly Withernet (referred to as Mrs. Withernet) is Alisha's kind guardian. She is not related to Alisha, but she is a good friend and always takes care of her. Mrs. Withernet is almost 4' 9" tall and weighs about 190 lbs. She has silver hair that is always up in a tight bun at the top of her head. She was born in 1948 and is 65 years old. She has a thin mouth that usually points up a little, in the corners. Mrs. Withernet dresses sensibly she is usually wearing a pair of jeans and a knitted sweater. Her favorite sweater is a forest green button up, with shiny black buttons.

Mrs. Withernet is a very sensible woman. Unlike Alisha, she is very practical, and has good taste in color schemes. Although they are very different Alisha and Mrs. Withernet do have some similarities, they both love to cook, and they both have a fondness for animals. Mrs. Withernet has a special liking for kittens and bunnies. Her room is the only room in the house that Alisha didn't touch and Mrs. Withernet likes sit in there for hours just reading or petting her kitten, a tabby, named Tiger.

Mrs. Withernet has a very quiet personality, so much so that she is almost reclusive. The only person she really talks to is Alisha. Mrs. Withernet tries to be friendly, but she is just too silent, and is often thought of as arrogant and self-interested. Of course she is quite the opposite, once a person gets to know her. Children love Mrs. Withernet, because she always has a batch of cookies sitting on the, oddly colored, kitchen table.

In Mrs. Withernet's early life she was very rich. She lived in a four story house, and was an only child. Her parents, Marissa and Calvin Mittleson, traveled a lot leaving her in the care of the butler Sam Dogery, and the cook Lela Simpson. The rest of the staff was allowed to leave. The two were very nice, but Holly often wished that she had someone to play with.

When Holly was 18 she met a young man named Frank Withernet. They soon became very good friends and were married when she was 22. They didn't have any children and Frank died within five years of their marriage. Twenty-seven years old and a widow, Holly moved into a smaller house on 41st street in Pittsburgh.

She met Annie and Ralf Vensky when she was 41 and they grew to be very good friends. Annie would often come and talk with her for hours. Holly was like a nanny to Alisha when she was young and Annie asked Holly if anything were to happen to them if she would take care of their daughter. Holly agreed and five years later her best friend and her husband disappeared leaving Alisha in Holly's care. Mrs. Withernet looked at Alisha like she was her daughter and loved her as one too.


Wooden Box

Alisha lay in her bed, slowly drifting off. She looked at the picture on the table; her mother's beautiful green eyes stared down at her while she fell into a deep sleep. As she slept she began to dream.

She was swimming through a silvery blue ocean her eyes wide open taking in all of the beautiful colors. Blues, greens, purples, and reds swam before her eyes. She stopped swimming to look at an amazing purple-red sea urchin, its spines sticking out like needles in a pin cushion. Something swam past her very quickly. Alisha started, her heart beating very fast, whatever it was had disappeared. She calmed down again, and watched a beautiful fish with yellow fins swim by her. Suddenly, she saw a streak of white, and then a streak of black. Alisha started to move slowly through the water wanting to get out, but as she was swimming she heard a beautiful voice singing what sounded like a lullaby. She looked around and to her amazement saw two women swimming in the water, but, on closer examination, Alisha found that they weren't women at all. They were mermaids!

Alisha stared quite awkwardly at the two mermaids. "Who are you?" One of them asked. "My name is Alisha" Alisha replied. "Hello Alisha I am Cecilia." The one who spoke was not exactly what you might call beautiful. She had very pale skin and very pale hair as well, but she had a kind-looking face. "I'm Alexandra." Said the other, her stunningly beautiful black hair swaying in the water. Alisha smiled; they were friendly so she didn't feel so awkward anymore.

Alisha started to swim through the peaceful waters with the two mermaids. She asked them all sorts of questions about their world, how they made their houses, did they have pets, and most importantly did they like the color of her bathing suit (at this moment she was wearing a "beautiful" banana yellow swimming suit, with big brown seashells.) Alexandra and Cecilia looked at it for a little while and then decided that it was very pretty. Alisha Smiled, "I knew you would like it." She said, feeling very happy.

They swam for some time discussing all the important things like color combinations that looked good (or more accurately, bad), which seashell was the prettiest, until there was a scream and Alexandra and Cecilia were rushing towards the bottom of the ocean pulling Alisha with them. Alisha wasn't sure what was going on, but they reached the sea floor and started swimming as close to the bottom as they could. Alisha looked above her head. A dark menacing shape shifted above their heads. A shark! Cecelia pushed Alisha and Alexandra behind a beautiful pink piece of coral. They stayed put, wondering what would happen. A few seconds later Alisha poked her head out to look around and saw something that made her blood curdle. She saw a mouth full of sharp jagged edged teeth seemingly smiling at her. Cecelia pushed Alisha out of the way trying to protect her from the razor sharp teeth.

Alisha woke with a start. Her mother's picture was still staring down at her, she was in her room. Alisha went down stairs to find Mrs. Withernet cooking scrambled eggs and toast. Alisha stared down at her eggs. "I had the strangest dream."

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