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The Mood Ring - Short Story
‘Look, auntie, look!’ shouted the boy. ‘Those rings change colour depending on your mood! Can I have one?’ ‘Ask your dad’ she replied automatically as she was just reading a page from a guide.
They were all on a family trip to Portsmouth, visiting old war ships and picturesque surroundings. After a visit to the experience centre, where boys spent quite a long time on a climbing wall, they were all tired and wanted to go home. Still they have stopped for a moment in the souvenir shop to buy a few postcards on their way out.
‘Look auntie, it’s light blue now and it means that I'm content and in peace’ said the boy. ‘How do you know?’ she asked him looking at the ring and noticing that it really changed colour. All rings in the box were green, while the one on boy's finger was blue. ‘I've got an instruction explaining what each colour means’ he said and showed the paper to his aunt.
She started to feel curious about all that and just for fun put one of the rings on her finger. It immediately turned into deep intensive blue, much darker than the colour on the boy's ring. She wandered what instruction was saying about it so she had a quick look. It said: ‘You are in love and a very happy person’. ‘I like that’ she thought and without thinking bought the ring.
It was a cheap souvenir, she knew, yet it was something magical about it. It was also quite pretty with Celtic motifs, a spiral in the centre and triangular knots on sides. She showed it to her boyfriend and told him what the dark blue meant. She wanted him to know she was very happy with him as he had trouble to believe it sometimes. She thought that if it was a ring showing her emotions, he couldn't doubt it.
He smiled at her and said that it doesn't really know her mood but that it works based on the body temperature. The higher the temperature, the better the mood colour. It lost its magic straight away. She felt silly buying it now still it was quite amusing to watch the colours changing.
When they've got back home she checked the internet. Her boyfriend was right, the mood stone worked on the body temperature. It was called a mood stone because of the assumption that happier person will have higher body temperature, while stress and tiredness will decrease the temperature enough for the ring to detect it and change its colour to grey or even black.
She wasn't convinced and she felt betrayed. ‘They shouldn't call it a mood stone’ she thought. ‘What if I went to ski and the ring would show I'm stressed while I would be having fun on the slopes. Ridiculous!’ she thought sulkily.
She had an urge to throw the ring away but she thought that it would be fun to make an experiment and see what colour it would have for other people. It also was a good way of mentioning their trip to Portsmouth as many people noticed she had a ring and were asking about it.
Several weeks passed and the ring was still with her. It kept changing colours depending on the weather and the environment. It didn't have one solid colour anymore; it looked more like a rainbow or a colour gradient. Most of the time, it stayed in shades of blue with a dash of green in the middle. Sometimes, especially on chilly days, the colours were moving towards pink and purple so it looked like a morning sky. On other occasions it was more like a sunset sky with shades of orange and golden yellow. It felt like the ring was alive, never the same again and always changing.
She realised that she doesn't want any other ring. Neither gold nor silver, not even diamonds behaved like that, they were always the same - a bit of a sparkle here and there but no real life. This cheap souvenir ring was one of a kind and she treasured it a lot. It kept reminding her about the ancient truth that everything changes and that the future is not defined by the past.