Juto, Melissa - Treasure Hunting

"What's this?"

"What's what?"


Melissa turned around. Juto was sitting at the table, holding out an iron ring about as wide as her wrist. There were small engravings on it visible through the rust. "Where did you get that?"

"I found it," Juto said simply. Still not one for elaboration, Melissa thought.

"I gathered that, but where did you find it?"

"On the beach, past the rocks," Juto explained.

"Didn't I tell you not to go over there?"

Juto looked away sheepishly. "Yeah," he muttered. "But I was bored and the crabs - do you know how much stuff the crabs have over there?"

Juto was really excited about this, like he'd found some ancient hidden stash. It was common knowledge for the islanders that the clawpers took whatever "treasures" they found in the sand back to their rocky nests. Nobody was about to do anything about that, though. Clawpers and lappers got nasty when their nests were in danger. How Juto was able to wander around there unscathed was a mystery.

"It's really dangerous over there, Juto," Melissa chastised. "Especially since you don't have a weapon."

"They didn't even notice me though," Juto said, frowning. Then he pulled something else out of his pocket. "I found this, too."

Melissa took the ring from his hand. Small, silver, a bright green stone set in it. She stared at it, lost for words. "Juto..."

"I thought it was nice, so I picked it up," Juto said in way of an apology.

Melissa curled her fingers around it tightly. Her mother's ring. Supposedly lost forever in the ocean. Instead, all this time, it had been with the lappers... She thought she might cry. "Thank you," she said quietly. She won't cry, she told herself. Not in front of Juto. "Thank you."

Juto seemed confused for a second, but then he smiled. "Knew you'd like it."