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3. Strength

Aaron took a cautious step towards the chamber he had just uncovered. Immediately, he heard a rumble from behind him. He didn't have to turn around to know that it was a cave - in. He sprinted ahead, hoping to anything that he would not die. He tripped over his own foot, and knew that he was going to die. Be gone forever. Vanish. To his very great surprise, he opened his eyes. He had lived!

Aaron was in an enormous chamber with a marble stand in the middle. He cautiously walked over to it, and examined what lay on top. There were twelve gems, one for each month of the year. He looked for - no, at - the ruby. After months - or years of looking, Aaron had finally found his life's ambition. He had wanted a ruby above anything else for a long time.

With fumbling hands, Aaron took the ruby and hesitated. It gave him a feeling of strength and confidence. He stopped shaking and deposited the ruby in his satchel. Immediately, his feeling of power disappeared. When he dropped it into his bag, he noticed the spiders crawling in through the cracks in the walls


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