The Thing About Ruby Is...

Ruby Gladstone has nothing, or so she thinks. Ruby learns she is descended from the great Gabriel Sebastian Gladstone, demon killer. Not only that but she learns that she is destined to kill the mysterious ruler of the Demons who prefers to work from the shadows and will stop at nothing until Ruby is dead. Can she save not only herself,but the world from this mysterious force? Or will she perish in the flames of the demon race?

Ruby Gladstone is a force to be reckoned with.

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3. Three

 

Her Aunt Klara had dinner ready when she walked in. Dylan was moping about the living room, he had a bad day at work. He worked in the garden centre in town but had arrived home earlier than Ruby. Apparently he fell in the pond. When they were eating Karla asked how her day went.
'Oh it was good. It went a bit slow but Dahlia is lovely. Augustus wasn't there but his grandson Cass was. He is really weird but I felt as if I knew him from somewhere.'
'Cassell Carew? He's a weird one. All the girls fawn over him but he is a bit of a loner. He talks to me though.' Dylan said with a mouth full of potato. Ruby thought how strange their whole family seemed to be. She felt a kinship with Cass over their parents. But that was all, she had no desire to befriend the boy.
That night Ruby dreamt about the snow again. There was five of them this time. All five were covered in blood as was the snow around them. It looked harsh against the stark white almost pink in some places. 

The next day She was early for work. She ended up no getting back to sleep last night after her dream and getting up at six. She didn't expect the shop to be open but it was. Augustus was by the book shelves, holding a rather precious looking book. It's binding was purple and gold and didn't look like any book she had ever seen before. Augustus hurried it away when he heard the door open which struck Ruby as odd. He smiled at her when he saw her but he looked worried. 
'Ah Ruby Gladstone! Am I glad to see you! Dahlia and Cass have popped out for a minute perhaps you could give me a hand in her back?' August asked her. He showed her to the boxes upon boxes of books he had stowed away in the back room. He patted them and asked if she could help him sort through them. 
'You know what should be put out or not. I trust you, anything too precious leave in one box yes? I'll be out front if you need me.' He looked he was nervous as he walked out to the front of the shop. Ruby let her nagging feeling go and started sorting through his old books. Some were extremely old. All of the bindings were in perfect condition though. She was perhaps an hour in and only two boxes sorted through. With a scissors she opened her third box and blew off some dust. Blinking for a moment she wondered if she was seeing things. The purple and gold bound book was lying in the box. The one Augustus had earlier. He must have had two copies but Ruby's curiosity was piqued. She slipped the book into her bag for later then continued sorting. 

After sorting for four hours and taking two breaks she decided to head home. The Carew's all said goodbye too her and Ruby wondered if it was just her imagination or did they all look sort of pained or nervous in some way. Augustus was tapping the counter absent minded while Dahlia twisted her hands. Cass just looked stone faced. He wished her well then headed into the back room.


'The book is gone. She must have taken it.' Cass said relieved as he returned to the front of their shop. Dahlia let out a breath she hadn't realized she was holding.
'Do you think she will come back? It's a lot to take in. What if she leaves and we don't see her again! What will we do! The poor dear has absolutely no protection.' Dahlia fretted. 
Augustus patted her back reassuringly. 
'Cass will keep an eye on her tonight again, won't you Cass?' Augustus asked his grandson.
'Sure I will. I know how important this is.' Cass reassured them both.

It was eleven and Dylan and Klara had gone to bed. They were both exhausted while Ruby found that she couldn't sleep at all. She tiptoed to her dresser and took the purple book from her bag before making her way back to her bed. It was a good thing she did sit down before she opened it. The author was Micheal Gabriel Gladstone. Her father had written a book that had ended up in the Carew's bookstore? The chances of this were impossible. Yet she read on. There was an inscription on the inner leaf.

 

This book, you will find, is not a fairy tale  It is full of creatures which are very much real and very much dangerous. I am Micheal Gabriel Gladstone, descendant of Gabriel Sebastian Gladstone. I write this book in the hopes that he or she who reads it will use the knowledge to help the world. Help destroy the creatures that everyday, destroy your world. I leave it in the hands of an old friend in the hopes that its story will be passed on and lives can be saved. I want the world to be a safer place for my daughter Ruby who faces danger everyday. I will keep her safe for as long as I can from him. If I die I entrust her safety to another member of the guard. That you may protect her from his evil and bring her to her mother. The only other place for her where she will be safe is with her. 

                                                                                                                         M.G.G

 

Ruby set the book down for a minute. She wondered if this was some prank but no one would do that to her. She recognized her fathers writing. Her mind was racing with what she could do, obviously she had to talk to the Carew's. They clearly knew something if they had the book. The message was quite cryptic. Who was the "he" that she was supposedly not safe from? And what was that about her mother? Her mother didn't want to see her, she lived in Portugal for Christ's sake! She was sure it was some ridiculous misunderstanding She decided to put the book away and just ask the Carews tomorrow. Something was niggling at her though. Her father knew that he was going to die. Or it seemed that way. 
Suffice to say Ruby didn't get much sleep that night. The next morning he had deeper circles under her eyes than usual. She tried to cover them with makeup because she knew her aunt wound worry. 

An hour later and she was knocking on the door to the shop. For some reason it said it was closed yet the Carew's car was around the back. Augustus came out from the back to see who it was and his eyes widened when he saw her. He hurried to open the door for her.
'Hello Augustus.' she said crisply. He locked the door behind her and motioned for her to follow him to the back room. She followed hesitantly, not liking the sudden atmosphere change and being locked in. 
The back room had a table and three chairs set up. Dahlia occupied one already and Cass sat on a box in the corner of the room, his arms crossed. They all kept their eyes on Ruby. She felt nervous all of a sudden. 
'So does anyone want to explain this?' She asked, taking out the book and putting it on the table. They all shared an uncomfortable look before Augustus started.
'Yes. Well, did you read the whole thing?' he asked her. Suddenly she felt rather stupid as she hadn't bothered reading past the inscription.
'No. I only read the inscription. Would you care to explain?' She replied tartly.
'Look, this will come as a shock to you since your father never told you any of this but you are rather famous. So is your father. Not in this world obviously but in ours. Gladstone is a proud family. Your descendants protected our royal family. Your father included. He was a warrior, and a good one too. The thing is, he protected people from things that don't officially exist. Shapeshifters, demons, goblins and ghouls. You name it, he fought it.' Augustus took a break to take a sip of water. Ruby used this as an advantage to speak up now that she had found her voice.
'Wait. You expect me to sit here and believe this bull? Fat chance!' She moved to walk out but Cass was blocking her.
'Move Cassell. I'm leaving you wackos before I have to hear anymore of this rubbish.'
'I can't do that Ruby. You have to listen to this. Didn't you read it? Your in danger! Someone wants you dead, like physically dead. So sit down and listen to the story.' There was no moving him so she sat back down. Dahlia patted her arm but Ruby pulled away from her, she felt instantly bad for the wounded expression that flickered across Dahlia's face.
'Let me continue. Ok, so your father was put in place to protect the King's daughter. Well, one thing led to another and she ended up pregnant and they were engaged to be married. You were that baby. Your parents married and you were born. Everything was good for a while. Then the demons started coming in armies. We had never fought them in such large numbers. Our kind was dying. We didn't know what to do so your father and mother went to a soothsayer. They tell the future. This soothsayer pointed directly at you, in your mother's arms and predicted you would be the one to finish him off. She had foreseen it.' Augustus stopped.
'Ok. Ok,' she was trying to get her head around all this information, 'So I have got to o what exactly? Who is this "he" everyone is talking about?' Ruby asked.
They all looked uncomfortable. It was Dahlia who spoke.
'No one really knows. When the demons started to get organised it got people thinking, why? Also how, because up to this they appeared in small numbers and were disorganized. Everything was suddenly very strategic. We ended up getting the information out of some goblins. There was someone leading them. Someone who wanted rid of us and let demons reign free, killing whoever they wanted. No one has ever seen him, he stays well out of the way and very hidden but he heard about you. That you would kill him one day. Ever since then he has tried to kill you. Your father thought it best if he brought you to this world. He guarded you, being a Gladstone after all, it was all you ever needed. But when he died you were left with no protection. Klara offered to take you up here so that we could take you back to your mother.' Dahlia finished.
Ruby thought for a moment about what to say.
'So lets say, hypothetically, that I believe you. What happens now?'

 

 

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