The girl with the brass ring was no older than ten many believe. With dark hair coming to her hips, she would weave among the passing strangers with her hands clamped over a satchel tied to her waist. In this satchel it was rumored there was a brass ring that granted the wishes of the beholder.
She spoke of a boy to her family sometimes, a foreign boy on a mission to right wrongs. He was lost and got answers from her with the help of a riddle. Pitying him she directed him to the answer of his riddle and in return he gave her a brass ring.
The ring, he told her, held a genie that would answer her wishes.
But the little girl had yet to use it. Instead, she held onto it and rarely showed a soul. Even her family had only fleetingly seen the metal band when she thought no one was watching. They’d see her take it out of her satchel and try it on. It was always too big, always just asking to be lost, but she’d never lose it. Instead, she would stare at the chilled metal as if pondering it’s secrets.
Her family always humored her, telling her to wish for fame or money. Some would tease her about the faith she put in it and try to take it from her when she wasn’t paying attention. It always returned to her, though.
Not even her closest friends knew why she still carried that ring around. They’d whisper behind her back, claiming she was insane for not testing it out. Some would even try to bully her into using it, but none could sway her opinion.
The little girl was no fool, though. She knew others would misuse the gift the foreign boy had granted her. And it was because of his gratitude that she never used the ring. It made her realize that only through good deeds was one rewarded. She had done a good deed, she had been rewarded with the ring, but that didn’t mean she had the right to use it.
So, many watched as she grew up and continued to hold onto that brass ring. Many presumed she had lost it as she grew, but those close to her knew otherwise. Eventually, they stopped bugging her about the ring and its wish granting powers. They’d still see her take it out sometimes, but they’d never say anything.
It wasn’t until she was aged and tired that her husband noted its absence finally. He questioned its location, but her answer was unclear. She was tired and losing the will to live quickly and her answer was lost beneath the sound of her own unsteady breathing.
Her husband never found out what happened and later she died. The ring was supposedly lost to the world and no one thought of it anymore.
That is, excluding the little girl who helped an aging woman answer a riddle.
**This is actually an extension of a character mentioned only once in my novel The Little Paragons. I was re-editing some stuff and came across where the character shows up and it made me think about how I could write a whole novel around this one insignificant character. Anything can be a novel, but sometimes it’s simpler to write a short story.**