The Pink Tourmaline
A spell cast by her great-grandmother transports Quinn and her brother Michael to 1926. Stranded in an unfamiliar world, they only have one chance to get home—track down their great-grandmother and reverse the spell. Easy enough, except nothing in their family history lines up with reality. Things only get more complicated when they meet silent film actor Rafael Santino. Charming and with an interest in the supernatural, he offers his help.
When Quinn and Rafael fall in love, her relationship with her brother crumbles. She wants to stay, while Michael is desperate to leave. Splitting up is not an option. The spell has bound them together. Either both return or neither can.
Once Quinn finds a way home she must decide: Strand Michael in the past for the sake of her happiness, or leave the life she always wanted, so he can have his.
“There you are!” He held out a copy of the Times. Finally, something she recognized.
“It’s Monday, February eighth.” He paused for effect. “1926.”
“1926? Ninety years in the past? Wow.” She had to sit. This was all too much.
“I know.” He flipped through the paper while Quinn ducked behind a bush to change. “You should read this, Europe has almost five million unemployed. If only they knew what’s coming.”
Quinn, new dress and shoes on, pursed her lips and turned around. He was engrossed in the newspaper.
“Excuse me,” she said when she joined him on the bench.
“Listen to this. Mussolini is Prime Minister of Italy and wants to be addressed as Il Duce—the leader. Yeah that’s a great sign…Tsk.”
“Hey!” Quinn slapped the newspaper down to the ground.
“What are you doing? I was reading that!”
“Hello?” Quinn jumped up, fresh out of patience. “I’m glad you found something to entertain yourself with, but unless you intend to spend the rest of your life marveling at all the things you know that they don’t, you best get dressed and help me get home!”
All the light drained out of his face. Much as she hated it, he needed to be shook up sometimes. Michael, smart as he was, had a habit of getting lost in the past. Which was ironic, since they were literally lost in the past.
“Here are some clothes for you, and a hat. Maybe change behind that bush there,” Quinn suggested.
He snatched the clothes while Quinn pushed her stringy hair underneath her new hat. While Michael was busy, she bent down and picked the crinkled paper up. 1926. The year was printed in the corner. How had this happened?
She sat alone on the bench, paper hanging by her side. Was this her fault somehow? Had she made this happen? Had her desire to leave her life been so strong it had sucked her into another time? That didn’t happen though, did it?
“I’m ready.” Michael’s deep voice came from behind her. A grin manifested on her lips.
“You’re rather dashing.”
“Yeah, great. If we get stuck here, maybe I’ll get a job as a taxi dancer or something,” he said while pushing his old clothes into the bag alongside Quinn’s pink dress. “I’m sorry I got distracted with the paper.”
“I’m sorry too,” Quinn replied. Before she knew what was happening, tears streamed down her face.
Michael wrapped his arms around her.
“What’re we going to do?” She cried into his new suit.
“I don’t know. We’re going to figure it out though.” He pulled away from her, and to her surprise, he too had tears in his eyes.
She hadn’t seen him scared or sad in so long, not since their parents died, that it made her all the more terrified. Determined not to let it show, she wiped the tears away with the back of her hand and clapped her hands together.
“So Gatsby, where to next?”
“Well, I’m kinda hungry. What do you say, wanna check out what kind of food they have in the 20s?” With a nod, Quinn agreed, and they made their way back to the main street.