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The Charm Bracelet

There’s something I find magical about charm bracelets. Each charm tells a story about its owner. Some are obvious, some you can guess, and others are more abstract, presenting a mystery. Only the owner of the bracelet will truly know each charm’s meaning. Charms and amulets date back to Egyptian times, when they were worn to ward off evil spirits and bad luck. Victorian times saw a revival, and it became fashionable to wear them. They are still popular today.

When I found an old silver charm bracelet in a junk shop, I was immediately intrigued. Who had owned it? What was their life like and when did they live? What was the significance of each charm? I bought the bracelet, but I knew I’d never wear it. It’s someone else’s story, and will always remain a mystery, which is what I like about it. I can look at those charms and make up my own story about them, and this is what inspired the charm bracelet in my children’s book, The 13 Treasures. In the story, the charms are based upon an old legend each one represents a magical object from the fairy world, such as a cauldron, a book, and a mask.

A charm bracelet offers a lot of possibilities for a story. Here are some things to consider:

  • Who does the bracelet belong to?You, or someone else? Are they living, or dead? Is it a family heirloom, passed down through generations? Does it belong to someone famous? A witch? A character from your favourite book?
  • Is it a gift? Stolen? Or is it found in a musty shop/crate in the cellar/your gran’s jewellery box/a graveyard?
  • How many charms are there? Seven for good luck? Thirteen for bad luck? Is one added each time the owner has a birthday?
  • Is it gold or silver, or even plastic? Valuable or worthless? Antique or new?
  • Do the charms have magical powers? Perhaps they each hold a memory? Or could they be cursed, or even haunted by a different ghost in each one? Could the ghosts need someone to free them? Or are they dangerous, and to be kept imprisoned at all costs?
  • What are the charms? Someones initials? A cat? A book? A pen? A sword? A house? What do they tell you about the owner? Do they open up so you can see inside? Could there be something tucked inside one of the charms, a note perhaps?
  • What happens to the bracelet in the end? Should it be locked away and never worn again? Or never taken off? Does it get lost or is it reunited with its owner?
  • Write a list of charms you feel would best describe yourself if someone were buying you a charm bracelet.
  • Make a list for someone else you know, and ask them to do the same for you. Compare lists and see how well they match.