Naomi looked over the invitation one last time, to make sure everything was perfect. She paused a brief moment, her finger hovering just over the 'send' key. This was it. All her hard work over the years would finally be put on display for the world to see.
You are invited
Moonstone Family Museum
June Twenty-Second at Eight O'clock in the Evening
Drinks and hors d'oeuvres will be served in the Egyptian Gallery on the first floor.
Naomi smiled to herself, satisfied, and deliberately pressed 'send'.
Crystal and Jack were enjoying a leisurely morning on their patio in Lucky Palms. Crystal had recently retired, and Jack had officially turn his elixir shop over to his not-so-young-anymore assistant.
"Here's an e-mail from Naomi! Oh! It's the invitation!"
Crystal didn't need to elaborate.They had both been awaiting this day in eager anticipation.
Shani's invitation reached her on the beach in Barnacle Bay, where she and Elliott were checking out a resort that was up for sale, hoping they could snag it for the right price and go into business.
Zircon was on the road with the caravan, in Moonlight Falls,learning the art of fortune telling from his Aunt Diamond. He seemed to have a knack for it, just as his aunt and his grandmother before him. He stepped outside the little red wagon to take a break and check his mail.
"Aunt Diamond! Aunt Diamond! I got it! It's the invitation! I need time off to go to Bridgeport!" he yelled at the top of his lungs as he jumped up and ran back inside.
The highly anticipated email even reached Onyx at his camp in Al Simhara. He had been scouring the desert for years, exploring tombs and searching for any clue as to what had happened to his great-grandmother Topaz after she had disappeared into the desert with her mysterious purple haired friend.
Although the official Grand Opening would be the next day, Naomi held a small private preview for her family the day before. It was so good to see everyone again! Baby Zircon was all grown up, and she was surprised to see how her parents had aged.
They started their tour in the garden. Crystal and Jack walked hand in hand out to read the first marker.
"You see before you the very meteorite that crushed famed architect Amber Moonstone's car and destroyed a client's porch. Also take note of the sculpture in iron nearby. It was made by Amber herself from the metal scraps that were left of her destroyed SUV."
"This garden is only reminder on the premises of the great scientist and horticulturist Coal Moonstone. For a more complete view of his work, please visit the Moonstone Community Garden on Front Street."
Back inside, Crystal stopped at the entrance to one of two small rooms off the Egyptian Gallery to read a plaque attached to the wall.
"A reproduction of Garnet Moonstone's first Private Investigator office in Twinbrook. The bulletin board is original, as are all of the awards and trophies. Take special note of the key to the city and the small music box on the desk. The key was presented to Garnet by the mayor of Twinbrook himself, and the music box was a gift from her long time lover, Sinbad Rotter."
"Fascinating!" Crystal murmured to herself. She had had no idea the crates in the basement held such history.
The second room off the Egyptian Gallery was dedicated to the architect Amber, the second generation of famous Moonstones, her of the famed meteorite incident.
"Only two of Amber's architectural drawings have survived to the present, but many of her sculptures still grace the grounds. Here you see several of her more unique designs, as well as the awards she received from the City of Twinbrook for her contributions to the town."
Having seen everything on the first floor, the group now made their way up the stairs to the French Gallery.
Crystal was pleased to see that Naomi had kept the homey feel of the old living area, while still displaying the many French relics that Topaz had gathered on her travels.
Besides the public restrooms, there was one small gallery left to see on the second floor. Crystal and Naomi headed that way.
"While third generation Jasper was mainly noted for his outstanding police forensics work, few are aware that he was an artist as well. Sadly these four paintings are all that remain of his work."
"Also in this room you can see some of the effects of Jasper's son, the famous athlete Rocky Moonstone. Notice the old workout equipment, and a banner and trophy from the year Rocky led his team to a perfect season and victory in the playoffs. Rocky was of course the first Moonstone to make his home in Bridgeport."
After ohh-ing and ahh-ing over Jasper's and Rocky's gallery, everyone trouped up the stairs once more to the Chinese Gallery on the third floor.
There was even a fish tank, stocked with koi that had been brought back from China by one of the Moonstones at some point in the past.
There were several small rooms off the main gallery on the third floor. The first was Opal's styling studio.
"Fifth generation Opal Moonstone was know as one of the premier stylists of her time. She was much sought after for her fashion advice, and her style affected Bridgeport fashion for decades."
"The ribbon you see on this wall was awarded by the city after one of her most successful fashion shows put Bridgeport on the map as a fashion hub."
The next room was filled with seemingly unrelated miscellaneous items, until Crystal read the plaque at the entry.
"The items in this room belonged to sixth generation twins Emerald and Jade. Emerald worked as a teacher, but was most famous for her on-again off-again affair with the vampire William Fangmann. In the left corner you can see the heart-shaped vampire's eye gem that Emerald always carried with her. On the left wall is a painting of her beloved antique Corvette."
"On the right wall is a painting of a pink Vag, Jade's favorite car. Also note the mummy bear that Jade purchased in Egypt as a gift to her nephew Coal. The vase on the small table also dates from that era. Urban legend claims that it once contained Jade's ashes, and that her ghost still haunts the museum, but it has never been proven."
The third room was filled with painting of all sizes and subjects. Everyone was excited to discover they were all painted by Crystal's grandmother Topaz.
Onyx was the first to notice the paintings of two little girls - one blond, and one dark, with purple streaks running through her hair.
"Look mom! Is that Grandma Rose when she was a baby? And who is the other baby?"
""Yes! it must be, Ony. Then the blond baby is Rose's sister Coral."
Diamond had recently renovated the old gypsy wagon with Zircon's help, and had donated the old interior to the museum. Zircon was pleased to find that except for the window, the next room on the tour looked as if Rose Beryl had just risen from the old bench and stepped outside for a minute.
The last room nearly blew Crystal away.
"Oh Jack! There's a room for me too! Look! My old stage prop, my first guitar, my prize dancing trophy... and my gold record! I can't believe it!"
"Of course there's a room for you, dear heart. You're the most famous Moonstone of them all. I've been working with Naomi for a while now, to make sure everything was just right."
"Oh, Jack! I love you so much!"
After the tour was complete, everyone gathered again downstairs at the bar. Naomi had thought of everything, and had even arranged for tomorrow's bartender to be there for their family gathering.
They made the most of their time together, for as soon as the formal opening was over, they would all be heading off in different directions once more - Crystal and Jack back to their quiet retired life in Lucky Palms, Shani back to Barnacle Bay and the resort that Elliott was at this moment finalizing, and Zircon back on the road with the troupe.
Onyx was making the trek back to Egypt, still searching for evidence of Topaz and Tabitha, and Naomi would stay in Bridgeport, as the curator of the new Moonstone Family Museum.
The search was long and arduous, and led Onyx here and there between the many desert villages of Egypt. Finally one day, he discovered a tiny dwelling at the edge of an oasis. And under the palm trees he stumbled upon a stone.
"Here lies the love of my life
I will see you on the other side
He wasn't sure what he had expected. After all, she was his great grandmother. Still it was a bittersweet moment. He hoped the two of them were happy together, wherever they were.
Onyx now turned his attention to the thousands of unexplored tombs in the area. He found he had a knack for adventuring, and made several significant contributions to the historical knowledge of Al Simhara.
He met his end doing what he loved, in a sudden cave-in in an unstable tomb. He never married, and left no acknowledged heirs, although often an unexpected blond haired blue eyed baby would be born in a village he had recently passed through.
Shani and Elliott ran the best resort in Barnacle Bay. It was well known that reservations were needed months in advance if you wanted a room during peak season.
They never had children, whether by choice or not they never said. Their little dogs were their babies, they would inform anyone who was impolite enough to ask.
Zircon met and married the love of his life. 'There's just something about magicians..' he would tell anyone who would listen. He was sure his grandmother would agree. He and Philippe never produced any offspring, but Diamond's grandchildren all swore they were the best uncles ever.
Naomi lived her life as curator for the Moonstone Family Museum. She never married, and when she passed on at the ripe old age of 102, the museum was gifted to the people of the City of Bridgeport as a record of the many contributions the Moonstone Family had made to the city and its citizens.