Friday, May 27, 2011

The Ebony Amulet

At the bottom of the chest, were a necklace, some folded papers and a lavender scarf. Not much, not what she thought would be there and so lonely looking. Her hand hesitated before touching the ebony amulet which caught her first attentions, but she just had to feel the stone's smooth surface. She reached in slowly and pulled the jewelry from the dust. Nola gasped as her fingers made contact; then she smiled.

"It's so beautiful." She sat back on her rump and examined the amulet. "I wonder about you. Are you important?"

Nola spoke to the amulet as if it were a child and tried to coax the answers from the inanimate object. Of course, this stuff did not rightfully belong to her anyway. Did it truly matter the story behind the jewel? Nola was a curious woman, she wanted to know the truth of everything.But right now, she only wanted to know its worth.But, Nola wasn't used to nice things but she knew this necklace was more than anything she had ever owned.

The amulet glimmered in the attic light, she saw what looked like diamonds around the ebony stone. Nola nodded and stood.

"Yes, I will keep you. It all makes sense now."

Without hesitation, Nola grabbed the letters and quietly closed the lid. Her steps down the attic steps were quiet and she held her breath. As she closed the door and sprinted down the hallway, she spoke loudly.

"Mrs. Patridge, I am here." Nola's voice was loud and cheerful as she announced her return to the blind invalid. She entered the room and took her seat beside the old woman's bed. "I found your scarf, Mrs. Patridge."

The frail lady turned and smiled toward the sound of Nola's voice. "Oh..thank you dear, that scarf was given to me by one of my best friends. It means so much that you retrieved it for me." The lady's shaking hand reached out and grasped. Bony fingers greedily searched for their prize. "Did....did, you find the Amulet?"

Nola grew cold. she looked down in her lap and bit her lip. She just couldn't do it. That thing looked really expensive, she was sure it would pay her mortgage. " mame."

Mrs. Patridge dropped her head and exhaled deeply. She spoke softly. "It's okay dear, I guess someone in the family has already found it." She chuckled, "guess those greedy bastards took most of my things long ago."

Nola gripped the Amulet tightly and watched the old lady grieve.


That night, Nola couldn't sleep well. Maybe, she had gotten three hours of sleep at the most. Her dreams, in those few hours of slumber, were horrible, chaotic visions of slow death. She awoke in a drenched sweat. Her breath was rapid. Nola was so afraid in her own home that she clenched her robe closed and went into the bathroom. She heard her phone ringing in the distance. "Shit! who is calling in the middle of the night?"
Gathering her courage as the dream begin to fade, Nola went to answer the phone. She caught the last ring and gasped into the receiver."Hello?"

"Is this Nola? Nola, Mrs. Patridge just passed away." Tina, the night shift hospice nurse spoke with a trembling voice. "I was sitting with her and she seemed so peaceful. She sleeps all through the night. I was sitting here doing my crosswords and keeping a watch on her breathing." Tina paused for a moment. Nola could here her voice shaking over the telephone line. "Nola, Mrs. Patridge just sat straight up in bed, called to someone named Charles then fell dead. I mean stone dead. No gasping, no crying, she just went, Nola."

Nola felt suddenly remorseful and very guilty about her theft. She was going first thing in the morning to the pawn shop and get her money. She wanted to be done with it. "I am sorry Tina. Mrs. Patridge was a good lady. Do you need me to come over now?"

"Yes, I think everyone should be here when the children arrive. I think that would be best."

"I will see you then." Nola sat the phone down and thought about her crime. It ate at her. "I have to pay my mortgage. I am not trying to hurt anyone. I just have to have this money." Nola talked to herself justifying her deed over and over.

As she walked into the bathroom to take her shower, she froze in front of the mirror. Was it shock or the startling beauty of the amulet which caught her attention? She wasn't sure. But that necklace was around her neck and she didn't remember putting it there. Nola reached up and touched the black stone. It shimmered in the light of the vanity. It was amazing. This was one very amazing peice of jewelry. The black stone was bordered by small diamonds and silver and hung from an thick silver chain. At least Nola thought it was real diamonds. She would know tomorrow soon enough. Nola reached around her neck to remove the necklace. Her fingers searched for the clasp and found nothing. A single chain was wrapped around her neck with no seeming way of removal. He twisted and pulled at the necklace, searching for the clasp, but nothing. After several attempts, Nola became very unnerved. "Damnit! where the hell is the clasp? I don't even remember putting the damn thing on anyway."

Nola pulled and tugged for at least thirty minutes and then she began to jerk the chain. "I can't go there with this thing on. Maybe I can break it. I can cut the blasted thing off."

Nola released the chain for the first time since her furious battle began thirty minutes earlier. She paced, trying to think of something that would break the chain. But her mind raced and her thoughts couldn't seem to grasp anything pertinent.

She felt her skin itching around her neck and she began to scratch. It tickled and she pushed the necklace aside and started to claw harder. She sweated, she paced and then she sit down. It was then that she felt the necklace digging into the flesh of her throat. It pulled tighter and tighter, the more she clawed. Nola could no longer get her fingers underneath the chain and she struggled frantically looking for something to pry the damn thing loose. "Shit!”
Nola gasped and her forehead furrowed. Nola was having trouble breathing. "Damn Amulet!"

Nola fell to the floor and breathed her last breath. The clasp opend and the amulet fell to the floor.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Yes! He is dead...Osama Bin laden is, I repeat...DEAD!!!

A special Mercy

“What’s wrong, Linda, why are you so drawn up? I aint gonna hurt you. You a pretty lady but I don’t want Killer to kick my ass. Ha ha…you know killer could kill me, Linda.” Tommy just kept talking. “That’s funny aint it, Linda.”

Killer was Linda’s boyfriend and to be honest he didn’t give a fuck about who was touching Linda. Her eyes were unmovable while driving. She watched shadows from her Buick’s headlights scurry away and then return further ahead as deeper darker thick mists of shape. Linda moved her lips absent mindedly. “Lunar anomalies, Tommy, that’s what that is called. Many people see faces in the moon but it’s just lunar anomalies…nothing more.”

“Yeah yeah….I go outside and watch the moon sometimes while I drink my beer and smoke my cigarettes.” Tommy’s smile widened in a crazed grin. He leaned forward and toward Linda, touching her upper arm lightly. Linda winced at his strange fleeting touch. “Linda, you are a pretty lady. You have a nice figure but I won’t try anything.”

Linda took note of every touch and every sneer Tommy gave her. She questioned why she had brought him along for the ride. All she wanted was a fifth of vodka. If Tommy hadn’t been waiting at the gas station, she would have been enjoying some nice brooding driving time alone. Linda’s depression had not worsened, nor had it gotten any better but Tommy wasn’t helping. Why did she always have to help him? Just because the other neighbors shunned him, didn’t mean she had to be his savior.

“Look here, Linda…” Tommy touched her arm again and sat at the edge of his seat. “I bought me another bike the other day and now I have two Mongooses.” Linda chanced to glance at Tommy quickly trying to hide the fact that she wondered why he wasn’t riding the damn bike right now.

She frowned and spoke. “Tommy, what did you do with that bike I sold you?”

Tommy chuckled and lit up a cigarette. ” Oh, Ted junked that bike out. He said it was a girl’s bike and I don’t want to be a sissy.”

The thought was hilarious. Linda pushed her foot down harder on the gas. The faster she got to the package store, the faster she could take Tommy back home. After all, she wasn’t about to go in the opposite direction until she had her alcohol. Linda needed her alcohol to make it through the hard nights. She yawned and leaned her head back.

“Hey! Hey! Don’t fall asleep now, Linda.” Tommy grabbed for the steering wheel and dropped his smoldering fag into the floorboard.

“Damnit Tommy, watch what you are doing. I am fine.” Linda took back full control of the wheel and gave Tommy a stern look. Her patience was wearing thin by his constant babbling and she could feel the irritation make her physically uncomfortable.Trees flew past on either side of the road, limbs waving her own to freedom from her challenged friend. She heard them cheer. “Go Linda, go!” Linda giggled despite her irritation.

“Hey! that’s Guns and Roses!” Tommy reached for the volume and flung it open wide. Axel Rose screamed his lyrics in angst. Linda imagined him shaking in his chair as he screamed ‘WElcome to the jungle.’ Linda smiled when he sang about how you are gonna die. She glanced at Tommy and exhaled slowly.

“I love GnR as well, Tommy.”

Tommy flew into a fit naming off random facts of the metal band and how he read this and that out of the Hit Parader. “Did you know that Axel Rose was in the church choir? That is where he learned to sing. You like Guns and Roses don’t you, Linda?”

Linda slammed on the brakes and pulled off on the shoulder of the road. Tommy yelled and sputtered in confusing about various reasons why Linda shouldn’t drive so recklessly because Tommy didn’t want to die. Linda’s chest heaved with the panicky breath that she labored to control. Tommy continued to babble

“Why did you stop, Linda?” The Tommy began to scream and scramble around in his seat. “Shit! There’s a fucking spider on me! Get it off! Get it off!” Tommy slapped himself over and over as the little brown spider scurried from one moon dappled bit of Tommy’s flesh to the other, its only desire to get free from Tommy’s tirade. “GEt it off me, Linda.! You bitch, can’t you see he is biting me!”

Linda froze by Tommy’s words. “Just get out of the car, Tommy. I will help you dust it off.” Linda reached across the mentally deranged man and pulled open the door. “Get Out, Tommy.”

Tommy flipped out of the car backwards and rolled in the grass. “You crazy bitch, get this spider off me! Can’t you see that I need help? What is wrong with you, Linda?” Tommy continued to slap himself as his cigarettes flew from his pocket. Linda smiled and closed the passenger door. “Let me pull back a bit and shine my headlights on you, Tommy.

I can’t see no spider.” Linda pulled the car in reverse and backed far enough until her headlights shone full on Tommy’s spasming figure.

“what are you doing, you fucking bitch? Don’t you care if this spider bites me and I die. I wouldn’t let you die, Linda. Do you want to die, Linda, you bitch?” Tommy conintued to curse Linda and beat himself silly. He never noticed when Linda threw the car in drive and floored it.

Tommy’s screams of frustration were cut short by the sounds of Linda’s laugher. She never heard his bones crunch nor the liquid sound of his eyeballs popping from the pressure of the 5th or 6th time she drove over his head. Around the 10th time she ran over him, he stopped making much different noises. By the time Linda backed over Tommy for the 15th time, she felt much better.