The silver amulet

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
Who knew a decedent piece of jewelry could be so deceivingly deadly

Submitted: August 28, 2016

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Submitted: August 28, 2016

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 “Thank you for this, really.” She addressed the killer with a tone of gratitude. In the interest of preserving her dignity before the final nap, she wiped away the excess residue off the corner of her lips. “Hey, a deal’s a deal, right?” Returning the same amount of pleasantness in his voice, Clark laid the clear plastic tarp around the floor of the study room with a slight giddy in his step. Stainless steel bounded Loretta’s wrists to a chair that was strangely comforting to sit in. Plushy fabric cushions supported her back and bottom, but failed to stretch farther to cover her bare arms. Mahogany wood frigid to the touch made her small blonde hairs stand on end. Simple comfort clashed with primal instincts insisting on survival. The more she looked around her magnificent room of literature, the more difficult all this was becoming to accept.

 “You know, Phillip is a pretty fucked up guy.” “Why would you say something like that? All he’s doing is just orchestrating my murder from afar.” A sarcastic response calmed her slightly. After all, in stressful situations, she knew her smart mouth loaded with a limitless supply of quips would always serve to calm her nerves.  “No. he wanted me to bring you directly to him. Old fuckin’ coot went into much unneeded detail about you. How you were the prettiest one at the facility, how your red hair always got his motor going when it caught an outside breeze. Shit like that.” “What, he wanted me served on silver and ready to be defiled before throwing me in the dirt after? A real man would have come down here to do that himself. Hell, if he was a real man, he would do all of this himself.” “Men with that kind of money believe they’ve earned the privilege to veto out of certain duties.”

 “And what about men like you Clark?” “The higher you are on the ladder, the drier you stay. Unfortunately, I’m pretty low. Wet work pays the bills, no matter how soggy my boots get. I can’t quit. Not yet at least.” She could sense a fault in his emotional defenses, but exploiting that wouldn’t have gotten her very far. It wouldn’t save either of them from what was coming next. The late night creatures erupted with sounds of life outside her window. Living in a secluded part of the North Western forest, she learned to appreciate the presence of nature as something bigger than anything she could ever hope to control or understand.

She wished the room was completely engulfed in darkness, but instead, the fluorescent beam of a floodlight illuminated the room with horrifying clarity. She prayed with a silent fury to the one and only above, pleading for his forgiveness and grace. “Tell me, where the hell did you get that amulet? I swear if I was a lesser man, that thing would be gone in a heartbeat. It’s beautiful. A King cobra with an exposed hood made of pure silver and glowing sapphires for eyes, thing must be worth a god damn fortune!” “If it is, then that’s too bad for anyone who would want to buy it. Thank you for the compliments. It is something I hold dear to me. Saudi Arabia was its home. More specifically, I discovered it in a desert cavern smack dab in the middle of nowhere.” “You travelled to Saudi Arabia by yourself? You’re fucking insane if you did.” “No, my husband and son accompanied me on the flight. I’m an archeologist and got a tip from a fellow colleague that there’s a hotspot in the Arabian Desert. All I had were some coordinates and the support of my family.” “How very interesting.”

He had finished spreading the plastic across the floor. With the elegant window ajar directly behind her head, everything was set. She swallowed painfully hard as she saw his hands full. One clutched a folding metal chair that was placed feet from where she sat. The other contained a Walther PPQ 9mm pistol outfitted with a suppressor. Groaning at the chore of bending his knees to sit, he looked Loretta in the eyes to speak the last thing she’d ever hear. “You know none of this is personal right? I have a job, just like you did. Wake up in the morning, put on my pants, and walk out the door. Despite a few differences, you and I do the same shit. I bury people, you dig ‘em up. No hard feelings ok?” “No. I know you’re only doing what you need to do. But please listen, for your sake! Can’t you just tell him you killed me? Just let me go and I’ll never show up again. I’ll be lost in society. Please!” “Come on Loretta, I thought you were better than this. No, there isn’t a way to fool him. He wants your head and the Amulet brought back by daybreak.”

She couldn’t help it, for fear of what was coming next. Her eyes welled with tears. She whimpered carelessly to herself, like a lost puppy begging for a home and endless affection. Her body thrashed against the chair each time she heaved from the sobbing. Mucus dribbled down her nose as her weeping only grew louder. “Please Loretta, don’t cry. It won’t save you.” She pardoned his wisdom for nonsense, continuing to cry her soul out from puffy lips and light blue eyes stricken with streaks of red. Clark walked to her and brushed back her amber hair to expose her ear. Whispering a final sorry, he sat back in frigid metal and raised his pistol. Aiming at her forehead, he angled the weapon so the bullet would careen out the window. Gasping, she was able to speak between hiccups hyperventilation. “Please…turn off the lights. I…I can’t watch this again.”

Confused, Clark told her she would not see a thing. That it would be just like blinking. Lifting her head up, she looked back at him with the sullen eyes of terrified child. “I wasn’t talking to you.” The floodlight bulb fizzled out, leaving the room and the entire house suspended in a state of swirling black. Out of nowhere, heavy footsteps could be heard upstairs. The two downstairs were quiet as church mice, but the unknown entity upstairs had little regard for stealth.   “Is there anyone else in here I don’t know about?” Clark mashed the muzzle of the pistol into her temple, but she didn’t squeak a word in return.

“Mommy? Is the bad man gone now?” The voice of a small child resonated throughout the empty estate. A wicked snicker grew on Clarks face. Pulling back the slide of the pistol to expose a live round to Loretta, he tip toed to the door of the study and pried it open without making so much as creak. The upstairs bedrooms were directly left of where he was. A polished stairwell paved the way to the child. Seeing him disappear from view when he paced left, she shut here eyes as tight as she could and hummed inside her mouth, praying to god the vibrations would distort any outside noise.

Her heart raced a thousand beats a second from sheer anticipation. Shaking in her chair like the bombing campaign of Tora Bora was going on right outside her house; she wanted to scream until her throat bled. That was something she did not want to chance. She knew it was there because she was in distress, but creatures of another dimension shouldn’t be tested by unknowing mortals.

More seconds ticked away as she was sure he made it to the top floor. In danger of imploding from the inside, she begged for something to happen, but wished time would remain frozen like this for eternity.

 “WHAT THE FUCK!” Clark screamed from above. Terror racked his voice as he and something monstrously big could be heard stomping downstairs. His footsteps barely registered in her ears, but whatever was chasing him shook the house to the foundation. Ramming the door wide open, he stumbled into the study with only one thing racing in his mind. Scrambling for the open window, she felt the rush of rancid air pass her by as something was pursuing him. The scent it carried made her stomach do acrobatic flips as she kneeled to the floor with the chair shooting up behind her and let her digested dinner splatter over plastic tarp.

Clark didn’t make it far into the forest. Horrid screams of panic turned to bone crushing yells of agony. Even above her screaming, she could hear the gruesome sounds of flesh being torn to shreds. Chomping sounds similar to a crocodiles indulging in the flesh of a water buffalo echoed outside as Clark still screamed. He was in unimaginable pain, but refused to let the world be lost on that fact. Another tear of flesh, this time bone could be heard fracturing and blood splashing by the liter on wet earth. The beast roared with savage satisfaction as it feasted on the ligaments of the hit man.

Clarks’ screams were beginning to fade with blood loss and shock, but the monster had another idea for his demise. Sounding as if it were regurgitating his remains, Clark screamed the loudest his lungs would let him at the final act the monster carried out. By the sounds, she could tell it expelled some kind of volatile liquid out of its mouth and onto Clark. His screams died down to a grotesque gurgling as biological acid digested his esophagus and lungs. He would return to her again, but first, the beast needed to finish its meal.

Her cries shook her body as her heart rate slowly descended at a steady rate. Lying on her side, she hoped he would talk to her like this and leave her to look at the floor. Sloshing its food around like a pig, it gave a harrowing howl that was never meant to be heard on this earth. As quick as a snap, everything fell silent. No wildlife could be heard chirping or buzzing outside. No spindly branches were scraping against the bark of tall pines in the wind. Even the air was void of any ringing or humming. She sat petrified in the confines of cushions, waiting for his presence to curse her.

Leather from worn cowboy boots squealed as he walked closer to her. The spurs nicked the plastic every other step he took. She didn’t dare open her eyes, but knew he still wore the same black hat and leather gloves. Each gave off a notable squeak when he took a seat on the metal chair Clarke left behind. Making her worst fear come true, he hoisted her chair up and made her face him. “You know Loretta, you should really start carrying a gun. I know you don’t want to hear something like this ever again, and I can bribe any man on earth to prove your innocence.”

Opening her eyes, she looked at his midsection.  A black leather vest with white buttons covered his inhuman shape. Two sparkling gold revolvers hung at his sides, probably made somewhere in Nevada after the end of the civil war. Looking down, his leather pants were slightly wrinkled, but complimented his boots well.

“Sugar, my eyes are up here.” Looking the devil in the face, she was never fooled when she saw the face of a scruffy young man that looked to be the star of a seventies western. “Why couldn’t I just die this time?” “Neither me or the big man upstairs can allow you to die until you’ve completed your task.” “Why me?” anger quelled inside of her, but she was too weary to push it all on the prince of darkness. “Well, unfortunate to say, but out of about nine billion people, you drew one of the shortest straws available.”   “Does it have to be this way?” “Yes. For my grand amusement park to actually open to the public and for the ultimate step in human evolution to become a reality, you must discover what will be its end.”

Her eyes started to sting again, but she wouldn’t allow herself to cry. Parents always tell their children they’re destined for great things. No one believed in that saying more than her mother. She always told Loretta one day she would do something or discover something no one ever had, nor will. “Don’t feel too bad about it. You and every other person that shares the blood of Matthew are guaranteed entry into the kingdom of light, no matter how evil you were on earth.” “My husband…my son, do you know how they’re doing?” “Loretta for Christ sakes they’re with the man who walked on water. I’m sure their doing ok.”

Nodding in agreement, she always felt reassured when it was reminded to her that every last loved one she had would gain entry to the gates of gold tucked away in the clouds. Clapping his hands together, she felt the metal handcuffs around her wrists banish. There was no plastic under her feet, the floodlight had disappeared from the corner, and the normal house lights bathed the two in a soft shade of yellow.  “I’m truly sorry for what you had to witness, but I must go. Enjoy the rest of your night, and I suggest you call in sick tomorrow.”

Before she could say anything in response, he had already walked out of the study room. It was always eerie hearing him leave. His boots slammed against her wood flooring, fading with each step until they went silent. Her body was exhausted, her muscles ached, and her head throbbed in pain. A long rest on her memory foam mattress could erase the physical scars, but nothing could repair the damage she sustained to her psyche. Walking upstairs to her bedroom, she toyed with the silver cobra, hoping some kind of inane pleasure would come out of it. The metal was cold and unloving, but would forever be by her side. Cursing the very existence of the thing, she stared at herself in the mirror before going to bed. Although hard to admit, she had to think. The key that would unlock the end of the world looked rather dazzling on her.


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