Friday, 28 March 2014


It hadn't seemed such a bad idea.

Carl had been jogging through the park on his endurance run that morning when he saw her.

She was lying on the ground near a bench, gazing up towards the sky.
An old, old woman, probably in her nineties, with wavy white hair, wearing a green cardigan and faded skirt.

Oh God, is she all right? Carl thought as he rushed towards her.

Her face was lined with sorrow and exhaustion, eyes looking around dazed.

He lifted her right hand to help her up, but she wouldn't, or couldn't, get up.

"Ma'am, what's the matter? Are you all right?" Carl asked her, worried.

She slowly lifted her left hand.
"Please" she whispered in a voice that seemed near death.

Carl felt her pulse become erratic.

Something on her hand caught his eye. A ring. Silver or platinum, with a huge grayish diamond set in it. Black lines etched on the band. Alternating black and gold stones surrounding the diamond.

Carl's mind raced. He was in desperate need of cash. Jason had told him that the next dose of steroids would cost him eight grand. Judging by the size of that diamond, if it was real, the ring was probably worth several times that.

He debated whether to do it. She wasn't going to need the ring when she was dead, was she?

"Please, I beg of you-" she whispered.
Carl glanced at her face. Diamond earrings. Silver necklace. Rich. Her family weren't going to suffer too much for one ring, were they? If she even had family.

Her eyes pleaded with him, her breath coming in wheezes. She was not going to last long.

Carl decided.
"I'm sorry Ma'am," he murmered, easing down her right hand and taking hold of her left, "There's nothing I can do for you."

He slipped the ring off her bony finger. It was cold. He slipped it inside his pocket.

"I'm sorry." he said again, standing up and looking at her. Tears were streaming down her face. She was trying to say something, but couldn't.

Carl took one last look at her,  then sprinted away, feeling a heaviness upon his soul.


She watched the man jogging down the track. 
The tears of relief still flowed down her cheeks. 
She finally found her voice. 
"Thank you." she whispered, "Thank you so much..." 

She felt her burden ease. She was finally free of it! After all those years, she was free of that accursed ring, and she was free of It. 

She watched as It grinned at her one last time from the shadows of the bushes, looking at her with its dark, eyeless sockets. 
It turned its broken, twisted neck completely around and snuffled at the air through Its bleeding mouth and nostrils. It saw the man. 

It hoisted its torn, white decaying body onto the path, in pursuit of Its new prey. 

Even as she watched, Its broken, slimy skin grew fainter and fainter. Soon It would be visible only to the man. 

She was so tired. 
She closed her eyes. 

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