He had been watching the mail for days, walking back and forth between his office and the mail-room, and the package STILL hadn’t arrived. Kaine was champing at the bit to get his hands on the ring – he HAD been ever since he had first seen it on eBay and read the auction description. It was supposedly cursed, and Kaine couldn’t WAIT to test out the seller’s claim! But, there was a problem with the package going to the wrong post office, and it still hadn’t been delivered.
Kaine worked in the education department of a science museum, but he had a secret interest in the paranormal. Now he kept it under wraps, since the people he worked with were all skeptics and so vocal against the reality TV shows dealing with the paranormal. The first time he had mentioned watching one of the shows, his friend, Rob, blurted out, “I HATE that show! Every time they go into a room, they start claiming to be pinched, bit, and all SORTS of things, but they have no PROOF other than their own claims!” Kaine stood and listened to Rob’s rant, which went on for what seemed like an hour. He didn’t DARE say anything about what he had perceived as real evidence they had collected. Didn’t these so-called SCIENTISTS realize that all science was once unknown? Why couldn’t paranormal researchers have some valid theories and evidence to support them?
So, Kaine had kept his interest under wraps, smiling whenever the topic came up, but holding his tongue. However, that didn’t stop him from watching the shows and searching the internet auction sites for haunted or cursed items. He hoped that, one day, he would win one of these auctions and be able to see if any of them were for real. It was during one of those searches that Kaine found the ring. It was listed on eBay as a “dybbuk exorcism silver signet ring,” and, as soon as he clicked on the link to the auction, Kaine KNEW he had to have it. It was silver and had a pentacle on its front with a Star of David and an Egyptian ankh on its sides. The combination of religious symbols made Kaine realize that it was MADE for him.
During the auction, the price shot up quickly, and ended up being sold at over $200. Kaine didn’t have that kind of money – he was still recovering from his summer of being unemployed, so he had, after bidding $85, let the ring go. It upset him, but he couldn’t justify the expense to himself. Then, out of the blue, the ring came up for auction again from the same seller! Kaine was so surprised to see it again that he immediately clicked on the link and found that the original bidder had, according to the seller’s listing, put in a bid of $900 because, “he was losing the bid and HAD to have the ring, like Gollum from the Hobbit,” despite not having enough money to pay for it. So, the seller said he re-listed the ring and banned the original bidders from bidding. Kaine immediately tried to bid, but was denied since he had been banned from bidding.
Kaine uttered, “WTF!” under his breath, and then realized that HE had bid on the original auction, so the seller’s ban on the original bidders included HIM! His first instinct was to let it go, but the ring was calling to him – he just HAD to possess it! So, he had created a new account and bid on the auction with five days left. Over the next five days, Kaine constantly watched the auction. On the last day, he kept the auction up on his computer screen and, for the last 10 minutes (which was, luckily, during his lunch break), stared at it on his screen. When he FINALLY won the auction, for $100, he let out a whoop of joy, and immediately went to pay for it. As he logged into PayPal, the vision of Gollum flashed into his mind’s eye, and he briefly thought, “Now I’M the Gollum!” before falling back into his euphoria. Once the payment had gone through, the waiting game began.
One week after the auction, Kaine received an e-mail from the seller stating that the Post Office was not able to deliver the package. His heart almost stopped as he read and reread the e-mail – how could it be UNDELIVERABLE? He logged into eBay and PayPal, checked and rechecked the address – they were CORRECT! Well, it WAS a Saturday and the museum didn’t accept mail deliveries on the weekend since the mailroom was closed. Plus, Monday was a holiday, so there was no mail delivery. He’d just have to check on it on Tuesday!
When Kaine arrived at work on Tuesday, he checked the delivery confirmation number to find no change in the ring’s status. So, he went to the USPS website and requested a redelivery. Hopefully, it hadn’t been sent back to the seller in Missouri! When he received confirmation that the ring would be redelivered, he felt his heart, which had been racing since Saturday, slow down a little. He sat back in his chair, once again picturing Gollum in his mind’s eye, but this time, he had another thought along with it, one he said out loud to his empty office. “Maybe the ring really IS cursed.”
On Wednesday, Kaine received a call from the museum head’s office. Apparently, the postman had been in the office saying that he had actually DELIVERED the ring the day before. He was certain, he said, because he remembered the name. Kaine pulled out his laptop and showed the head’s assistant, who had spoken to the postman, the delivery information. “Well,” she said, “hopefully it will all get sorted out.”
On Thursday, Kaine walked back and forth between his office and the mail-room every 30 minutes looking for the package. It didn’t arrive, but the online tracking system stated that it had gone to the correct Post Office this time.
On Friday, Kaine received another call from the head’s assistant before lunchtime. The package had finally arrived! Kaine leapt out of his chair, slammed the door to his office and ran to the mail-room, almost knocking over the postman as he was leaving.
“Sorry about the confusion with the package, sir…” the postman began, but Kaine didn’t hear him. He was already down the stairs and at his box looking at the padded manilla envelope in his box. FINALLY, he thought, my ring is here! He then said, out loud, “My Precious ring is HERE!” It took him a few seconds before he realized what he had said, and began to laugh at the connection to Gollum. He grabbed the envelope and, tearing into it, pulled out a wad of bubble wrap. Kaine then ripped the tape off the bubble wrap and, so as not to drop the precious cargo inside, unrolled the bubble wrap from around the silver metal he had waited so long to hold. As the ring dropped into his hand, it caught the light, sparkling with an intensity that Kaine felt almost as much as he saw.
“It’s heavier than I expected,” he thought, and he had a sudden urge to put down the ring and walk away, leaving it there for someone else to pick up. He resisted it and, in a moment, it had passed and his euphoria had returned ten fold. “It’s finally MINE!” he screamed, and slipped the ring onto his finger.
The auction listing had listed it as about a size 11 ring, so Kaine did not expect it to fit since he was a ring size of 9. He knew this because his wedding band had recently been re-sized, although he STILL didn’t wear it. He thought it was too confining, but THIS ring, he WANTED to wear it. In fact, he felt that he would somehow be INCOMPLETE if he did not try it on. So, slipping it onto the ring finger of his left hand, he expected it to slide around due to its being two sizes too large, but it fit perfectly, like it was MADE for him. It was PERFECT, and it felt GREAT to be wearing it. Kaine left the mail-room, almost floating up the stairs, and went to his office to leave a glowing review for the seller on eBay.
At the end of the day, Kaine left work still on cloud nine. He got behind the wheel of his car, an old, beat up monster of a Chevy Blazer, and stared at the ring on his hand. It glittered in the afternoon sun and appeared to have gained some luster during the day. Kaine did not notice, though, as he started his car and drove out of the parking garage.
On his way home, Kaine realized that his wife, Sara, would be upset. Here he was, wearing a ring he had bought on eBay, and an allegedly CURSED ring at that, when he wouldn’t even wear his wedding band. They had had arguments about that in the past, but in the 14 years they had been married, Kaine had gained almost 40 pounds, and the ring hadn’t fit in almost a decade. Of course, she had gotten it sized for their anniversary and Kaine still didn’t wear it, so they had been arguing again over the past few weeks. Kaine decided to remove the ring before he got home – he did have an hour commute, so he could enjoy the feel of being connected to the ring for a while longer before he had to take it off and hide it in his bag…
When Kaine pulled off the highway, he came to a stop to fill up his gas tank, and, as it was filling, he attempted to remove the ring. It wouldn’t come off – it was as if his knuckle had swelled up and he couldn’t slide the ring over it. He tried turning the ring and it spun freely on his finger. ‘That’s strange,’ he thought, ‘it slipped ON without a problem. Maybe it was the heat in the car – it WAS blowing on my hand.’ Kaine realized that, despite the fact that it wouldn’t come off, there was no problem. He’d just have to explain to Sara that he had bought the ring as part of his Halloween costume and, in trying it on, it got stuck. He’d just leave out the ‘cursed’ part – he hadn’t been able to verify it, anyway.
As Kaine pulled into his driveway, he saw that Sara’s minivan was gone. “Probably out with the kids at Jen’s house,” he said. Jen was ALWAYS coming and taking Sara and the kids away to do things with them. The housework had gone to HELL since Jen decided that Sara and the kids were her surrogate family! “Oh, well,” he said, “no use thinking about it now. This’ll just give me more time to try and get the ring off before she gets home.
As Kaine opened the front door, he realized that the dog wasn’t in the backyard, and prepared to be tackled by the Great Dane. However, the dog wasn’t at his usual spot right in front of the door. “That’s strange,” he said. “MIKAEL, HERE BOY!” No reply. Kaine looked around the empty living room – no dog. So, he stood and listened to the empty house, and that’s when he heard Mikael’s characteristic whimper. He IS in the house, Kaine thought. Following the noise, he went into the kitchen and saw him, cowering in the hallway leading to the basement, his back against the wall.
“What’s wrong, Mikael?” Kaine asked, reaching his hand out to stroke the dog’s short fur. As he did so, Mikael began to growl, baring his teeth Kaine stopped, jumping back at the dog’s strange reaction. In eight years, Mikael had never growled menacingly at ANYONE – he was the most gentle dog Kaine knew, despite his enormous size. As Kaine continued to back away from the dog, Mikael got up from his crouch and ran into the basement with is tail between his legs. Kaine ran forward and slammed the door, locking the dog in the basement until he could figure out what to do with him. He even jammed a chair under the doorknob as an extra measure to keep Mikael down there, and sank to the floor in exhaustion and terror.
After a little while sitting on the floor, Kaine stood up and walked to living room sofa to think. His hands landed in his lap, the ring again glittering in the afternoon light which streamed in through the picture window. Kaine looked at the ring and said to it, “You’ll never turn on me, will you, Precious?” It sparkled again as if to say, “Of COURSE not, we’ll ALWAYS be together.” This calmed Kaine and he laid back on the sofa, quickly drifting into a deep sleep from the exhaustion of his day.
Kaine felt like he was floating above his body. He could SEE his prone figure lying on the sofa, with his left hand cradled on his chest, held in his right as if to protect his precious ring. As he watched, he heard footsteps in the kitchen, and turned towards the doorway, expecting to see Sara and the kids coming in through the door, but no one entered. His figure did not stir at the sound, and Kaine began to wonder what was going on in the other room. The footsteps had stopped, but there was someone rummaging through the kitchen drawers or cabinets, as if they were looking for something. Kaine tried to ‘swim’ through the air towards the kitchen, but it was as if he was stuck to the ceiling above the sofa. Just then, the noise in the kitchen stopped, and Kaine heard a sound that chilled him to the bone – it was a roar, but unlike any animal he had ever heard before. It sounded as if a human voice had been mixed with a Velociraptor’s scream. He turned once again towards the kitchen door and saw a dark figure come through it. This figure had to crouch to get through the doorway, which Kaine, at 6’1” could easily walk through with 8” or more to spare. It was looking side to side with three glowing red eyes, and Kaine could see it’s coal black skin glistening as it rippled on its body, as if worms wriggled just under the surface. When it saw his body lying on the sofa, Kaine heard it scream again. Then, as if in response to the thing’s awful cry, he saw a purplish-red glow emanate from under his right hand, and he felt a sharp pain where the ring lay on his finger. The creature stared at his prone body for a second, and then, with a blur, it was standing right next to the sofa. Kaine began to sweat profusely and cried out, “WAKE UP!” to his body, hoping he was just dreaming. The thing turned and looked directly AT him, as if it could HEAR him. It had no visible nose, but had a gaping hole where its mouth should be. The mouth began to change shape and, as Kaine watched, the thing began to SMILE at him! Kaine began to scream at his prone figure on the sofa as the thing turned towards his body, grasped his left arm and began to pull it away from his body. It stared at the ring, and Kaine heard an inhuman voice in his head say, “I WANT MY RING BACK! RETURN MY RING OR RECEIVE THE WRATH OF TYPHON!”
It was at that point that Kaine woke up in a cold sweat, screaming at the dream he had just had. He looked around at his living room – HOURS had passed and it was dark in the room, but he could see a little from the light on the cable box and the light coming in from the kitchen. He got up and switched on the table lamp by his head and thought about his nightmare – BOY, was it REALISTIC! His arm even hurt where the thing had grabbed him! He looked down and saw three red burns where the thing’s talons had touched his forearm, and realized that there was SOMETHING going on…
At that point it hit him, and he realized that the house was too quiet. Had Sara come home with the kids yet? He stood and walked into the kitchen, looking out the window towards the driveway – her minivan was still missing. He looked at the phone – the message light wasn’t blinking. He began to look around at the room for some note, and that’s when he saw it. Taped to the refrigerator was a note from Sara, he could see her telltale signature at the bottom. He went and ripped it off the fridge, reading it with trembling hands – Sara was LEAVING him! Worse yet, she had taken the kids! She was crying when she wrote it, he could tell from the way the ink ran on the page, but that hadn’t stopped her from leaving. “You’ve gotten very distant in the past few weeks,” it said, “and the kids and I don’t know what has become of the husband and father we once knew…” The letter continued to tell him how she was going to stay with Jen for a while in the in-law apartment at her house until he figured out WHO he was going to be…
Kaine sat down on the kitchen floor for the second time since returning home. Had he REALLY been that distant? Her letter had said, “…the past few weeks…” which put it just about the time he had first seen the ring on eBay. WHAT exactly was up with this RING? First, the person who had overbid on the ring and couldn’t afford it, then the delivery problems. Once he got the ring, he started calling it “Precious,” Mikael had reacted as if he was a stranger, he had that strange dream, and now THIS. Maybe the ring WAS cursed! Kaine decided it was time to get rid of it.
So, Kaine ran out his front door, to his car, and peeled out of his driveway, knocking down some of Sara’s Halloween yard decorations in the process. He drove like a bat out of Hell, down side streets, to the local state park. It had once been a colonial farm turned hopyard, and the locals, who were all Puritans and DESPISED the alcoholic product the farmer produced, had called it a place of Satan, hence the name “Lucifer’s Hopyard State Forest.” Kaine pulled into the parking lot, crashing through the gate and skidding into a parking spot near Hopyard Falls. He threw his car into park, ran out of the car and to the edge of the falls.
These falls were famous in the area – visitors came from all over the state, as well as the country, to see them. There was a legend that the devil had made people leap to their deaths into the falls if they had upset him in some way. “Well,” Kaine said out loud, “you can have your ring back – I don’t want it anymore!” He stood there at the edge of the falls and attempted to remove the ring – it still wouldn’t go past his knuckle. Kaine kept pulling and spinning the ring on his finger, tearing the skin around his knuckle until a river of blood ran down his hand. FINALLY, whether the blood lubricated his knuckle enough or he had torn enough flesh off of it, Kaine finally tore the ring off his finger with a sickening sucking sound. Kaine stared at the ring in the moonlight – the blood had gone into the cuts in the ring, and provided a sickening contrast between the raised carvings and the rest of the ring. Kaine stared at the ring, thinking, ‘What did I SEE in you? WHY did I go out of my way to posses you?’ He stood there thinking what Sara had written and realized that, from the moment he had seen the ring on eBay, he had been OBSESSED with it. Now, feeling the throbbing pain in his left hand where the ring had one rested, he realized that the ring MUST BE cursed. He HAD to get RID of the thing. He looked down into the dark void below the waterfall where even the light of the full moon did not penetrate, held the ring over the edge, and let it go saying, “Lucifer, you can HAVE your ring BACK! I DON’T WANT IT!” He watched it fall towards the darkness and, after a couple of seconds, heard the small splash it made as it hit the churning water below.
Kaine felt relieved to be RID of the evil thing. He turned away from the falls and walked towards his car. As he entered the car and put the key in the ignition, Kaine started to think about how he could make it up to Sara and the kids – he decided that, first thing tomorrow, after going to the ER to get his finger patched up, he would go to Jen’s and BEG for Sara to come home and work it out with him. He started the car, backed out of his spot, and began to drive home. At the entrance to the park, Kaine got a strange feeling in the pit of his stomach – SOMETHING was in the car with him. He turned to look in the back seat, saw three glowing red dots, and had time to say, “GOD, HELP ME!” before the thing’s three talons lashed out and slashed across his face from his right ear to his left cheek. Kaine saw and felt the blood pour down his face as the horrible voice he had heard earlier said, “I WANT MY RING! SINCE I CAN’T HAVE IT, I WILL HAVE YOUR SOUL!”. Kaine tried to scream, but the thing was on him in a second, the car rocking as it ripped into his flesh and splattered his blood throughout the car.
DATE: 10/28/2012; Springfield Daily Press
AP – Today, police are investigating the murder of a local man, Kaine Abelson, who was found brutally murdered in his car in the parking area at Lucifer State Forest. Mr. Abelson, of 666 Sowen Way, was apparently in the park after closing last night and, according to local residents, had pulled into the park at a high rate of speed. Campers in the park stated that they saw Mr. Abelson walk to the edge of the falls and, after standing there for some time, reentered his car and, after pulling out of his parking spot, stopped and ceased moving. It is unknown as to what happened to him since witnesses state that they saw no one else enter or leave the car, and the car was still locked when police arrived there 35 minutes later.
Police ask that anyone who has information on the case to contact them at (631) 555-1295.
Jason was jogging through Lucifer State Forest one morning on his morning jog when he saw something sparkling on the edge of the river. He stopped and walked over to see what it was. It was the most INTERESTING silver ring, and as soon as he saw it, Jason just KNEW it was meant for him…