Jimmy burst though the back door covered in dirt and mud. Despite his mother's threats of no TV for a week, he had gone over to where they were digging up the old sewer line on Market Street.
"Wait till you see what I found!!" Jimmy cried out excitedly as his mother entered the kitchen.
Reaching into his pocket he produced a large, dirt encrusted ring. Kim began to scold him, but ...
"Well alright, let me see what you discovered!" she said trying to sound stern.
" You know what, Mom? I'll bet it's something a pirate buried there a long time ago!!"
"Oh, Jimmy!" his mother said with a chuckle, There were never any pirates in Wisconsin!"
She ran the ring under the faucet and as the dirt washed away she saw that it appeared to be silver with a large red gem set in it. Wiping it with a paper towel she held it up to the window.
The facets of the red stone caught the sunlight and it almost seemed to be glowing from within. The ring itself had been engraved with symbols that might have been simply designs or maybe a language, perhaps Hebrew?
As Kim turned the ring in the sun the reflected light suddenly blinded her. It felt as if she had been struck over the head and she had to grab hold of the sink to keep from falling. A nauseating dizziness swept through her and for a few seconds she thought she would blackout.
Opening her eyes she still felt dazed but gradually became aware that her little boy was tugging at her t-shirt on the verge of tears.
His frightened tone seemed to snap her out of it. Kim took a deep breath and with Jimmy's help made it to a kitchen chair. Jimmy was nearly crying now.
"Mommy what's wrong?" he asked in a trembling voice.
Kim was seeing stars and was having trouble focusing her thoughts.
"Daddy will be home from work soon" she muttered barely able to form the words.
"Mommy's going to take a nap now ..." And with that she slowly folded her arms on the table and placing her head on them, went into a deep sleep.
The ring lay on the floor just under the edge of the refrigerator and oddly enough the stone still seemed to be glowing.
|Chapter 1 by Dr. Scarabus|
Jimmy, with trembling fingers, picked up the ring, looked at his mother and then back at the ring.
"Something's wrong here, something bad," he thought.
Slowly, still holding the ring in his hand, he looked closer at his mother noticing that she was slowly changing. Her face was reforming subtly into a face that was NOT his mommy!
Backing away from his mom, heart beating fiercely in his chest, Jimmy turned and ran as fast as his legs would carry him.
" I got to put this ring back and everything will be alright," he thought.
It was getting late in the day, and a brisk wind was picking up. Jimmy, shivering, had to stop for a breath. Still holding the ring tightly clenched in his hand, he uncurled his fingers and looked at it closer. The last rays of the sun suddenly glinted off a bright red facet, the shard of brightness caught Jimmy square in the eyes.
"HEY JIMMY! Whatcha got there man?"
"Huh? What?" Jimmy turned and saw his best friend Tre.
"Hey Tre!" Jimmy said,
"Boy, am I glad to see you!"
"S' up man? You lookin' whiter than normal bro." Tre chucked.
"I found this ring where they're digging up the old sewer line on Market street and took it home. My mom washed it, then looked at it and it did something funny to her."
"Wha??? Man, You smokin' dat funny stuff those big kids be sellin' at the school yard again?
Jimmy didn't want Tre to have it, all of a sudden he KNEW it was for him, and him only! He yanked his arm back violently, and the ring went flying into the air....
Chapter 2 by Marie
The two boys scrambled for the ring, each most determined to possess it.
"IT'S MINE!!!" screamed Jimmy flailing his arms wildly.
"WAS yours punk!"...teased Tre now crawling on all fours, hand extended, fingers groping madly for the bauble.
Jimmy got to his feet and did a headlong dive toward the ring knocking Tre over as he flew.
Hulk Hogan would have been proud.
Gravel and pavement stung his bare arms causing almost immediate road rash as he snatched the ring from the gutter and began to run.
"You big baby J.J.!! I just wanted to look at it".Tre yelled as Jimmy disappeared down the street.
"YOU BED WETTER!!!!
Kim suddenly bolted upright from the kitchen table knocking over her chair. Her complexion was the color of fireplace ash with eyes glowing like two uncompletely burned embers.
Her hair, once the color of raven wings, had turned white. She was babbling.
"That asshole"!!! panted Jimmy as his pace slowed to a quick walk. A little rivulet of blood snaked it's way down his upturned arm as he examined the scrapes where the pavement had bitten him.
"Damn that stings!" complained Jimmy.
"I hope this thing is worth it." he said as he unclenched his fist to reveal his hard earned treasure.
Jim stopped behind a large blue dumpster in the next alley to recoup. Upon closer examination he could see the details of the finger ornament. It appeared to be made out of a metal that to the boy seemed alien. It looked like his dad's class ring in color but then again it didn't. It just seemed different somehow. It seemed to have a slight irredesence to it.
James Jensen Williams was born on July 13th. On a Friday no less and knew that the birthstone for Cancer was the ruby. This stone was no ruby nor was it like any other he had ever seen in any of his dad's geology books. This would take some looking into.
"Maybe I'll go down to the library later. "I've got to see if I can find out where this thing came from, AND I've had enough adventure for one day." mused J.J. as he pocketed the ring.
"Time to go home and see what's for supper, I'll bet mom's got a yummy suprise waiting on the table.".............
|Chapter 3 by Slo|
Jimmy ran back to his house on the other side of town in record time. He noticed the front door was wide open and flapping in the breeze. Jimmy resitated for a second, gathered up his courage and went in his house.
"MOM, I'm home, what's for dinner?" Jim shouted. No answer.
"MOM!!" Still no answer.
Jimmy made his way into the brightly lit kitchen. What he saw on the tile floor made his jaw drop and his eyes widen. His mother's skin was all over the floor, a chunk here, a chunk there and blood everywhere. Frozen in fear he stood there for a moment. Reality had not yet sunk in.
"Mom?" Jim whispered out of his mouth.
His glassy eyes blinked rapidly to hold back a sign of sadness.
"What could have done this?"
He backed out of the kitchen and into the tight hallway. As soon as he stepped into the hallway the sounds of footsteps came from above him.
Was the killer still in the house? The footsteps were soon followed by loud, unhuman moaning and shrieking noises. This sent Jimmy flying out of the house.
Jim automatically remembered to check out the library. He knew he shouldn't tell the police yet, for they would investigate and make him give up the ring. He wanted to find out what the ring was all about first.
At the crummy, dankly lit library only a few workers were there. No people looking things up, probably because this library smelled of rotten animals and was so unorganized. Stacks and stacks of random books covered random shelves throughout. Jim walked up to the librarian, whose name tag read "Joshua Hedric".
"Excuse me, sir....." Jim politely said, causing Josh to drop his book.
"....Are there any books about ancient jewels and or curses?"
Josh laughed and snorted as soon as Jim stopped talking.
"You ain't gonna find a book like that here, and even if you did, it would take ya months." Josh yelped.
"Oh, sorry for wasting your time." Jim moaned as he turned to leave.
Josh looked over his shoulder then back at Jim.
"Hey kid, I can tell you where to go though. Here I'll write the address for you on a card."
Jim took the bent and yellow card from the odd librarian.
A few hours later, the sun was setting and Jim finally arrived at the address found from the card. He was at Guenter's Bookstore. Jim opened the heavy glass door to view Guenter hunched over a big book that looked like it was bound in human flesh. The door also had a bell on it, which Jim unknowingly rang.
Guenter heard the bell and quickly hid the giant book under the counter.
"Yes?" Guenter barked.
"Yeah... a librarian gave me your address, see I'm looking for a book to help me find info on this here." Jim pulled out the ring from his pocket.
"Oh, Josh sent you, interesting, let me see what books I got on jewels. Hold on while I go in the back." Guenter scurried away to the rear of the store.
A good ten minutes later Guenter arrived with a single book under his arm, dropping it on the counter in front of Jim. The book's name was "Jewels Of The Mystic World."
"You can look though tha' if ya want to kid."
Guenter exhaled and sat back down on his stool.
Pages and pages of the wrong stones frustrated Jim, but he kept looking. Finally near the middle of the book, a picture of the ring was so obviously seen. Jim read the caption...
"Ring Of Satan. When bright light is passed through this jewel, the powers of Hell are unleashed and whoever is looking at the light will lose their soul to Satan, rapidly aging till death. Then the soul is Satan's to use as demons on earth for his will. This jewel was born in the flames of Hell!"
Jim stopped reading for a second.
"OH SHIT!!" he yelped.
|Chapter 4 by DestroyahSkold|