Wednesday, April 15, 2020

WEP - Vessel of Evil



Vessel of Evil

Carole put the last book into the box, closed, then sealed it with packing tape. “Done, done, and done,” she said proudly. “Just in time for lunch too. All that's left to do is load the truck, drive to Goodwill and drop some of this off, then take the rest home. I bet we make several hundred dollars on eBay for these items.”

“I’m glad your uncle kept the good stuff in the original boxes. I say we’ll do as good as a thousand dollars," Jerry said as he kicked at a pile of crumpled newspapers on the floor. “Ouch!” He groaned and rubbed his toe then knelt to pick up the item he kicked. “What in the world?” He held up a large, iridescent vase with silver veining.

Carol laughed. “The old doorstop.”


Jerry inspected the fifteen-inch-tall, blue-green iridescent vase and repeated her words – "doorstop? It looks like a vase or an urn."

“Well, obviously it’s a vase. Urns have lids, but someone filled it with cement, and now it’s only good as a doorstop. At least that’s what Uncle Joe used it for. Although he did say it’d been in the family long before he came along.”

“Is it worth anything?”

“Sentimental value only. The appraiser said any value became moot when it was filled with cement.”

“What do you want to do with it?”

“I’d like to keep it. It’ll remind me of Uncle Joe and his crazy stories. He used to tell some doozies, and I swear that vase would get brighter the spookier they were. It’s funny that you mentioned an urn. Uncle told a story about that once.”

“Really, what was it?”

"Sorry, my mom called me out of the room that day. But like I said, he had all kinds of stories."

Jerry scrutinized the vessel. “Really odd, but it is attractive, in a macabre sort of way. My toe did some damage but only to the cement at the top. There’s a crack, or was that there before?”

“Nope, that’s new,” Carole said as she checked the top of the vase. Sure enough, a crack about a half an inch appeared in the center of the cement that was an inch from the top of the vase’s neck. “Come on, let’s get this stuff delivered to Goodwill and get some lunch.”

***

Jerry finished unloading the last of the boxes from Uncle Joe’s then retrieved the vase from the back seat. He rubbed his finger across the crack and decided to investigate further. He grabbed a large file off the workbench and got to work. In an hour, Jerry had created an opening of over an inch. It was long enough and wide enough to stick a half-dollar into. But the most exciting thing he found when filing into the cement was that the bottom of the bottle was hollow.

"I just turned our doorstop into a bank." Jerry pulled a John Kennedy half dollar from his pocket and dropped it in. The next odd thing was that it didn’t make a sound. The coin just disappeared into the slot. When he shook the vessel, it was still silent. “Must be something softer inside.” he decided, as he polished the exterior and made it shine, especially the silver inlay.

In the house, he handed it to Carole. “I’ve fixed it. Now it’s a bank.”

Carole took the vase from him and laughed. “If we put money in there, how do we get it out?”

“What if we put all our silver Kennedy half dollars in it. We have a small collection of them, and we always planned to hand them down to our kids. We’ll fill it up and leave it as an heirloom.”

“I like that,” Carole said and sat the vase in a special spot on the bookshelf. “In honor of Uncle Joe! Our first family heirloom.”

***
That night, a dark gray cloud of smoke rose from the blue-green iridescent vase, and with it, the silver dollar floated out and plopped to the floor. The darkness swirled and circled the room, floated down the hallway, and entered the master suite. As Jerry inhaled, the gray smoke entered his nostrils and disappeared.

At 6:00 A.M. Jerry awoke to find his wife, Carole, dead beside him. She’d been eviscerated, dismembered – murdered! He was covered in her blood and held her heart in his hand.

***

"Well Detective, what do you make of it?” the coroner asked.

Detective Martin shook his head. “The butcher knife was found under his pillow. No sign of a break-in. No blood anywhere else in the house. Yet, he claims he’s innocent."

“But how do you kill like that then just fall asleep in the middle of it?”

“Rage? Maybe he wore himself out? Someone with more knowledge than I have is going to have to answer that question,” the Detective acknowledged.

***

In prison, on death row, Jerry re-lived each moment of the murder. He saw every detail, recalled the thrill of each stroke, but especially the way his knife sliced through her body like a blade through butter. But mainly how satisfying the final cut to Carole’s throat had felt. Then as the blood flowed, how he celebrated and allowed himself to shower in the spray of it. He saw it clear as day, but he had no control over his own actions. The worst of his nightmares were of the other murders. All women from Whitechapel, London. He even knew their names, Mary Ann, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine, and Mary Jane.

A defense of insanity didn't convince the jury.

Jerry gave over to the death that awaited, knowing that soon, Jack the Ripper, would strike again.

***

The vase went to the highest bidder and sold for twenty-five cents at an auction to help pay for Jerry’s attorney fees.

971 Words

Yolanda Renée © 2020

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38 comments:

  1. Nasty. Clever. And very almost believable. You are in your spooky element with this one.

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    1. Thanks, Sue. I'd already written the first story, but this one wouldn't let go!

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  2. I knew there'd have to be a murder in here somewhere, Yolanda. Intriguing use of the prompt.I'm pleased to hear you can retain an attorney for 25c.

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    1. Poor Jerry, 25 cents added to a lot more wouldn't have helped! LOL Thanks, Denise!

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  3. Hi,
    II read the entire story and yes, I thought of Jack the Ripper and then the Boston Strangler that killed so many women in the late sixties or early seventies. You did an excellent job of making my hair stand up.
    And still I read it. Great job.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G

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    1. Hi, Pat. I'm glad you always take a chance on my stories!

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  4. Eek!!! What a great story - one that may be launching some nightmares tonight!! :)

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    1. Sorry, Jemi, I hope not. But mine have been plentiful this week. I just hope more stories are the result!

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  5. Yowza! Well done! I legitimately had chills up my spine. This one reminded me of the stories from my beloved old Vault of Horror type comics. I feel badly Jerry. The poor fellow inadvertently let Jack the Ripper out of his prison!

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    1. That he did. I hope someone can put him back in!

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  6. Entertaining. Picturesque.
    Thanks.
    Sanhita.

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  7. Wow! That's one evil vase spirit. Uncle Joe should have dropped the vase into the middle of the ocean, not use it inside his house, cement or no cement.
    Renee, you clever lady, you write two for one on this challenge. Obviously, this theme inspired you.

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    1. True, Olga, very true!
      And yes, I was very inspired. :)

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  8. I saw something coming, but not quite that. You got me. Poor Jerry and his wife. I guess Joe was trying to protect people from it, but it seems like breaking it would have been a better option. Wonder what will happen to the person who bought the vase?

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    1. Breaking it would have been just as bad if not worse. :)

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  9. This was a creepy and clever take on the prompt! I knew something dark resided within, but you surprised me with the nature of the dark secret. Well done!

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    1. Thanks, Laura. The ashes of an evil spirit. I couldn't resist!

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  10. Oooh. Nasty and icky and very well done!

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  11. Good story. Looks like the formatting monster ate a few of your quotation marks. (I hate when that happens to me.)

    Keeping evil in a vase. Seems like the whole thing should have been in cement and dropped into the South Pacific. But I guess even then it could find a way to leak out.

    Very creative use of the prompt.

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    1. My editor will be so disappointed! LOL
      Good place for it!
      Thank you J.

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  12. What power that vase contained. Poor Carole and poor Joe.

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  13. I can see why the vase was cemented. What evil! I sensed right away that things weren't going to end well, but loved that Jack the Ripper twist!

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    1. Thanks, Donna! Someone wanted to keep the evil inside. :)

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  14. Clever twist at the end. Really enjoyed the evil vessel. You had some excellent dialogue and the breaks in scene were perfect. Nice job

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  15. An unexpectedly, twisted tale, Yolanda. Starting things off in a rather ordinary manner, that obscures the true nature of the vase in a splendid fashion. Well done.

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    1. Thank you, Christopher. I appreciate your words!

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  16. I wondered if the title was a clue, Renee - or a twist. You kept me wondering what would happen. Was I prepared for the macabre? I should have been. Sneaky and scary twist. Jack never seems to die. Not when the vase moves on. I revel in your craft.

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  17. Ha, ha, wonderful. Suspense, humour, murder, gruesome details, magic. Well done. ....typo ‘ well ‘ third part.

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    1. LOL, Susan. I just realized I posted the unedited version. My proofreader will be so disappointed. Corrected now. Thank you!

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  18. Oooh, Tales of the Unexpected! I wonder... well, I hope the buyer sends it somewhere a long long way away....

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  19. I though something strange was going to happen but I certainly wasn't expecting that! You did a great job of building the suspense and mystery surrounding the vase and the ending was deliciously spooky and shocking. I loved it.

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  20. Brilliant and nasty and oh so believable, Renee! Your horror is unparalleled, totally aced the prompt.

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