Can you hear the Shaman laughing, deep in the jungle from his hut?
He’s gloating at the fact he knows full well;
the Monkey’s Paw can take you to Hell.
So plan your words carefully, but remember what it’s after,
for this Monkey’s Paw only serves one master.
‘C’ Cove’s Kraken
A loud explosion accompanied by a blinding flash lit up the port side of the DC-3 as it made its final approach to the Memphis airport. Russell Williams, a slender man in his forties, sat up quickly and peered out in horror at the smoking engine.
The passenger next to him looked also. “Don’t worry about that,” said the old Englishman. “They do that all the time. The mixture must be a bit too rich.”
Russell sat back and began to clean his wire-rimmed glasses. The little, chrome clock above the captain’s door read four o’clock. The plane banked slightly and then begin to shudder.
Checking the window once again, he leaned back in his seat and gripped the armrests. “It’s trailing smoke,” he said weakly. “Is
that also normal when making an approach?”
“Not at all.” The Englishman quickly searched for his spectacles.
Russell sat up once again and looked toward the cockpit. The stewardess had left her little seat next to the captain’s door and was fumbling with the seat belt in one of the spare passenger seats.
“Put on your safety belts!” she said loudly. “This landing
might be a little rough.”
“Little rough my foot. I don’t like the look on her face.” The Englishman quickly searched for his belt.
Russell slowly shook his head as he buckled his belt also. “I don’t think she’s pleased with it either.”
The American liner dipped drastically.
“Check the window please Mr. Russell,” requested the Englishman. “Is the engine running?”
“It’s not running at all. The prop is still and it’s smoking worse than ever.”
“Good Heavens,” replied the Englishman just above a whisper as something jolted the plane heavily.
“We just hit the top of a tree!” screamed one of the passengers.
Russell quickly looked out the window again. “We’ve lost most of the left wing.”
“Everybody down!” shouted the stewardess. “Put your head between your knees right now!”
Suitcases, handbags, and other articles began to fall from the overhead storage racks as the plane lurched violently again. Dirt, grass, and leaves belched through the heavy curtain on the captain’s door as the screaming of the crew could now be plainly heard . . . .
>>> And so opens the first offering from 'The Curse of the Monkey's Paw' a novella by M. R. Williamson.
Skylar Williams peered out from under the heavy, green canvas of the little dinghy as it rocked gently form side to side. The sixteen-year-old gazed up into the still, night sky. The stars looked like an endless number of sparkling diamonds on a bed of black velvet. The brown-haired beauty pushed the canvas aside, quietly pulled herself up to the middle seat, and then peered out across the black water and into the darkness.
*Nothing,* she thought as she watched some of the remnants of her father’s sailing sloop rub against the side of her small vessel. *Perhaps it’s gone, or at least didn’t notice me.* She squinted into the darkness all around the little boat.
Then, little by little, she began to notice a gentle movement of the dinghy, and it was not caused by the breeze. “Ohhh no, this just can’t be,” she said just under her breath. She pulled from her pocket a small, wooden pencil and dropped it over the port side of the little boat.
Her heart sank as she watched it bump along the side and then
drift away from the stern.
*I could’ve put a face on the menace that had attacked father’s ship,* she thought, *but I was asleep in the cabin when it happened. When the ‘Ghost’ began to shudder and the sound of splintering wood woke me, water was already splashing down the steps that led into the cabin. When I ran out, Dad grabbed me. “Into the dinghy, and lay in it as still as you can be!” he exclaimed as he forced me into the little boat. One, quick glance at the Ghost was all I got before he jerked the canvas over me and then swung my little boat out over the side. It looked and sounded as if the bow was being ripped apart by something much stronger than any man.*
'The Paw That Rocked the Cradle'
Oland listened to her as he worked on the noon meal, but when she turned silent, he became a bit concerned. “Are you all right?” he finally asked.
“Sure,” she replied softly. “Just having a bit of
melancholy--not as bad, but it still comes every so often. I just wish we had Susan back with us. She would enjoy Skylar and Britagne and--”
At that instant, Oland heard LuAnn gasp as something hit the floor where she was.
“Oland,” she called weakly.
Her tone indicated the need of an immediate response.
Oland walked briskly from the kitchen, wiping his hands on a dish towel. Upon entering the living room, he could see LuAnn sitting on the couch in front of the fireplace. She was rubbing her left hand on her jeans and looking at something on the floor in front of her. Zee and Raymond were standing on the near side of the couch, looking at the object of her attention also. A low growl was coming from Zee, but the younger Raymond remained quiet but attentive.