I had just returned from my trip to India when I found an idol sitting in front of my house door. It was made of dark wood with ruby eyes and cupped hands. I had no idea who left it, and living up to my own conviction of never bringing a foreign item home, I decided to step over it as I entered my house.
As a professor with a dream of being a full time archaeologist, I’ve read enough books and watched enough Indiana Jones to know that artefacts belong in a museum, not a home. There are a few reasons for that and one being superstition. I was never superstitious, but I found no reason against being a little careful when dealing with artefacts. After all, curses are real.
The following day, I left my house with the idol still at the front door. I was not going to touch it until I knew who left it. So during class that day, I asked if any of my students decided to leave me a gift. When no one lifted up their hand, I promised extra credit. Still, not a single hand was raised. I admired their honesty but I also hated not knowing the origins of the idol. By the end of the day, no one claimed to have left me the idol and I was forced to step over it once again.
That very night, I could not fall asleep. Something did not feel right and it was churning uneasiness within me. I tossed and turned, and even played a sea breeze track to calm me down, but nothing worked. After an hour or so of attempting to sleep, I heard something that got me to my feet. It was the sound of three knocks on my front door.
Don’t ask me how I heard it or why I got up to answer it. Even though I remember heading downstairs and opening the door to nobody, I still do not know why I did it. I regretted it of course, because that night I took the idol in. Strangely, once it was in my house I managed to sleep the moment I hit the bed.
When the following morning arrived, I woke up feeling rather horrible at the lack of sleep. But I managed to pull myself together as I headed to work. During the first class, I snapped at five students and blamed it on the lack of caffeine in my blood. Once that day was over, I went to bed not at all thinking about the idol.
The next day, I had a meeting with the school board. I spent the whole morning touching up my trip report, but when I presented it, the board was not impressed. In fact, they were appalled at my writing. When I reread my report, I found it horribly written and did not understand why. Did my ‘touching up’ make it bad? At that moment, I could not even recall writing it. I usually wrote my reports way in advance, but this time I don’t even know if I did.
What I was going through seemed rather ordinary when I spoke to a fellow colleague. He said stress had its way of messing with my head, but when I claimed I was not stressed he told me to take a few days off. After our conversation, I began to ponder on his words. Something was indeed messing with my head, and at that thought everything clicked.
The moment I returned home, I went looking for the idol. There was nothing wrong with me before I brought it in, and the problems only started after I did. I was sure the idol had a hand to play in everything that happened the past few days. But after searching for a few hours, I could not find it. I turned my house upside down but the idol was nowhere in sight. After exhausting myself, I decided to look for it the next day.
Dragging myself to my room, I was hoping for one peaceful night. Sadly, I was kidding no one. Just as I shut my eyes, I was pulled from the darkness by a splitting pain in my chest. It was so painful I literally rolled out of my bed and crawled to my phone. I called 911 immediately and then I called a friend. I told him to come over and find the idol, as I still believed it was the cause of everything. When he and the ambulance arrived, I was immediately taken to the hospital. I don’t really remember much of the journey, because the pain was crushing my insides. All I do remember is wanting for it to stop.
Once at the hospital, a doctor checked my pulse and asked what I was feeling. Despite him repeating the question over and over again, I turned to my friend and kept muttering about the idol. My friend shook his head and said there wasn’t any, but I insisted he was wrong. I insisted until I was deemed out of control and had to be sedated.
One would think that being sedated puts you at rest, but my experience was quite the opposite. I was still in pain, my head was spinning, and there were voices screaming at me. In the darkness of my eyelids, I searched for the idol but it made no appearance. When I finally gave up and prayed for the pain in my chest to stop, a moment of clarity hit me. Was it really all my own doing and not the idol? Just as I was willing to accept any reason for my situation, the pain vanished.
Suddenly, it was all over. Whatever the reason was no longer mattered. Why? Because the flat tone from the heartbeat machine stopped it all. I was no longer living to feel anything. There was nothing left, except for one thought; I let the idol in… and it killed me.
Wrath works like this: First, it finds a situation that agitates you into feeling angry. Once you give in and let anger in, it then finds every opportunity to show itself. The more anger you release, the more it lives in you. As you let it grow it begins to affect your emotions and thoughts, and eventually it attacks your heart. Wrath is a curse that affects you mentally, emotionally, and physically. The moment you let it in and allow it to make home in you, it’s going to take over. To be safe, never let anger in. Just step over it.
This short story is part of my 7 deadly sins series. If you have not read the rest and would like to, visit the short story page, hover your mouse over the titles, and click on the one that says ‘7 deadly sins’.
Anyway, do let me know what you think of this story in the comments below! I really appreciate the feedback 🙂
© 2014 Jeyna Grace
(For more short stories, click HERE)