My first story here, so be gentle
James pulled to the curb in front of the old home. he was desperate to get some housing before the new semester started. He had been trying to find
a place for over a week, only to find they were all rented. He made up his mind that if it was decent, he was taking it. It wasn't a bad looking
place. Old, and a little unkempt, but kinda cool. He peered through the windows while he waited for the owner to arrive. He could see there was
some furniture in it, but it looked to be very old. He wasn't sure if it was useable or not. Just as he turned to walk around the side of the
porch, the owner came around first and startled him. "Are you James?" the owner asked. "Yep, that's me" James replied. "Names Ruford. House
has been in my family for over 100 years. We decided to rent it to make some extra money. No one has lived in it for quite a while, so it will need
a good bath" he said. "Well, let me open it for you. You going to school are you?" Ruford asked. "Yes. I'm in my last year, so I really need
something away form the party crowd so I can focus on my studies" he replied.
As Ruford opened the front door, a wisp of dust flew out of the front door. James walked into the front room and was just amazed at the woodwork
which adorned the room. "Wow! This is really cool!" James exclaimed. "You just don't see this type of interior anymore" he continued. "My
great-great grandfather built this all by hand" Ruford replied. "Milled all of the woodwork himself". James walked through the house admiring the
craftsmanship of the builder. The Gothic theme throughout the house really appealed to him. "Does the furniture stay?" he asked Ruford. "If you
want to use it, you are welcome to. Otherwise I will put it in the barn." Ruford replied. "I'll take the house" James replied "and you can
leave the furniture. I think it's kinda neat".
James paid Ruford his security deposit and the first months rent. He could hardly wait to get moved in. He spent several days cleaning and arranging
the house. As he cleaned, he found lots of old items like bottles, postcards and letters. He put the postcards and letters in a box, intending to
read them when he was finished cleaning the house. He worked his way up to the attic, discovering more and more treasures of times past. In the
attic he hit the jackpot. Over in the corner by the chimney, he found an old wooden crate full of letters and old newspapers. He finished sweeping
and carried the box down to the den. He just knew it would be fun reading about the town from days past.
When Saturday arrived, he decided to take on the worst part of the cleaning, the basement. As he walked down into the cellar, he noticed cobwebs
everywhere. He used the broom to clear them away as he explored the area. Lots of old antiques were everywhere. Old lamps, some end tables, chairs
and a couple of old trunks. He made his way to the far side of the basement and noticed a door. When he opened it, he was amazed to see shelves with
old jars and a couple of old figurines. He turned the light on, and decided this must have been a fruit cellar. He looked over the small statues
which were very odd. One had the body of a man, but the head of a bird. Another had the body of a woman, but the head of a gargoyle. But the oddest
one had the bodies of two women kneeling down, and their hands were caressing a giant serpent with what looked like feathers instead of scales. he
gathered the figures up and decided to take them upstairs and clean them so he could get a better look at them.
James spent several hours cleaning the statues. They were all made of some sort of stone, with the exception of the snake statue. It was made of
what appeared to be ivory. As he cleaned it, he noticed some inscriptions on the base. It was in a language he did not recognize. He decided that
after dinner, he would search the Internet for clues as to what language it was. He finished cleaning the statues and sat down to have a cold beer
and relax for a few. He was a lot more tired than he had thought, so he laid back on the sofa and fell asleep.
When James awoke, it was dark out. He had slept for nearly five hours. "Wow," he thought to himself "I really was tired". He made himself some
dinner and watched a little TV. He thought about the statue, and decided to read some of the letters and newspapers instead. He sifted through the
newspapers and found one from 1898. He decided it would be a good one to read. He read the headlines, and thumbed through the pages. About halfway
through he found the obituaries, and one in particular caught his eye. A man had been found dead in this house. This really didn't seem to odd to
him, but what he read next did. The man had been bitten by something and died from the bite. The doctors had never seen bites like this, and could
not identify the poison found in his system. There was really no more information than that, so James decided to read more of the papers to see if
there was a followup article.
James spent several hours combing through the papers, but there were no more articles about the death. He decided to give up on that, and read some
of the letters instead. He found a couple that were from 1897, so he decided to read those first. He was enjoying the letters, which appeared to be
from the man who lived there, to his fiance in another town. He was on his fifth letter when it got real interesting. "I received the statue
today" it read, "it is a magnificent specimen. I have long sought to own this figure, and now it is mine. I can only hope it is real and
everything works out. Soon my dear, we shall have what is rightfully ours. Then we can be married". James was excited. A letter referencing one
of the statues. He wondered what the meaning behind the letter was.
He continued reading more of the letters. In each successive letter, there were only short sentences about the figure. He read about the writing on
it, and deduced they were writing about the snake statue. He learned that the statue was from an archeological dig in South America, although it
never stated exactly where. It was used during solstice rituals and was thought to promote fertility not just with the land, but with women. James
looked at his watch and was surprised at how late it was. "Damn, I need to get to bed" he said to himself. He put the letters back into the box
and headed for bed.
James tossed and turned all night. He could not stop thinking of the statue, and also the dead man found in the house. He finally decided to get up
about 7:00am. While he was drinking his coffee, he decided to search the Internet for clues about the writing on the statue. He typed in one of the
words, and the first link was to some information about ancient Bolivia. He was able to decipher what the words meant, but he also learned that the
statue was a representation of their god, Viracocha. He read the inscription as it was interpreted and thought it really didn't make any sense.
"Oh well, guess some of the translation just didn't go through correctly" he thought to himself. James closed his laptop, and picked up the
statue. "Hello, Viracocha" he said. "He repeated the inscription as he walked the statue over to the fireplace mantle, and positioned it in the
center. He thought it looked nice being the center piece.
James returned home after several hours. He had run into some classmates and joined them for a few drinks at the local pub. As he was putting his
keys on the end table, he noticed the serpent statue was not in the center of the mantle. It was sitting on the floor next to the fireplace. "How
odd" he thought. "Rufus must have been in here checking things out and moved it". James put the statue back on the mantle. He drug out the box
of letters and continued to read them. As he got closer to the date the man died, he became more and more nervous about the statue. Then, the day
before the death, he read a very disturbing letter. The fiance had told the man not to recite the inscription. She pleaded with him to leave the
statue alone, and even to return it to Bolivia. She told him he would die a horrible death if he did not give up on pursuing this statue.
James sat back and replayed what he had just read. "Do not read the inscription" blasted his mind. He had read the inscription earlier that day.
James looked up at the statue, but again it was next to the fireplace on the floor. He jumped when he saw this. "Ok," he said to himself "this is
really starting to freak me out". He cautiously got up from the couch and grabbed the statue. He carried it outside, and placed on a shelf in the
garage. He was really freaking out over the statue having moved. He went back into the living room, and began putting the letters into the box.
As he stood up to put the box away, his mouth dropped and the box fell to the floor. There next to the fireplace was the statue. By now, he was
really getting freaked out. He grabbed the statue and took it to the fruit cellar where he had found it. "Maybe that is where it is supposed to
be" he thought. "Maybe that is where it is contained". He placed the statue in the same spot he had found it and went back upstairs. He
cautiously turned to look at the fireplace expecting to see the statue. It was not there. He decided to call his friend back home to take his mind
off the statue.
James talked to his friend for over an hour and when the call was over, decided to go to bed. He once again looked at the fireplace and saw no
statue. He was relieved to have found the right place for it. He didn't want to be freaked out anymore than he already was. James turned out the
lights and drifted off to sleep. James was awaken by a loud crash. Startled, he sat up in bed a listened again. He could hear a shuffling nose, but
couldn't tell where it was coming from. "Great, burglars to add to the mess" he muttered. He grabbed his robe, and a gold club from the corner of
the room and slowly headed downstairs. As he descended the stairs, the nose got louder. Again he heard a crash. It sounded like jars breaking. He
followed the shuffling sound, and it led him to the basement. He carefully walked down the stairs watching for the burglar.
As he stepped from the stairs, a giant snake reared up in front of him. James screamed and dropped the club. "What the hell is that!" he screamed.
He turned and started to run up the stairs. The snake slithered it's head in front of him, and backed him down the stairs. As he reached the
bottom, he could feel the cold feathers brushing against his leg. It was then he realized that the snake was wrapping him in it's coils. James
decided he needed to run, but as he turned, the snakes coils tightened on him and he was helpless. The snakes head was now just inches from his face.
He could feel the tongue flicking his face and upper body. Terror gripped him and he now realized what had happened to the man in the letters. The
snake reared back and struck him in the shoulder. He could feel the poison racing through his veins. He felt his heart start to race. He grew cold
as the life ran out of him.
The snake, now satisfied, returned to the shelf and waited for it's next victim. Soon another would fall prey to the curse of Viracocha.