Crappy Pastas

Chain Ring

I don’t wish this upon anyone. The fear that has consumed me these past few weeks seems almost unrealistic. I haven’t been able to sleep. Eating has been out of the question, but I guess that’s what put me here. The doctor says I’m not healthy. I’ve had nurses force feeding tubes down my throat, which is the price to pay, I guess.

It started about a month ago. I was scrolling through eBay and looking through the different categories; collectibles, electronics, music, etc. while something caught my eye. The listing said “Chain Ring”, but I figured it was something that the seller did to explain that it came with some sort of chain. The seller was located in Hong Kong, so I assumed that it was going to take some time for it to be delivered. It was a blue mood ring, with Japanese writing on it. I assumed it went to some sort of anime, so I decided to buy it.

A few days had passed, and I had forgotten about the order. The ring wasn’t very expensive, so it didn’t really matter. I went to the post, and checked the mail, when a small, white envelope fell onto the floor. “Oh, yeah, I forgot about this.” I said, picking the parcel up. I grabbed the rest of my mail from the box and locked it. I had a few more errands to run before going home, so I just set the mail on the passenger seat.

I went into a market to pick up some milk and a few other things. It was a typical Thursday afternoon. The market was packed from rush hour, shelves were being stocked, and many young children crying and screaming. I just wanted to get out of this damned place, so I grabbed everything I needed, quickly paid, and rushed out to my car. I set the groceries in the back seat, and then I opened the driver’s door, when the parcel fell onto the ground. “What the hell?” I remembered asking to myself. I shook off the thought and put it back into the car, shoving the incident to the back of my mind.

Getting home, I brought everything inside. I set my mail on the coffee table and put the groceries away. I was neat in organization, so everything had it’s place. My parent’s always thought I had some form of OCD, but I don’t think that’s the case.

In the other room, I heard my cat hissing and growling, which is unlike his character, so I immediately rushed into the living room. He was standing on the coffee table, all fluffed up, growling at nothing. He began to back up until he fell off the table and went running to my bedroom to hide from whatever was bugging him. I went back into the kitchen and finished putting things away. I sat down on the couch, picking up my mail, and quickly looking through it: bill, bill, junk, bill. Nothing new. I set those aside and picked up the white parcel. I started opened it, and as promise, there was the ring. It came with a silver chain to wear around your neck, which is what I planned on doing, anyway.

I looked closer at the ring. Everything was in Japanese, but their written language seemed… beautiful. I ran my thumb over it a few times before inspecting the rest of the ring. It was so beautiful that is was hard for me to look away. I inspected the chain that came with it, and it didn’t seem cheap. It felt a little heavy, and it seemed it would last a while. I threaded the chain through the ring and put it around my neck. It felt like this ring was made for me.

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A few days had passed when I noticed my cat didn’t want to be around me. He was always hissing and running away. I didn’t understand what was going on, at the time, so I continued to proceed with my life.

One night, while walking through a park, I saw something, out of the corner of my eye. I didn’t know what it was, but it had an unpleasant atmosphere. I walked faster, ignoring that thing. When I got home, I decided to lock my doors, just in case that thing decided to follow me. As usual, the cat hissed and ran away.

I had trouble sleeping that night. I just felt like I was being watched from all directions. The air seemed thick, so I walked into the bathroom to try and calm down. I splashed water into my face, looking into the mirror to see that my eyes were bloodshot. In the mirror, I see a figure behind me. I quickly turned around, terrified, to see nothing. At this point, I started to panic. I quickly went back into my bed, and shut my eyes. Anything would be better than the fear I was feeling. Except, it wasn’t.

I fell asleep rather quickly. All I could hear were voices and screams from the shadowy figures I saw. They were reaching toward me, almost pleading for my presence. I couldn’t move, no matter how hard I tried. The figures got closer to me and their screams were getting much louder. My head felt like it was going to explode. I tried moving again, but like the first attempt, it failed. It seemed like I was standing there, frozen, for hours, but in here, there was no concept of time. The shadowy figures reached out to me, and one of them went as far as to grab me. That’s when I let out a terrifying scream. The pain from its touch was unbearable.

The pain and the fear had woken me up. I sat up, panting from that terrible nightmare. I was relieved to see the sun shining through the window, while I was processing everything that had gone on. I looked down to my left arm, which was still burning, to see a large bruise in the shape of a hand. I ran my other hand on it, lightly, and it was real. This is when it clicked.

I reached for my neck, and pulled on the ring, breaking the chain, went to my bedroom window, and throwing it as hard as I could. I hope a 19 story drop to the city highway would be enough.

A few days went by, and everything seemed to be go pretty normal. I went to work, went shopping, checked the mail, and went home. My cat still had nothing to do with me and ran whenever I saw him, but I’ve grown used to it. The incident of what happened nights before had been on my mind. I kept trying to shove it to the back of my mind.

I decided to go to bed, and try and get some rest. I haven’t been able to sleep much since that night, so I was exhausted. I closed my eyes and I almost immediately fell asleep. I don’t remember much of my dream from that night, but I’m not sure if that’s what you can call it. All I remember was being surrounded by darkness and hearing some sort of malicious laughter. When I woke up, it was day time. I opened my eyes, to see some sort of figure at the foot of my bed, looking at me. I closed my eyes quickly and opened them up again, only to discover that it was gone. Something here wasn’t adding up.

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I don’t exactly know what compelled me to do what was next. I reached toward my neck to feel a chain being weighed down by a ring. I tried pulling it off many times, but each time, the chain would dig deeper and deeper into my neck. I threw the blanket off, and rushed to my computer. My email was already on the screen, and it there was an email from eBay. The subject was Re: Chain Ring. My heart sank into my stomach. I clicked on the email to read the following:

“Dear Buyer,
According to our tracking system, you have received our parcel. It would be wise if you were to check your mailbox again, for follow up instructions. Please leave a 5 star review if you enjoyed the item,
Thank you,
DigitalZone.”

I was absolutely terrified. I grabbed my keys and went to check the mail, even though it was Sunday. Sure enough, there was an envelope that was plain white. All that read on it was Chain Ring. I went home and read the follow up instructions.

Step 1: Do NOT wear the ring. This ring is designed to be used upon someone you do not like. It is NOT a personal accessory.
Step 2: Give the ring anonymously. If the designated person knows that you’re the one to give them this ring, you will also receive the consequences.
Step 3: While the ring leaves your possession, recite the following: Watashi wa karera no tamashī o nusumi, kōzan to shite sore o shuchō shite imasu. This translate to I steal their souls, and claim it as mine.

I looked at the paper, in shock.That curse must have been what was on the ring. That was my breaking point. I set the paper down, walked out of the apartment building, and walked into traffic. I woke up in a hospital to tubes being crammed down my throat.

During this moment of darkness, I discovered the true curse behind this ring. The ring was like a chain letter, being passed from one person to the next. But while it’s travels from one person to the next, it doesn’t only take their lives; it consumes their souls. And I was it’s next victim.

Credit: Samantha Rasmussen

About the Author

Not much is known about Brian Z. Some say it's because he is secretly preparing for the Z poc, others say it's because of the "incident" at Chicago Walker Stalker Con. All that we know for certain is he loves sci-fi, horror, and zombies.

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