THE HUNCHBACK

Submitted for Contest #87 in response to: Write about a mischievous pixie or trickster god.... view prompt

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Apr 01, 2021

Black Suspense Mystery

THE HUNCHBACK

She had that lucky charm, which she always carried with her, since a lot of years.  She had found it, as a child, in the Easter egg. The upper part of that object represented a little man which wore a tight, a hat and a bow tie. That little hunchbacked man was laughing  with a smile more malignant than malicious. The little hunchbacked made the horns with the fingers of one hand, while with the other it held a horseshoe.

The lower part of the lucky charm was a red horn.

She, Terry, had never liked that lucky charm. As a child she had even been afraid of it. Yet she always carried it with her, for a lifetime.  When she, as a child, had found it in the chocolate egg, everyone, her parents, her grandparents, her aunts had told her that oh, it was a hunchbacked, it would have certainly brought her luck . So she too had started to consider it a good luck charm. And even if she couldn’t say that it had really brought her luck, nevertheless she believed that it had at least protected her during some accidents which had happened to her. She was convinced that, if she had not had the lucky charm with her, the consequences of those accidents would have been worse for her.

It happened to Terry, it was the first days of years, of dreaming the little hunchbacked man, which was the upper half of her lucky charm. In her dream the little hunchbacked was detached from the red horn, which was the lower half of the same lucky charm , and it (he) fluttered , without legs, around her, mocking her. “ Hii! Iiih! You believe that I bring you luck…hee hee hee….but you’re wrong….Hey! Look at me! Hii! Hii! Hee….But does it really seem that I can bring luck to you? Hee hee hee…if anything ,I’ll bring you bad luck! Hee hee hee! But you, poor fool, continue to hold me, to consider me your lucky charm….hee…iih…hee”

The morning following her dream precisely it happened that the first person Terry saw, coming out of house, was an old man hunchbacked in an impressive way. She couldn’t remember ever having seen a hunchback who was so much hunchbacked, that he stood folded in two. The old man was a small man who, besides having a hump, walked with his torso bent forward, he seemed unable to keep an erecting position. Terry saw the hunchbacked man while he was crossing the street on the zebra crossing.  He was walking with his torso bent forwards and was leaning on a cane. She, seeing him, couldn’t help but think about her dream of the last night.

Even stranger was that, when she asked her neighbors who that incredibly  hunchback could be, no one but her seemed have seen him.

In the evening, walking home, as she always did, since she was employed in a nearby medical study, at a corner of the street she found herself again in front of the hunchback she had seen in the morning. The hunchbacked old man, all bent over his cane, tried to raise his head, but in vain, he only managed to twist his chin on a side, and he said with a grimace, which perhaps wanted to be a smile : “ Good evening Terry. Have you had a good day?” Terry was assailed by fear. How was it possible that one knew her name? Who was that hunchback? She wanted to ask him, but she couldn’t. So she only returned the greeting, saying____Good evening____to him.

Terry again tried to ask her co-workers at the medical study, and also to the doctors of the study , as well as her neighbors if  they knew who was that hunchback so much hunchbacked whom she always happened to see. But no one seemed to have seen a hunchbacked man as the one she described.

Indeed someone of them to whom she had asked about that hunchback had looked at her with an incredulous expression, as if thinking that a hunchbacked man like that Terry described, oh, but she had only dreamed him!

Yet she, Terry, as she was sure she had seen him, was also sure that the little hunchbacked old man really existed. She had continued for days to meet him, every time she went out, so that she had even thought that the hunchback was stalking her. However, she had never doubted about his real existence, at least until one day___it was a Sunday___when she saw him in her garden. Oh, he not only had entered without needing no one opened the gate for him, but he, the little hunchbacked man, was also making something in her garden. But you look, Terry couldn’t believe what her eyes were watching. Oh, God, she seemed the hunchback was digging in her garden, even destroying flowers. But yes, he was digging a pit in her garden, among the flowers, destroying a lot of flowers. “ But what are you doing? Who gave you permission to destroy my garden? “ Terry had yelled to him from the window. And the hunchback, whom the effort to dig made even more grotesque, had said in return: “I don’t need any permission to dig in this garden!” Terry very angry, furious, but even almost frightened, had run into the garden, but as soon as she had come in the garden, the hunchback had gone, as if vanishing. Only the pit he had dug remained. It was a large and deep pit. At the bottom of the big pit there was a large white sheet with red written on it : “ Here is THE PIT I DUG FOR YOU! Do whatever you want with it!”

Terry was shocked, both by the flowers that had been destroyed to dig that wide pit, which devastated her garden and, not less ,since the hunchback, she had seen digging the pit, had come in and out the garden as if…as if he was not a real person (being) in flesh and blood. Who could that horrible hunchback be, then?

And that invitation to do what she wanted with the pit seemed to her an invitation……to bury herself in the pit, but also it could be an announcement of imminent death….yes, as that hunchback, whoever he was, wanted to say her: “ Since you’re going to die, I dug your grave”

But those words written in red could also be a mocking and, at the same time, threatening, exhortation to kill herself, as they said (meant):  “ What are you waiting for dying? Don’t you see I have dug your grave already?”

Terry thought back to the hunchback of her lucky charm, which had laughed at her in her dream:

Ah, she, poor thing, who believed the hunchbacked little man of her lucky charm brought her good luck!

Terrified by what she felt as a threat , Terry was taken by the impulse to throw her hunchbacked lucky charm into the pit dug by the hunchback. But sure, she would have buried her lucky charm in that pit. She was ready, holding her lucky charm in her hand, to throw it into the pit, when Terry felt she couldn’t do it, she couldn’t separate herself from an object which had accompanied her all her life, whether it brought her luck or not.

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