by Pacific Blue
An old necklace is more than what is seems.
A contest entry by Pacific_Blue
~Word Count: 844~
"It's beautiful," Claire said, taking the necklace from the small wooden box sitting on the bookshelf of her great-aunt's bedroom. It was a large bronze disk with a center of jade on a long bronze chain. Heavy. Every single inch of metal was covered in Chinese lettering. Her great-aunt had tons of things like this, wedged in the bookshelf between ancient, unreadable texts and dusty books on mythology.
"It might make cleaning the old bat's place worth it." Said Mina, who was throwing her great-aunt's clothes into boxes.
"You're going to sell it?" Claire flipped it over in her hand and ran her fingers over the dull bronze.
"I've got no use for it."
"Shouldn't we keep a few things to remember her by?"
"Remember her? We never even met her."
"She's still family." Claire looked at a framed picture sitting on the bedroom endtable. It was layered in dust, everything was. It depicted an older woman, striking in her resemblance to Mina, dressed head to toe in khaki among the dirt and grime of a tribal village. "And she did leave us the house."
"Oh yes." Mina rolled her eyes. "What a wonderful inheritance. A house full of junk and whack-job decorating. I'm going to clean out the upstairs. Can you finish in here yourself?"
Mina left but the room didn't seem entirely empty. All around her were signs of life, barely visible in the shadows cut from evening sunlight through grimy windows. Pictures dotted the bedroom as well as strange scrolls and jars of brightly colored powders. It sent a chill up Claire’s back. She twirled the necklace in her hand once more. It really was beautiful.
She slipped it over her head and immediately wanted to throw up. Her stomach churned and her heart beat thundered. Her head was spinning and she tried to take the necklace off but it seemed seared into her flesh and any attempts to remove it sparked more pain than Claire had ever felt. She tried to scream and the chain of the necklace quickly shrinked up and grew tight, cutting into her throat. She clawed at it for breath, scraping bits of her neckflesh under her fingernails and attempted to stumble into the kitchen. Blocking the entrance however, was a man who had not previously been standing there.
He seemed to shimmer like a reflection on water and was speaking to her in a language that she did not understand. He looked like an emperor from an old-world Chinese dynasty. Claire tried to scream again. The man waved his hand and the necklace chain grew tighter. The man spoke again but Claire could not hear him through the static in her ears and the blood collecting in her head. She stopped trying to scream and felt, just for a moment, peaceful for the coming black. The chain loosened enough to allow her to cough.
The man was standing over and she backtracked away from him rapidly. He caught up to her and dug his hand into her throat. It passed easily through her skin and flesh and she could feel him inside, his finger twitching. He withdrew his fingers, dripping in blood and spoke again. This time he spoke with Claire’s own voice.
“There. Perhaps you’re smart enough to understand your own language.”
If Claire could, she would have shrieked but no voice came from within her.
“I’m sure you have found yourself unable to scream so listen well. I am Mingyu and you will be my new physical body. It is unfortunate that you are such a weak woman but you need only serve me until someone else kills you for the necklace. I have lost much time but I plan to collect and carve out my empire once again. You will be assisting me.”
Claire’s body would not listen to her. She could only stand still and stare ahead at Mingyu as he spoke and moved in closer.
“I have your rapt attention then? Good. First order of business will be revenge on your damnable family for your aunt imprisoning my spirit during my second rising. That should be a suitable first offering.”
He moved into her and her body no longer felt immobilized. It felt heavy and out of control and she watched her body moved without her. She raged against it, tried pulling on every muscle she had but found it impossible. Claire saw herself step into the kitchen and could feel the pain as she drug her fingertips across each knifeblade, looking for a suitable edge. Finding one that easily cut her finger to the bone, her body moved upstairs.
“Mina…” It called. The voice was her own but never in a way she had known it. There was malice in that voice and deception. The wooden handle of the knife felt cold and unnatural in her hand. “Mina, where are you?”
“In here.” Mina replied back.
No matter how hard she tried Claire found herself moving. She found herself standing over Mina. Found herself stabbing and slashing and smiling.