Wanting to get revenge depends on the person's point of view.
Revenge Can Be Sticky
I've heard of some strange tales in my travels around the world, but nothing as strange as the one I'm about to relate to you. It was told to me about a year ago while I traveled through England. The guy stated he'd seen the series of 'Saw' movies developed in the U.S., and that he knew of a true story that would fit in with their theme. Being the nosy person I am, I beseeched him to tell me the story. I discovered it was a profound mistake. Nightmares attacked me for the rest of my journey. I finally decided I needed to speak to someone about this to get it off my chest. So here I go, doctor.
There were two young people, somewhere in their twenties, who loved to harass an old shopkeeper in the small hamlet of Cotton on the outskirts of Cambridge, England. You know, where the University of Cambridge lies. The old shopkeeper ran a collectibles business. He received quite a few tourists and students because of his unique and eccentric collections. Over the years, a few movie stars had visited the shop from time to time, from both the U.K. and the U.S.
Most of his visitors were polite and curious, and he returned their politeness. But every once in a while, the younger folks would visit, and he peered a wary eye at them as they perused the aisles. Occasionally, someone would break something, mostly on accident, but sometimes on purpose, and he'd run them out of the shop telling them never to come back. Although he was forgiving, those that continued to harass him became his enemy.
He'd suffered a few break-ins, so he installed security cameras among all the bric-a-brac along the walls and shelves. There were so many items in the shop, you couldn't spot the cash register through the plate-glass window from the street, but from inside, he always had an unobstructed view of who passed in front of the shop.
Now those two young people, a boy and a girl, had come into the shop on various occasions and intentionally broke items in plain view of the shopkeeper. He called the cops on them the last time they broke something and had them hauled away. He knew they'd be back because that's what they yelled at him as the police took them away, but this time, he'd be ready for them.
About a month later, they were freed, and planned on revisiting the shop to get their revenge. What they didn't know was that the shopkeeper lived in a back room which couldn't be seen by anyone standing on the other side of the cash register. They planned on breaking into the shop at night, and if they couldn't find the shopkeeper, they'd trash the place.
A few nights later, a little after eleven in the evening, the two of them jimmied the door and went inside. The store was located away from the nearby houses, so they didn't have to worry about how much noise they made, but they couldn't go crazy either. Maybe they'd find something valuable among all the junk inside. If so, that would be worth it. Both of them wore empty backpacks just for that purpose.
They split up and used the flashlights on their phones to look for any of the good stuff, but it was hard to tell what was valuable and what was junk. They knew nothing about the history of the shopkeeper's wares, so if it looked valuable, they stuffed it inside their backpacks.
The girl ended up near the cash register and crept behind it. Maybe there was money still in the drawer. When she pulled on it, a door opened behind her, and she let out a small scream. Her partner asked what was wrong. She turned to see no one there, but there was another solid door beyond the first one.
"Nothing. A door just opened," she whispered. She noticed the second door had a sign hanging on it.
She passed through the first door and shone her light throughout the small passageway. Although it was cramped, she had enough room to spin around. She brought the flashlight to her face and read the sign. It read,
"I knew you'd be back, and whatever happens to you is your own fault! Find the thimble that contains the portrait of King George III and use it to open the door behind you. If you don't find it in ten minutes, you'll suffer like you've never suffered before."
The door behind the young woman slammed shut. She slammed and beat on it, calling for her partner to come to her rescue. There was no knob on either door. She was trapped.
When her partner heard the commotion, he rushed to her aid. While standing at the door, he could hear her yelling, but her words were intelligible due to her agitated state and continuous banging. He convinced her to calm down so he could make out what she was saying. He placed his ear against the door, and his jaw dropped.
A thimble? How am I going to find a thimble in all this junk in ten minutes?
He ransacked the shop, knocking items off the shelves, but after a while he stopped. What if he'd knocked the thimble on the floor? How on earth would he find it? His movements became much more purposeful. He shined his light on the cases where minor items sat, then he searched along the walls of the shop, checking out shelf after shelf. Nothing. He kept searching as time continued to pass. Hearing the screams from his partner furthered his fear. His eyes scanned over items, not focusing long enough to see what they truly were.
He found himself by the front door of the shop and noticed a small shelf just above the door, so he backed up and illuminated it. On it sat some thimbles, many of them. He needed something to stand on, so he rushed around searching for a box, a chair, a ladder, anything to reach them. Finally, he slid over one of the display shelves in the middle of the shop and climbed it.
There were so many thimbles that in his madcap rush to find the one with the image of King George, he knocked some of them over sending them to the floor below. More fell as he lifted them to examine them. They were so light and his hand was so heavy.
Then he heard his partner scream again, but this time it was different. It was deeper, much, much deeper.
"Gerald... Oh my God! Needles!"
Gerald jumped down and ran toward the door behind the register, unsure of what she'd said.
"Clair, what did you say?"
"Please...please get me out of here! There are needles in the walls! Large needles from top to bottom! Get me out of here!
"I'm trying. I found the shelf with the thimbles but can't find the one I need!"
"Hurry. Oh God, please hurry. The walls on the side are moving closer. The needles are getting closer. HURRY!"
Gerald's mind sizzled with confusion as he backed away, unsure if what he heard was true. Her screams snapped him back to reality, and he returned to the shelf above the door. As her screams reverberated in his head, he forced his eyes to focus on each thimble as he picked it up and spun it.
She expressed a blood-curdling scream which seemed to last for an eternity. Following it were low groaning sounds while his eyes burned from the salty tears that blurred his vision. He couldn't catch his breath as the moaning quaked his soul.
At the back of the shelf, he lifted a white thimble and spun it around. A small picture of King George stared back at him. He hopped off the shelves and dashed back to the door. On the other side, the moaning had become softer.
"Clair, are you okay?" There was no response.
He searched the door for a place to put the thimble, but the door was smooth. He ran his hand up and down, searching for some opening. He felt a small dimple with his pinky. He shined the light on the area and ran his hand over it again. A circular depression opened slightly. He pushed the thimble inside and heard a click. He swung open the door.
Inside, Claire lay squeezed between two false walls, her body punctured by hundreds of thick hypodermic needles which protruded through them. Her mouth lay open, and he saw the needles that had entered her jaws. Her left arm sat pinned in place as if to stop her upcoming demise. Gerald couldn't help thinking any thimble could have saved her.
That's my tale, doctor. What can you do to help me?