The Lucky Charm

Linda had always been fascinated by death and the afterlife.  At the ripe old age of 35, she was more interested now than she had ever been.  Linda believed in energies instead of spirits or ghosts.  She believed that one’s energy could live on after the body dies.  Energy is conscious, affects items in the physical world and communicates with the living.

Because of this fascination, she had a strange hobby.  Linda was a collector, of sorts.  Her favorite thing to do was go to various estate sales and buy one thing that felt very personal to the deceased individual.  Most of the time, it was something small like a favorite fishing lore or jewelry box or knickknack of some kind.  She would always write on an index card where she’d gotten the item and to whom it belonged before her.  Most of the time, nothing ever came of it.  She might hear bumps around the house for a week or two but nothing ever sustained any kind of REAL activity.  That is, until the crystal charm.

One weekend, Linda went to an estate sale as she typically did.  This one was for a 44 year old woman who’d had a heart attack.  Very tragic to pass so young of something like that!  While walking through the sale, there were some small items sitting out on a big table.  These were things too small to worry about auctioning so they had them labeled with prices and were selling them individually.  This was exactly what she was looking for.  She didn’t buy bigger things like furniture or artwork.  She gravitated toward things that she could hold and interact with.  A better connection could be felt that way.

As Linda looked at the table of trinkets, she noticed a clear quartz crystal with a metal finding on the end so it could be worn on a necklace.  It was about two inches long and came to a dull point at one end.  She thought it looked very pretty except it had one little flaw.  Right in the center of the crystal was a little gray spot.  It looked like a small smudge within the crystal.  She thought it gave the crystal personality and decided this was the piece that she wanted.  They were only asking $5 for it.  Linda happily paid for the crystal and headed home.  She knew just what she would do with this.  She had a chain, nothing fancy, that was the same tone of metal that the finding on the crystal was.  She placed the crystal on the chain and immediately put it around her neck.  So pretty!  She loved the little gray spot in it even more after she put it on and quickly decided this was her favorite find.

Around 1pm that same day, Linda met with her friend, Gail, for lunch.  They sat down and her friend immediately noticed the new charm around her neck.

“Hey lady, where’d you get that crystal from?  It looks a little dirty.” Gail was reaching for the crystal to try and wipe it off when Linda pull away.

“It’s not dirty.  It has a little gray spot right in the center.  Isn’t is unique?  I just got it this morning.”

“At another one of those estate sales?  That creeps me out.  I don’t understand why you do that.  You don’t know anything about those people.  What if the person was a devil worshiper or something?”  Gail was obviously not as impressed with the crystal as Linda was.

“Oh please.  It was a perfectly normal woman who died of a heart attack.  Stop being so dramatic.  Besides, I think it’s pretty!” Linda held it up to the sunlight from the window so Gail could get a better look.

“I read somewhere that crystals can manipulate energy or something.  What if it’s possessed?  I don’t like it but if it makes you happy…..”  Gail trailed off and Linda changed the subject to deciding what stores they would shop at after lunch.

Later that night, Linda was getting changed and ready for bed when she heard what sounded like a soft knock on the wall.  It was so quick and soft that right away she passed it off as a raccoon outside or some other critter. 

The charm was so pretty that she decided to leave it on.  After all, if it could affect energy, maybe it would be a good luck charm for her!  She climbed into bed and turned on her favorite crime mystery show.  When she began to doze off, she turned off the TV and lights and curled up into bed.  Everything was fine until about 3am, when she was awakened by the soft sound of scratching, like a pet wanted into the room.  Linda didn’t have any pets.  She assumed it was again coming from outside and rolled over to go back to sleep.

As she was dozing off, she heard a soft tapping noise.  It was faint but pretty consistent.  Slightly irritated now, she got up and tried to locate the tapping, taking a few steps and then pausing to listen for the sound.  She traced it to a dresser on the other side of the room but couldn’t find the source.  After looking for a few moments, the tapping stopped.  Linda was tired at this point so she simply went back to bed.

The next morning, the noises from the night before were a distant memory.  It was Sunday and Linda needed to get her laundry and grocery shopping done for the coming work week.  She got showered and dressed, happy to see that the chain had held up and the crystal was still around her neck.  While glancing at it, she paused and noticed it looked a little more gray in the center.  She thought maybe it might have a crack that was allowing moisture into it, distorting the color.  She’d look into it later, though.  She had things to get done today.

She gathered all her laundry and started it in the washer, then went to work creating a grocery list for the store.  While looking through her fridge, she heard a shuffle from her pantry of dried goods.  She walked over and opened the pantry door.  A bag of dried pasta fell out onto the floor.

“That must be what it was.” she exclaimed as she put the pasta back securely on its shelf.  She walked back to the fridge and continued to write down her missing food items when she heard something hit the ground again.  Linda turned to see the pantry door, which she had shut, wide open and the bag of pasta on the floor on the other side of the kitchen.

Now, she KNEW something was going on.  It suddenly occurred to her.  The crystal.  She finally had an item that was causing some activity.  How fun and truly fascinating!  Linda actually smiled, walked over and picked up the pasta, placing it back on its shelf and closing the door a second time.  This was very exciting!  She couldn’t wait to see what else might happen.  She finished her list, tidied up the house a bit, and switched the laundry to the dryer.  Now, she was ready to do her food shopping.  She grabbed her purse and keys and headed out the door.

When she arrived home later, Linda carried her bags of groceries into the kitchen’s side door and was preoccupied with trying not to drop them.  She hated second trips so she always tried to carry them all in at once.  As soon as she looked up, she gasped!  Every single cabinet in the kitchen was completely open, along with the pantry door.  The bag of pasta that kept falling before, was on the other side of the room again, as if someone had thrown it there.

Linda still found it so interesting but, this time, she was a tiny bit shaken.  She walked around closing cabinets and returned the pasta to its home in the pantry, closing the door.  Would this be happening every day now?  She wasn’t sure how this whole haunting thing was supposed to work.

“If you are in here, you are welcomed to stay but we need to set some ground rules.  No jumping out and scaring me and definitely be nice.  No harming anyone.  Follow those rules and we can live in harmony with one another, okay?”  Linda heard no answer but hoped whatever it was, the heart attack lady or otherwise, she hoped they would agree to play nice.

That night, Linda got ready for bed a little earlier because she needed to be up by 7am in order to be at work by 8:45am.  That commute was a pain.  She got changed into her nightgown and noticed in the mirror that the gray spot had grown even larger still, and now had a tiny black dot in the center.  She took the chain off to get a better look.  Sure enough, Linda could see that the majority of the crystal was gray now and there was a black dot in the center where the small gray smudge had been.

Linda remembered what Gail said about not knowing the previous owner and decided to search her address on the internet, since she couldn’t remember the woman’s name.  Luckily, she still had the address of the estate sale.  What she found completely shocked her.  The previous owner of this crystal charm had her heart attack under suspicious circumstances.  When they found her, she was laying on her bedroom floor but every door and cabinet in the entire house was open.  Even the doors leading outside.  That’s why someone called the police to check on her, thus discovering her body.

She decided that maybe she would not wear the crystal to bed tonight.  Maybe that would help slow the activity she was experiencing.

Monday seemed to creep by at her work.  All Linda could think about was further research on the woman who had owned this crystal.  When she finally got home that evening, she immediately looked up the phone number she had as a contact for the estate sale.  She reached a young man on the phone.

“Hello?” He answered after picking up the phone.

“Hi, my name is Linda and I was at your estate sale over the weekend.  I had a quick question about the crystal charm that I bought there.” Linda said, hoping he would remember the item.

“Oh, you bought that?  I always thought it looked dirty.  I never understood why my mother wore it.”  He sounded tired, from his family’s recent loss, no doubt.

“I’m so sorry for your loss.” Linda suddenly felt bad about bothering this woman’s family about something so silly.

“Did you want to return it or something?”  Linda could hear in his voice that he was not very interested in this conversation.

“I wondered if you knew anything about it?  Why she wore it or where she got it from?”  Linda felt strange for asking.  What must this young man think of her?

“I don’t have any idea where she got it from.  She started wearing it just a couple of weeks before she passed.  Did it break?”  He wanted to conclude the call and Linda did, too.

“No but I would actually like to return it.  I don’t need the $5 back or anything.  Can I drop it off at the same location or some other place?”

“Listen, lady.  If you don’t want it and you don’t care about the five bucks, just throw it away.  I have a million things going on right now.  If you don’t mind, I’d rather not have to throw the thing away myself.”  He was losing patience now.

“I’m so sorry.  You’re right.  Again, I’m so sorry for your loss.  Take care.”  He mumbled a thank you and they both hung up.  Linda suddenly didn’t feel so great about that crystal and decided to do as he suggested and throw it away.  She went to the bathroom where she had left it and it wasn’t on the counter.  She thought that was strange but figured she would toss it when she stumbled upon it again.

As Linda was starting to make her dinner, she opened the fridge to get out some spinach and tomato for a sandwich.  There, sitting neatly on the shelf of her refrigerator was the chain with the crystal still on it!  She stared at it in awe.  How on earth did it get there?  That didn’t make sense at all.  Not only that, but now the crystal was mostly black with gray only on each end.  So strange.

Right away, she grabbed it from the fridge and walked it straight to the trash can outside.  She wanted it as far away from her as possible.

That night was a bit of a blur.  Linda got through dinner and settled into a comedy, something to get her mind off of the crystal.  She was about 20 minutes into it when she noticed a dripping sound coming from her bathroom.  She paused her movie and went to check it out.  As she entered, she could see that the faucet was slowly dripping.  She didn’t remember using it lately and wondered why she hadn’t noticed the noise until now.  Linda quickly told herself it was just a dripping faucet and not to freak out about it.  A dripping faucet never hurt anyone.  She turned it off and went back to her movie.

About half an hour later, when Linda was halfway through the movie and fully engulfed in it, the bathroom faucet suddenly turned on, full blast!  The sound of it jolted her out of the movie she was watching and back into her reality of a newly haunted house.  She ran into the room and turned off the faucet, looking around for anything else that might be out of place.  Nothing appeared to be amiss so she slowly walked back to her bed.  She couldn’t focus on the movie now but wasn’t sure she could fall asleep, either.  Tomorrow was trash pick-up day and then she could be rid of that thing completely.  It would be the dump’s problem then.

She decided to try reading a book.  After a little while, she began to doze off.  Linda put her book away and turned the lights out, trying not the think about the goings on in her home the past couple of days.  Like the past night, she awoke around 3am to the sound of scratching only this time, it stopped as soon as she got up to find the noise.  She was so tired and completely over this whole situation.  All she wanted to do was get some sleep and take the trash out in the morning.

As Linda walked, sleepily, back to her bed, she felt something tickle her neck.  She reached up and realized she had a necklace on but didn’t remember wearing one the day before.  She specifically hadn’t, because of the crystal incident.  She ran over to the mirror and screamed when she saw that the crystal was back around her neck and now it was completely black.

Linda couldn’t get that necklace off fast enough.  She marched straight to her garage and found her hammer.  Placing the crystal on the floor, chain and all, she drew back and brought the hammer down right on top of the jet black crystal.  Shards of it went all over the floor but she didn’t care.  Linda scooped up what she could of it and threw it into the outdoor trashcan, closed the door and took special care to make sure she locked it.  In fact, she locked every door between her bed and that trashcan.  There was no way that thing was coming anywhere near her again.

Now she was completely rattled and sat in bed thinking about what had just happened.  How did that thing get back around her neck without her feeling it?  Why on earth was it completely black?  Every little sound in the house was suspicious now.  Linda tried so hard not to be too paranoid but who could blame her?  This kind of thing just doesn’t happen.  She finally picked up her book again and read until her eyes felt heavy.  It didn’t actually take too long.  She was physically and emotionally drained by all of this nonsense.  She turned out the light and pulled the covers up to her neck.  As she drifted off to sleep, Linda promised she would not be going to any more estate sales.

That Tuesday was a busy day at the hair salon.  A client came in and said they were Linda’s 9am appointment but she wasn’t in yet.  Gail thought that was strange and called Linda’s cell phone.  No answer.  It was not like her friend and coworker to be a no-show at work.  She was never late to anything!  Gail didn’t have a client until 10:30am and decided to run by Linda’s house to check on her.  She was sure everything was probably fine but it didn’t hurt to check.

As she approached Linda’s house, she could see that the outdoor trashcan was knocked over and trash was scattered all over her driveway.  Gail figured raccoons must have been busy last night.  As Gail pulled into the driveway, however, every door and window of the house was open.  Every single one.  Gail immediately called 911 and hoped upon hope that her friend was okay and just hiding from whoever had been in her house that night.  She stood in the front yard, calling Linda’s name.

The police arrived and told Gail to get back in her car and stay there until they cleared the house.  She did as instructed.  They went from room to room until they got to the back bedroom.  There, lying in bed, was Linda.  She’d been strangled to death with her own necklace, a chain with a clear crystal charm on it. 

A few weeks later, Gail was helping Linda’s niece run an estate sale of the things the family didn’t want to keep of Linda’s.  Many things were laid out, some big and some small.  An elderly woman came in and inquired about some jewelry on a desk in the living room.  Linda’s niece said the woman could have the lot of it for $20.  It was all costume jewelry anyway.  The woman happily scooped up the items and put them into her purse but one item slipped out of the bunch and fell to the floor.  Another shopper standing nearby picked it up and handed it to her.

“Oh no, ma’am.  You dropped this.” he said as he handed it back to her. 

She thanked him.  “You’re so kind, thank you!  That crystal is the main thing I wanted.  Wouldn’t want to lose that!  Isn’t it so unique with that gray spot in it?  I’m going to give it to my great granddaughter for her birthday.”

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