Where strange fact and stranger fiction collide
This was my second story for the Lovecraft Micro-fiction contest. I didn’t submit it because. I could only format one story to their upload system. Evidently I chose the right one to submit because ti took honorable mention.
One person has suggested that it is more generic horror than Lovecraftian. But I think it follows in the steps of The Thing at the doorstep.
I selected Tsavo because it was the home of the demons of Tsavo, also known as The Ghost and The Darkness two killer lions. It is also a place where many blood demands come from.
The challenge like always is trying to get the full story into 500 words or less. There were several stories I just couldn’t reduce into less than 500 words. They are good stories just couldn’t be told in the strict word requirement of the contest.
Well here is the story, hope you enjoy it.
The Star of Tsavo
Jamila Delacroix studied the solitary diamond that hung around her neck. The famed some would say infamous Star of Tsavo glittered in the pale light of her bolt-hole. The man she had stolen it form lay in a coma a hospital hundreds of kilometers away. Old infirm and dying he didn’t need it, so why shouldn’t she have the beautiful treasure.
After all if the rumors were true the Comte D’arboone had stolen it fifty years ago. It was said that it was his good luck charm. That it had led to wealth, lands, respectability and even a title. In his day the Comte was known as a man of a wicked countenance hidden beneath a veneer of civility. With any luck the stone would bring her the prosperity that it had brought the old man.
Not that it had been an easy heist. She had to deactivate the security system and eliminate the security personnel. Four guards had lost their life tonight to her blade and her guile. But there was no limit to the amount of blood she would shed, if it wasn’t hers. It was a small price to pay if someone else was paying it.
She stared at the gem as it lay on a field of the dusty colored skin of her neck. Oh yes this was only the first step on the road to the life Jamila wanted and deserved. She thought of the money and excitement that would fill her new life, of the servants and lovers that would be hers to command. The mirror reflected her trademark mischievous smile.
Suddenly she began to feel dizzy. She stumbled backwards. The room spinning. When it stopped she seemed to be trapped in a wave of prismatic light.
The Spirt of the Star looked at the form in the mirror. Female, surprising, it hadn’t inhabited a woman in centuries, but that was fine. It knew the opportunities for a woman had increased since the last time it had inhabited a woman. The thief had struck just in time. If someone had not taken the diamond before D’arbonne had died, it would have been lost along with the end of the old man’s body. To be young again and start over, like it had some many times through the eons. In a few quick decades the Spirit of the Star, in Jamila’s body would be as powerful and rich as ever.
And when this body becomes old and old, it would just trick a new younger human to steal the diamond, then it would steal their form like it did with Jamila. It willed its new body to the stereo and changed the channel forma French pop station to a classical one. Then returned to mirror, this time the mischievous smile was replaced by a wicked one.
No one could hear Jamila Delacroix scream in her crystalline prison.