2 years after Herbert’s death, Justin White paced back and forth in front of a bench. It’s been a long time since he had last seen his distant relatives and he didn't know what to say to them. Justin almost feared seeing them. Ever since Herbert’s death, his cousins have been deeply upset. As Justin paced, Sam, his blue-nosed pit bull, whined to be pet. A stranger knelt and tried to stroke his silky head. Sam let out a deep growl, breaking Justin out his trance-like state. “Hey, I wouldn’t pet him if I were you. He doesn’t know you and is likely to bite.”
The stranger pulled his hand back and stood up. Justin was barely taller than him.“What’s your name, sir?” “My name is Officer Miles. I don’t like the fact that your dog is not on a leash.” “Sam has never needed a leash before. He walks with me and is trained.” “He needs be leash trained.”
The sound of approaching footsteps were soft, but fierce. Instinctively, Justin glanced toward the direction of the sound. Another police officer. Oh, isn’t this just grand ? Justin thought. Another cop! Justin glanced at the new cop, barely managing to his annoyance from showing in his expression. Officer Miles smiled and greeted the other officer. “Deputy Davis! How great it is to meet you at this time!”
Deputy Davis gave Officer Miles a bittersweet smile and looked at Justin. “May I pet your dog, sir?” “Sure, just let him sniff your hand first.”
Justin smiled as Sam sniffed the officers hand and let him pet him. Soon enough, Deputy Davis stood up, dusted his hands on his pants, and shook hands with Justin. “I see that you have him trained very well.” “Sam was pretty easy to train.” “I don’t see anything wrong with him being off leash with his training. Have a good day, young man.”
Justin smiled as Deputy Davis pulled Officer Miles to the building across the street. No sooner than the cops went inside, Eric Wilde, Justin's best friend, and Eric’s boxer, Lacey, came from around the corner. Lacey strained against her leash. Eric laughed deeply and patted her back. Lacey’s stub tail wagged and and Sam’s tail started going. Justin looked up at the bright sun, eyes squinting against the brightness. “We should probably head to my cousins’ place. They’re expecting us.”
Soon Justin and Sam lead Eric and Lacey a few blocks down. Justin stepped up onto the porch and knocked with shaky hand. The door opened and Mr. White stood smiling at Justin. A light voice floated from inside. “Is it Justin and his dog?” “Yes, ma’am. It’s me and Sam. We brought some friends if you don’t mind.”
Mr. White’s smile seemed to brighten when he saw Eric and Lacey. They entered the house and Mrs. White greeted both boys with hugs. Justin relaxed slowly as Sam and Lacey sniffed around their new surroundings. Sam was sniffing Mr. White’s shoes with eagerness. Justin chuckled while his cousin laughed. Justin knew not to bring up Herbert or the Monkey’s Paw, but the question was burning a hole in his tongue. Justin bit his tongue and smiled when his best friend glanced at him.
Once his cousins were in bed, Justin searched the room they lent him for the paw. He scowled when he couldn’t find it in his room. Quietly, he crept into the basement he had been forewarned to stay out of. Using his lighter as a light, Justin eased his way down the step stairs. Justin stood for about fifteen minutes fumbling for a light switch. Eventually, Justin found it and turned the light on. In the corner of the room lay a small box. With antagonizing slowness, Justin crept across the room and slowly opened the box and, to his excitement, found the wrinkled, withered paw. Justin let out a low cry of cheer. Footsteps sounded off to the left. Just stared as a creature crawled closer. Justin looked around only to find that he was no longer in the basement. Fear overwhelmed him. Justin fell to his knees and covered his throat. When the creature was only a mere 4 feet away, Justin could make out what it was. A monkey? A capuchin monkey? Justin swallowed, forcing his fear away and called out to it. “Hey, little buddy.” The monkey only crawled closer. Justin’s heart sped up as he saw the bloody details. The monkey only had 3 paws. The fourth ended in a bloody stump that kept bleeding, leaving a gory trail. Its face was rotting, so bad that half the skull showed. Justin gagged loudly as the monkey crawled closer still. The stench that hovered around the creature made his eyes sting. Justin tried to call for help, but the words just came out garbled and twisted. The monkey was at his feet. I’m gonna die. I’m gonna die! Raced through Justin’s mind as the creature put a paw in his leg and crawled up. His breath caught in his throat as he stared at the rotting face of the monkey. His blood felt like ice rushing through his veins as the monkey growled “You will pay for what you have done to me, you greedy boy!” Justin barely had a chance to let ouch a yelp before the monkey bit his throat out…..
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