Jacob was in his attic, which was rather filthy. It hadn’t really been cleaned in the nearly fifty years his family had owned it. Knick-knacks and paddywhacks had just kept being put in there, never to see the light of day again, other than that from the dusty old window at the front of the house, of course. Why, Jacob’s grandmother’s old jewelry box was there, still filled with pearls, gold, and an exceptionally valuable red diamond ring. Red was always Gram Gram’s favorite color, after all.
It was this ring Jacob was inspecting now, just admiring its beauty. It must’ve cost an arm and a leg to afford, and it’s not like Gramps had many of those to spare.
Jacob’s mother was calling him down now, for supper, tonight she had made her family recipe of filet mignon. Jacob set the ring down, and went downstairs for supper.
“So, have you made any progress?” his mother inquired.
“You can almost see a percentage of the floor now,” Jacob replied jokingly.
“That’s quite an impressive amount,” his mother responded.
“Well, I try my best,” Jacob said, smiling.
They heard a noise, what sounded like footsteps upstairs. Loud footsteps.
“Henry, will you check what all that ruckus is?” Jacob’s mother asked his father.
“Yes, ma’am,” Henry replied, standing up.
Suddenly, Sam walked into the dining room, joining them for supper. Henry sat down.
“Well, you sure do know how to make a suspicious amount of noise in your own home, Sam,” Mother remarked jokingly.
“Oh, was I too loud? My apologies, Mother” Sam replied.
“Hey, don’t apologize to Mother, apologize to the other side of the world, they’re surely frightened of their floors making that much noise” Jacob joked.
“Why, was I really that loud? I was only walking! I’m not even wearing heels at the moment,” Sam responded.
“Relax, t’was only a joke, although admittedly, you were very noisy, sis,” Jacob replied.
Jacob finished his supper, and went back to the attic. On his way there, he noted an opened window in the hall. He closed it, before making his way into the attic.
However, Jacob quickly realized the red diamond ring was no longer where he had left it. Putting two and two together, Jacob came to the conclusion that a thief had broken into the house via the opened window, stolen the red diamond ring from the attic, and left. Perhaps he was the one who made the loud footsteps.
Sam, having finished supper, came into the attic to help Jacob.
“Sam, it’s horrible! A thief has stolen Gram Gram’s ring!” Jacob exclaimed.
“What?” Sam questioned in response.
“Downstairs, there was an opened window, and there’s no ring up here where I left it, therefore someone must’ve come in through the window and taken the ring,” Jacob explained.
“Let’s not get too carried away here, I am the one who opened the window, it was rather warm in here, I thought I’d let in a little fresh air,” Sam replied.
“Perhaps you opened the window, but that doesn’t disprove the possibility of someone crawling through the damn thing,” Jacob replied back.
“You’re forgetting that I was up here until just before you left, giving any thief no more than a minute or so to get in and out,” Sam replied.
“Well perhaps the thief came in before you came downstairs, whilst you weren’t looking,” Jacob theorized.
“Why, I’m sure I would’ve noticed if someone came into this house through a window if I was in the very next room,” Sam replied. “Besides, our house is full of valuables, why would any thief steal just one ring, especially when there’s an entire box of jewelry right there? Speaking of jewelry, the ring is right there, with the rest,”
Sure enough, the ring was in the box, with the rest of the jewelry.
“Impossible, I saw with my own eyes that the ring wasn’t there a minute ago!” Jacob exclaimed.
“Perhaps you need your eyes checked, then. Perhaps my beauty has blinded you,” Sam joked.
“You can tell yourself that, I suppose,” Jacob joked in reply.
Jacob went to close the jewelry box, and get back to work, and saw that there was now a crack in the red diamond.
That night, Jacob just couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong. He couldn’t tell what it was, but something just felt… off. In the darkness of his room, he consistently heard strange noises, the likes of which he’s never heard before. Suddenly, he heard a knock on his door. He got up and opened the door, but the hall was empty.
Except for a light, coming from the bathroom.
He went to the light, to see an empty bathroom. Empty other than Sam’s childhood doll, laying on the floor. The dog must’ve gotten to it again, although Jacob wasn’t sure why the light was on. He turned it off. He then began to walk to Sam’s room, to give her the doll. Suddenly, the retractable stairway to the attic fell from the ceiling, and Jacob was hit in the head, and he fell to the floor. He stood up, a bit blurry due to the hit.
He wasn’t sure if his vision was messed up from the blow or what, but he thought he saw a red light coming from the attic. He went into the attic and saw the red light was coming to the jewelry box. He heard footsteps coming from all over the room, and it seemed like the longer he stayed in the attic, all light except for that pale red light slowly drained until Jacob was in complete darkness.
But even then, through the darkness, somehow Jacob could see shadows. Person-shaped shadows, walking all around him. Suddenly, all the footsteps began to make sense, but only for a second, when the footsteps seemed to get closer, and yet the shadows didn’t even move, Jacob now realized the shadows weren’t walking at all, but just standing, and watching him.
Yes, despite the complete darkness, Jacob could still tell the shadows, or what was creating them, was watching him. Their red eyes stared into his soul. He was surrounded by cold, dead, red eyes. Glowing red eyes. Not only was the red diamond ring glowing that pale red, but the eyes were as well, perhaps to make it easier to see Jacob’s soul.
Two of the shadows, or what created them, moved to open the jewelry box, and when they did, it was clear that Jacob was correct. The red diamond was glowing as if it was not a diamond, but some other, otherworldly crystal. The light was no longer pale, but rather so bright that it seemed to absorb all other light in the room, it seemed to steal the glow from the red eyes for itself, making it evermore brighter, like the sun. It was so bright that it was surely blinding Jacob. He took a step back and tried to shield his eyes from the glow, but he seemed to step on air, and in less than a second, his blinded self was laying on the hardwood floor of the hallway, and everything around him began to fade into total darkness.
Jacob knew he was alive, as he could still feel pain in his back and head from the fall, pain on his head from the retractable stairs, pain all over his body from what must be splinters from the floor, and most painful of all, pain in his eyes from the red light. He knew he was conscious not only from all this pain, but also from how incredibly slowly time seemed to go by. He was only able to see again the next morning, when he saw Sam standing above him, looking at him worriedly.
“Jacob, are you alright?” Sam asked, in a worried tone.
“Sam! I found that old doll of yours in the bathroom, so I went to bring it to you, but I got hit in the head, and I know it’ll sound like I’ve gone mad when I say it, but I think that ring is haunted,” Jacob said.
“Haunted ring? You must’ve gotten hit in the head pretty hard last night,” Sam joked.
“No, I’m serious,” Jacob replied. He then began to explain everything that happened last night.
After explaining everything, Jacob looked to Sam.
“Can you grab me a hammer, please?” Jacob asked.
“No, what you clearly need right now is a doctor, Jacob, you were hit a lot harder than I thought,” Sam replied.
“Sam, don’t do this to me. I haven’t gone mad, I swear!” Jacob exclaimed.
Sam knew her brother. She knew he wouldn’t give up until she gave in and helped him destroy the ring. So, she went into Henry’s shed and retrieved his hammer, and brought it and the red diamond ring (which appeared to be slightly glowing a bit after all, although it could be a trick of the light) into her bedroom to Jacob.
“And what exactly do you plan to do with this hammer?” Sam inquired.
“If I shatter the diamond, I think it might get rid of whatever is haunting it,” Jacob replied.
“Brother, even if you’re right about all of this, which I’m not sure that you are, you cannot simply shatter diamond with a household hammer. It’s diamond!” Sam replied back.
Jacob wasn’t listening, he raised the hammer, and slammed it against the ring, shattering the red diamond. All the light that appeared to be emitting from it seemed to fade away.
“I stand corrected,” Sam said.
“Oh, good, you finally got rid of that hideous ring,” a voice coming from Sam’s bed said.
Jacob and Sam looked to her bed to see the doll, sitting upright, smiling at them.