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A Good Mourning

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This is an actual account of events that happened to me and my family over the last three years. I am not one to normally record my life or keep a diary, but the events have been too bizarre for me to ignore. The real-time entries of these events begin on October 1, 2011, and any transcription prior to the date was entered retroactively. Again, this is the unedited transcript from my journal.

Occurrences of September 2, 2011

It was the last day of my boring business trip, but excitement filled me as I skipped the last afternoon’s closing meeting, and headed to antique row in Chatham, Massachusetts. I found myself at a bizarre collectible shop in the heart of the sleepy New England town on that drizzly fall day.

No one else was in the store except for a crinkly old saleswoman. I told her I was looking for a special piece of jewelry (“something old”) for my daughter’s upcoming wedding in December. Not speaking a word, she fled into a room in the back of the shop, and returned holding a small dusty box. Opening it slowly, she revealed that it contained a stunning necklace embellished with jet and black onyx, as well as an opulent brooch, which she described as “morning” jewelry.

The brooch was right under 3” long (including the glistening dangle beads that spilt forth) and 1 1/2” wide. It had a beautiful mother of pearl cameo depicting a butterfly on a lily. It had black and silver beads, and a delicate black velvet ribbon looped around the frame of the pin. I thought it odd that she did not have the lovely pieces displayed in front, but was naturally thrilled that I had found two antiquities of such beauty. She explained that she had “just got them in earlier in the week from the estate of a deceased widowed woman up the coast.” I eagerly purchased the pieces and left.

Occurrences of September 3, 2011

What a way to start my first day to sleep in since I arrived in Massachusetts! I was woken in the middle of the night by the hotel fire alarm.

Occurrences of September 4, 2011

On the flight back home, I was squeezed between two fellow travelers; an elderly man snoring, and a woman reading. I couldn’t sleep from the exciting anticipation of revealing the new-found treasures to my daughter, so I dug in my carry on case for the carefully wrapped jewelry box. Placing the package on my fold-down tray, I carefully removed the tape and paper from the satin covered box.

I lifted the hinged lid, and gradually lifted the pin from its velvety nest. It was indeed beautiful and unique, and I felt as if I had gotten myself a real bargain. As I turned the brooch over, the stick-pin suddenly popped out of the clasp and poked me. The woman sitting next to me, put down her book when she noticed me wiping a small drop of blood from my finger and said, “I see you’ve got yourself some nice mourning jewelry.” I acknowledged her compliment, and we then started discussing the items.

What a horrible discovery I had made: while I thought “Mourning” pieces were to be worn during the early part of the day, this type of ebony jewelry was actually meant to be worn by survivors of those who have passed on from this life into the next. Even though I realized their use was for a funeral, I rationalized that it was still “something old” needed for my daughter’s wedding, and I had every intention of presenting it to her.

Occurrences of September 28, 2011

I was notified via Express Mail that morning that, effective immediately, my job was downsized. I had invested so many years at ******, Inc., and is this the way I am repaid? In these hard economic times, I guess this is to be expected.

Occurrences of October 1, 2011

I’ve been back a week now, and though I wanted to present the gifts to my daughter immediately upon arriving home from my business trip, I’ve waited until tomorrow. Though upset from the loss of my job, I can hardly wait to see her expression tomorrow.

October 2, 2011 (Note: Events are now recorded Real Time)

I showed my daughter the jewelry. She took a moment to view them but gasped, and seemed a bit taken aback. She was oddly a bit shaken, but agreed to wear the treasures because I bought them for her. Very pleased that she had decided to use them for her nuptials, I asked her to try them on so we could see how they would look with her gown. Somewhat reluctantly, she gathered both items from the box. Even though her neck is quite slender, she insisted the necklace felt like it was choking her when I latched it. I removed it, and showed her the slack in the chain, and again placed it around her neck. A look of panic shown in her eyes, and she told me she could feel the tightness growing, and asked me to undo it. I was perplexed, and examined it again. I determined it looked fine, so I tried it on myself.

Almost immediately, I felt myself hyperventilating. I knew logically that the two of us couldn’t be imaging the same sensation, but I quickly jerked the jet and onyx away from my throat as it continued to squeeze my neck. Kneeling down, my daughter and I scooped up the fragmented necklace, making sure to collect all the beads and stones that had scattered upon the floor.

Pouring them back in the box, she reached for the brooch. It was no better. Shockingly, when she turned the piece over, it poked her finger very deeply, and a crimson trickle escaped her fingertip. Hesitantly placing the jewelry back to its nesting place, she asked that I allow her to have some time to think about whether or not she would be using the necklace and brooch for her wedding. Heartbroken over the prospect of rejection of the jewelry for her wedding ensemble, I reluctantly grabbed the box and hid it away in a dresser drawer in my bedroom. The oddities had been there all along, but were most pronounced during this first week home and have not stopped.

December 6, 2011

I can’t believe it! My daughter has cancelled the wedding. Sadly, her happy day will never happen, nor will she use the necklace and brooch. It is all quite puzzling, but her fiancé stopped calling her after he saw the jewelry during our Thanksgiving dinner. He said it was an outrage to wear funeral jewelry at a wedding. He stomped out the door and never spoke to her again. My daughter is so upset and says she will never understand why he reacted so violently. I truly feel I destroyed their love by buying this accursed jewelry. I just feel it had something to do with it.

December 23, 2011

Last night as I lay in bed reading, a sudden chill overtook my room as the electricity went out, and a faint cry seemed to be resonating from above me. I could barely make out what appeared to be a body lying in the corner of my room. I screamed and the lights restored.

February 2, 2012

After reading in bed this evening, I turn out my lights. Hearing a grating sound by the master bathroom door, I flicked on the lamp. I looked over at my dresser; the brooch and necklace were on the floor. As unbelievable as it sounds, I had definitely not removed them from storage, nor had my daughter done so because she was still at work. When she came home later that evening, I tearfully shared my experience with her.

February 3, 2012

Though she initially dismissed the strange appearance of the jewelry on the floor as a case of my nerves, she’s changed her tune entirely sharing with me this morning that she heard soft moaning in the middle of the night.

March 28, 2012

It’s been a little over six months, and I can’t tolerate the anxiety or fear any longer. I’ve decided to sell the cursed jewelry on EBay. My daughter has refused to don it ever again, so my next-door neighbor is the model in the photographs. I set up a staging area, and have her pose with the jewelry, hoping she will experiences no adverse reactions. In one shocking digital photograph of the necklace, a figure can be seen lying across my neighbor’s throat (the departed…the same figure in my bedroom?) Some of the pictures also show odd auras near the two mourning pieces.

May 5, 2012

The jewelry didn’t sell on EBay; I don’t what I am going to do. Relentlessly, I’ve even tried giving it away, but no one is interested in taking it off my hands. My daughter wants it out of the house; she is near hysterics. Even though it is quite beautiful, I don’t want it any longer. For any fascinated parties out there, I don’t know the age of it, or the origins. I can only tell you it was once owned by a mourning woman in a coastal Massachusetts town.

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