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The Ring

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I'd never been able to go down to the basement alone. I was afraid of it.

I had just turned nine years old when, on a cold, rainy and sad winter morning, I was awakened by strange noises coming from the basement. I was home alone. From bed, I concentrated as hard as I could on identifying them. I've never heard anything like it. Then, over the years, I could try to describe them as if someone with their fingernails or the claws of an animal would be scratching a door.

That strange experience lasted only a few minutes. I didn't leave the bedroom until my father came home at noon. My mother had died a year earlier. As he knew I was fearful, I didn't tell him anything about what had happened to me, but from that day on I tried not to stay home alone.

Forty years have passed, and today I return to my parents' house, which I inherited from my recently deceased father. I have left the country where I have been living for many years, and I intend to live in this house forever.

With a certain apprehension, I slipped the key into the lock and entered the hall. Everything was as I remembered it. Fleetingly, I thought of the basement.

That night I slept soundly. When I woke up, I remembered perfectly the dream I had had. A feminine voice, with no face, she told me:

"When you wake up, you must go down to the basement and free me from oblivion. I was your father's mistress. He gagged me, tied my hands behind my back with bridles and introduced me upside down into the old trunk. I could only try to scratch the inner surface of the trunk for someone to help me. My death came soon."

"The police will find in the annular bone of my right hand a ring with the inscriptions of our names, mine and your father's names. I don't know why he killed me."

Several days later, and after the police closed the case, I left the house never to come back.


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