Warning: It is very long, and my Japanese is not very good.
“Gentlemen,” said a man behind a desk. I have just come back from Africa with a gift from the tribe Mutundu.” The man stood up and looked at the crowd. They were all men, some had cameras and some had small notepads. The old man smiled and grabbed a sheet that was covering an item.
He eyed the crowd and with a dramatic swish of his hand he removed the sheet to reveal a small grotesque idol. “The Shiriki Utundu!” The other man that was standing to one side of the desk picked up the idol and held it for all to see.
There was a flurry of lights flashing and bulbs popping. Finally a man near a wall stood up. “Mr. Hightower.” The old man looked at this new person. “Mr. Strong.”
“There have been reports of deaths in your expedition team, since you had ‘stolen’ the Shiriki Utundu. Some say it is a curse.”
“Nonsense,” Hightower yelled clearly getting upset with this man. “There are no such things as curses.”
“But your team said that you have provoked the spirit by stealing-”
“I have not stolen this artifact Mr. Strong.”
“But Mr. Hightower-”
“Get out of my hotel!”
However, Manfred Strong was not one to give up especially since his employer of the New York Globe Telegraph; Mr. Endicott was the rival of Hightower. So through a friend who worked at the hotel, he managed to slip on a waiters vest and grabbed a serving try with one glass of champagne on it. When Strong left the employees room he saw the Expedition party in full swing. As he walked past the main elevator, Hightower came walking by with a glass of champagne in one hand… and the idol in the other. His manservant Smelding following.
“But what if Mr. Strong said was true?”
“Bullocks,” Hightower replied and place the empty glass onto the serving tray that Manfred was hold, which made him loose his grip on the plate and it tumbled, he bent over to clean it and heard the two talking again.
Hightower pushed the floor button to get to his Penthouse on top of the hotel. “But how could you ignore the Shaman’s warning… you did steal it.”
Hightower laughed and lit a cigar that he had put into his mouth. “The shaman was a zealous idiot.” The elevator doors open and he stepped inside. “What would this do to me if it did this?” He gave another laugh and plunged his cigar into the top of the idol.
Manfred had finished up cleaning and saw Hightower put his burning cigar to the idols head, and then the elevator closed. However Manfred swore he saw the idols eyes glow green.
Beatrice Endicott, saw a flash of lighting outside of her house. What bothered her was that the storm had not only come in too quickly, but that she swore it was green. Curious she walked to her window and looked out.
The lighting was green.
Suddenly lighting erupted from inside of the hotel, which was across the street form Beatrice’s home. The lighting covered the elevator and the elevator made a quick drop to Earth.
Panic spread inside the hotel as the party guests fled.
Manfred saw the crashed elevator doors open. Smelding who was knocked off his feet from the blast crawled over to the elevator. Manfred joined him shortly after.
All that was in the elevator was the fez that Hightower was wearing…
And the Shiriki Utundu.
Manfred looked at the idol; he could not believe what he was seeing…
The idols eyes were glowing green, and it was laughing.
“In 1912, Ms. Endicott and Mr. Strong got invitations to visit the hotel before it opened.”
A man in his late twenties stood there looking at a group, they were in the library.
“They had been at odds for awhile, those two. Strong wanted the place demolished. Endicott, my grandmother wanted to save the hotel.” The man smiled. “So because she was the head of the New York Preservation Society, she got what she wanted. To open the place, and give tours.” He looked at the group a high school boy yawned. “But like I said, they both got invited to the place.”
He paced in front of the desk but behind the wood railing. “Neither of them would say what happened that night. However Mr. Strong began to work for Ms. Endicott.” He now pointed to an empty pedestal. “The idol has been sitting on this pedestal ever since it opened to the public in 1912.” He now walked behind the desk and pointed his finger to the Shiriki Utundu
which was now on the desk. “Until last week when we moved him so we can fix his pedestal.”
“Then he is reason why an employee died last week,” someone in the back said.
“He has nothing to do with the accident, the stairs were old and the area was off limits until we could work on it.”
“So,” someone else said after about a minute of silence. “What happened to Endicott and Strong?”
“Ms. Endicott married a Mr. Bryce, and when she was older had a son. Who like his mother married late in life to a Ms. Gracey he was her fourth. Then they had me.”
“Mr. Strong,” said that same voice from the back. “Married a few years later, he was in his fifties when he had his only son.” The group turned to look at the woman in her mid-twenties. “And like his father the son waited until he was in his forties to have me.”
The grandson of Beatrice groaned. “What are you doing here, Ms. Strong?”
Suddenly the library went dark.
Laughter filled the small room, as it drowned out the other noises that they could hear. Then it stopped and someone screamed. “Oh hush up,” said a woman’s voice that they could not recognize.
A green light emanated from the idol on the desk. It opened its eyes.
“What is he saying,” asked another woman trying to huddle closer to Beatrice’s grandson.
A flash light turned on behind them causing the huddling woman to scream.
“Christ’s sake people.” They as a group turned to look at a woman, holding the flash light and a clipboard. “Screaming is not necessary.”
She pulled a lighter from her pocket and went about lighting the emergency candles.
“Who are you,” asked Ms. Strong. “Me? Oh I’m the interpreter and your only hope of surviving this thing.” After she lit the last candle she blew out the light from the lighter and put it into her pocket. “Someone made Shiriki here angry.” She walked up to the desk and started counting heads. “So out of a group if ten, you grab seven?”
“Butt hole,” she mumbled. She turned to the group. “Who touched him? Who tried to hurt or kidnap him?”
The group was silent. “Great,” she said with a sigh, “I want to sleep but I can’t.”
She looked at the idol. “It’s your fault.”
“All right then we do this the mystery way.” She pointed to the idol. “He will give me clues. In turn I will show them to you… unless he learns English quickly.”
“Never mind this,” a man said and ran to the door that they came into. “It’s locked,” the woman said in a sing-song voice. She was right. The man grumbled and sat down on the floor. “If you are deemed innocent you will be let go through an opening that Shiriki will create, it will be different every time.”
“And the guilty,” the high school boy asked.
“Good question. If you are found guilty, then you will be going Mr. Hightower… in the Twilight Zone.”
“Hush up; you’ve never seen the show.” She turned away from him. “Ninny.” She turned to the group.
“Now sit down. Relax. I’ll bring some games, and food.”
The woman walked up a tapestry and lifted it, there was a door. “Shi.”
The door unlocked and she walked out. “Have fun she said before closing the door.
But when he looked, they were all separating into smaller groups, completely ignoring him.