by Shirley Bahlmann
The principal I work with walked into the office, carrying something with extra care. I moved closer and peered through the clear plastic wrap printed with red stars. I could make out some kind of silver emblem in the center, but no details. "What is it?" I asked.
"Our school won the Community Partner Award," the principal answered proudly.
I reverently took the award from him so I could see it more closely. The silver thing inside was sliding around. I hoped I hadn't broken it. Finally, I made out what the blob of silver was. A shiver ran down my back.
It was a disembodied hand.
I was instantly and unwillingly taken back to the night of my youth when my brother's friend told a story on a dark and stormy night about a hand severed from its owner that crawled around choking people. Creepazoid! Now I held in my own two hands an award that had memorialized the nefarious hand in metal.
"I like it," said the school counselor, looking over my shoulder. "I think that free-form art stuff is really interesting."
She'd obviously never heard the same story I did.
I'll admit, I would like to win an award before I die. Or two or three. But if it's going to be the creepy hand award, then I'll pass, thank you!
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