The Golden Hand

In celebration of Halloween, another scary “true” story from right here in Putnam County:

Dimple was the prettiest widow in Algood, Tennessee. Pleasingly plump, with rosy cheeks and sparkling blue eyes, she was never at a loss for suitors. But none of them made Dimple’s heart flutter until she met Chester. He was new to town, and though no one knew much about him, he seemed to be a fine, upstanding man.

Chester couldn’t hide the fact that he was smitten with Dimple. He took her to the all-you-can-eat buffet at the Golden Corral. He took her to band concerts at Dogwood Park. He took her to horse shows and Tennessee Tech football games and anywhere else she wanted to go.

But Chester quickly noticed one strange thing about Dimple. She always wore a pair of white cotton gloves. Even when the weather was warm. Even when she was indoors. Even though such a custom had long since gone out of fashion.

“Why do you wear those gloves?” he finally worked up the nerve to ask her.

“I lost my right hand in an accident years ago when I worked at the candy factory,” she told him. “My right hand is artificial.”

“May I see it?” Chester asked.

Dimple looked shyly at the floor. “Not just yet,” she replied.
It wasn’t long before Chester asked Dimple to be his wife. She said yes. They were married in a quiet ceremony at a lovely wedding chapel in Gatlinburg. It was during the honeymoon that Chester finally sneaked a peak at his new bride’s artificial hand. Imagine his surprise when he discovered that it was solid gold! Chester immediately began formulating a plan.

A wicked, evil plan.

Immediately upon the couple’s return to Algood, he began stirring a tasteless poison into the coffee he served Dimple each morning. Every day, she grew weaker. Within a month, Dimple was dead. No one suspected a thing and everyone felt very sorry for Chester, who—by all appearances—seemed prostrate with grief.
The night after the funeral, Chester slept with the golden hand under his pillow.

It was way up in the fall, and cold. Clouds blew across the almost-full moon and the wind whistled down the chimney of Chester’s drafty old house. Chester tossed and turned in the bed he and Dimple had shared. Even though his pillow was fat with feathers, he was sure he could feel her golden hand beneath it.

Suddenly and without warning, the door to his bedroom burst open. A frigid blast of air swooshed into the room, bringing with it a shimmering green light. As Chester watched in horror, the light transformed into the shape of his late wife. Only one thing about her was different.

Dimple’s right hand was missing.

The glowing phantom moved closer to the bed. Chester, his entire body trembling in fear, pulled the covers tight around his chin. “Who are you?” he stammered. “And what do you want?”

“You stole my life. You stole my hand,” the apparition answered. “Give me back my golden hand! GIVE ME BACK MY GOLDEN HAND!”

The phantom hovered over him for a minute and then reached under the pillow and snatched out the hand. Chester felt something cold and hard pressing against his windpipe. Then his world went black. A few days later, neighbors noticed a horrible odor emanating from Chester’s house. When police went to investigate, they found his lifeless body rotting in the bed.

Dimple’s golden hand was clutching his throat.
(October 28, 2012.)

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