What if Mr White did not wish Herbert away with his third wish?
The story so far…
It was a week after Herbert’s death. Mrs White was forcing Mr White to wish Herbert back again. Unable to resist his wife’s pleas, Mr White raised his hand and wished for Herbert to be alive again. The couple then waited in the silence. Suddenly a loud knock resounded through the house……
“Its Herbert!” Mrs White screamed. “It’s Herbert!”
She ran to the door, but her husband was before her and catching her by the arm, held her tightly.
“What are you going to do?” he whispered hoarsely.
“It’s my boy; it’s Herbert!” she cried, struggling. “I forgot it was two miles away. What are you holding me for? Let go. I must open the door.”
“For god’s sake, don’t let it in,” cried the old man, trembling.
“You’re afraid of your own son,” she cried struggling. “Let me go. I’m coming, Herbert; I’m coming!”
There was another knock, and another. The old woman with a sudden wrench broke free and ran from the room. Her husband followed to the landing and called after her as she hurried downstairs. He heard the chain rattled back and the bottom bolt drawn slowly and stiffly from the socket. Then the old woman’s voice, strained and panting:
“The top bolt!” she cried loudly. “Come down. I can’t reach it.”
But her husband was on his hands and knees groping wildly on the floor in search of the paw. If only he could find the paw before the thing outside got in. Finally, he found it. He raised his hand high up and was about to wish when he remembered the happy days he spent with his son Herbert. Herbert was a child who brought life and light to the couple. Herbert had been everything to the couple. Now, with Herbert dead, life was meaningless.
The “thing” outside, though badly mutilated, was still their son Herbert. How could he “kill” his own son? How could he bear to dash the high hopes of his wife? He could not, he would not.
He heard the creaking sound of the door opening. With fear and anxiety, Mr White walked slowly down the steps. What greeted him was nothing he had prepared for. The “thing” that stood before him was had a disfigured face. There was only one arm and he reeked of a decaying smell. The only part of it or him that was still human that he was wearing clothes. And it was from those clothes that Mr White realised that this “thing” was actually his son or what has become of him.
Mrs White did not care how terrible Herbert look. To her this was still her precious son. She stepped forward to hug him. Herbert could only answer with a few grunts and groans.
“Were you lonely in the cemetery? Were you cold? Oh never mind. Your home now. I’ll take good care of you,” she whispered to Herbert softly.
Mr White just stood there stunned. He was struggling to convince himself that he had done the right thing, that he brought his son, not a monster, back from the grave.
“What are you standing for? Come and welcome your son!” Mrs White shouted to him.
“I guess that what is done is done, I should just accept it.” He thought as he walked to Herbert.
For the next few days, the couple lived peacefully and happily with Herbert. However, their peace was shattered one day. A visitor, the same visitor who informed the Whites of Herbert’s death was back. Mrs White quickly hid Herbert in the kitchen while Mr White opened the door.
“Hello Mr White. I dropped by to see how you were coping with your son’s death. “said the visitor, “May I come in for a cup of tea?”
“Sure…, please come in.” said Mr White, with a note of nervousness in his tone.
The visitor came in just as Mrs White came out of the kitchen.
“It certainly is a hot day! May I have a glass of water.” commented the visitor.
“Sure. Help yourself. The water is in the kitchen” said Mr White.
Upon hearing that, Mrs White shouted “No!” but it was too late, he had already gone in the kitchen.
“Eek! A zombie. You brought it back to life. You used black magic!” with those words, the visitor rushed out of the house.
Mr and Mrs White stared at each other, wondering what to do. In the end Mrs White suggested that they packed up and try to smuggle Herbert out f the country.
They were about to leave when they heard cries from outside the house.
“The Whites practise witchcraft! Burn the Whites! Kill the zombie! Burn the Whites!” It was too late. The townsfolk have arrived and want to kill Herbert.
With a loud bang, they knocked down the door. One of them aimed a rifle at Herbert and shot him. He fire a bullet and another and another. He kept on firing and firing until finally, Herbert collapse to the floor.
“No…My son…” wept Mrs White as her husband tried to pull her away. The townsfolk were now aiming at the old couple. They would not be contented until all the Whites were dead.
“Bang!” Mrs White was killed. Her husband knew he had one last shot at reversing all these. He reached for the paw, held in his hand and wished, “I wish I could go back in time and stop myself from making the first wish.”
With that, a portal appeared in front of Mr White. Knowing that the lives of his family depended on it , Mr White jumped into the portal without hesitation.
Arriving on the other end of the portal, Mr White found that he was outside his house. Peering to the window he could see Sergeant Major Morris talking to Mr White, himself! He could not believe it! The paw had allowed him to travel through time!
Sergeant Major Morris was about to throw the paw into the fire. This was the part where he would catch the paw. He needed to stop himself from saving the paw fast. He broke the window to act as a distraction. In the split second Mr White of the past was distracted, the paw had already caught fire. Soon it was reduced to ashes. Seeing that the paw was destroyed, Mr White knew that his mission has been accomplished and fell into a state of unconsciousness.
When he woke up, he found himself to be in a mist. There were two windows in front of him. One showing his family living happily ever after, the other one showing the hanging of his whole family. Then it dawned upon him what had happened. The monkey’s paw had allowed him to travel to the past and change the fate of his family. However, if the past has been changed, so would the future. If he never received the paw, he would have never gone back into the past to stop himself from receiving the paw. If he did not gone back to the past, he would have received the paw and so would have gone back to the past.
He was trap in a paradox and as a result of this, could not exist in any of the dimensions. He was destined to roam in between the dimensions meaninglessly, for eternity. This was a fate worse than death.
I believe that Fatherly love is not less strong than motherly love so Mr White would not bear to wish Herbert away. So I wrote a story on what would happen if Herbert rose from his grave and went back to the Whites. I had to give this story a sad ending as according to the curse of the fakir, those who tamper with fate did so to their sorrow.