KITCHENER-WATERLOO – Herb White, a self-avowed introvert, expressed deep regret about the wish he made last year upon finding a monkey’s paw by the side of the road.
“Since last year, a global pandemic swept the world and I kind of blame myself. I found this mummified monkey’s paw by the side of the road on my way home from groceries. I would have walked right by it if I hadn’t heard a whispered, ancient voice telling me to look down. In retrospect, maybe I should have taken that as a warning sign.”
White picked up the paw and brought it home. He reports that it would appear throughout the day in various spots around the house without him having moved it. The next morning, when he awoke, White claims to have found it on the pillow beside his.
“Knowing the legend but not really believing it, I kinda made a joke wish on it. Y’know, not really thinking it would happen. I said, ‘It’d be great to spend a year without feeling like I had to go out all the time.’ That’s it. It seemed so innocent but as soon as I said it, the paw moved and twisted like a snake. I had no idea a global pandemic would sweep the world. How was I supposed to know a supernatural force would grant my wish in the most horrific way possible?”
Since making the wish, White has only left his house for necessities or to go on solitary walks in the woods by his home. And while his software company had previously forbidden working remotely, he now works from home full-time. He sometimes plays games online with friends and calls his mother weekly but since making the wish he hasn’t felt obliged to go to a party, show or gathering of any kind due to lockdowns.
Asked if he would make that wish again, White replied, “Even though this past year hasn’t been too bad for me on a personal level, I know I made a mistake. I wanted to make my second wish something small, you know, something really insignificant so I wished for some cake. The next day I got an invite to a wedding. Found out later it was a super spreader event. Thank goodness I never go to weddings.”
While White also appreciates the additional privacy of wearing a mask indoors and outdoors, he is still bothered by a nagging concern.
“According to the whispers in my dreams I still have one more wish left. I don’t know if I should make it but the voices are getting pretty insistent,” he said, staring blankly off into the distance.