“Prey” by Richard Matheson
Card picked: Six of Diamonds
From: I Am Legend, and other stories
The wooden box resembled a casket. Amelia raised its lid and smiled. It was the ugliest doll she’d ever seen.
The doll is actually a Zuni fetish in the likeness of a fierce warrior named “He Who Kills.” It is a birthday present from Amelia to Arthur, a very nice high school teacher and amateur anthropologist that she’s been dating. The fetish is wrapped in a gold chain which, it’s said, keeps the spirit of He Who Kills inside the doll…or something like that. After Amelia argues on the phone with her over-bearing mother mother and then Arthur, the doll is upended and the chain falls off.
Eighty percent of this story is Amelia battling the fierce seven inch warrior. She spends a good deal of time paralyzed in fear. To be fair, Matheson does a great job of writing action. The story moves at a great pace, never lagging. Amelia does manage to destroy the doll, but the spirit of He Who Kills continues on.