A Thousand Deaths.

Sarah’s Prompt: Curses! No really, that’s your prompt. In the spirit of Halloween, someone in your story has a curse. Do they fight it? Accept it? What is it? Is it just a part of life? Would everyone consider it a curse, or just that person? Let your imagination run wild!

I ran wild with it. 
This might be a bit out there because it’s a possible plot bunny for me, but I hope you all like it!! 
Oh. And HAPPY HALLOWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEN. 

 

***~~~~~~~~~~~~~~***

One minute there was a blinding, beckoning light at the end of the tunnel and the next there was only her. She blocked my path and stopped me from moving forward, her dangerous blue eyes tantalizingly haunting. I waited for her to speak the first words of our exchange, but she remained patient, her mouth parted yet silent.

“Something’s happened,” I said after what felt like an infinity. The seconds ticked by as I waited to hear the strange girl speak. She didn’t seem possible. Dark brown skin with hair the color of fire. It flowed down from her head into perfect ringlets, blowing in a breeze I couldn’t feel.

I didn’t believe in monsters, but the way her shoulders caved forward like a hunter about to bag its prey made me think otherwise.

“Do you want to hear a story?” The girl asked. She took a step forward, a grin pulling at her cheeks. “Stereotypical blonde hair, hazel eyes, pale skin… You look like a girl that really enjoys stories.”

I took a step back. “I don’t want to hear a story.”

“But it’s such a good story,” the girl hissed. For a moment, I swore her eyes blackened over. Her eyes were calm rivers hiding behind lava-red bangs.

I didn’t trust her.

“What’s your story about?” I asked.

The girl’s smile widened. “It’s about love. A stupid love that ends in a curse.”

Offensiveness swelled inside me. “Love isn’t stupid. It never is… unless you’re with the wrong person. In which case, it wasn’t real love at all.”

“How about this…” The voice was suddenly behind me and I spun around. I hadn’t even noticed when she disappeared and reappeared. “I’ll tell you the story and you decide if it’s real love or faked love. Does that sound nice?”

My feet told me to run. My head wanted to know more. “Please… I think something terrible has happened… can you help me?”

“I AM helping you,” the girl said, rolling her eyes at me. “But you’re not making it very easy for me.”

“Sorry,” I said. I didn’t like the idea of upsetting the girl.

“If you listen to my story, I’ll tell you what happened.” She held out her hand. “Deal?”

I shook her hand, gasping when a shock traveled up through my arm, rattling my teeth as an ache spread through my bones. The sensation left just as fast as it had come. “Deal.”

“Where are my manners?” The girl curtsied, her long hair bouncing with the motion. “My name is Mina. And I’ll be tonight’s entertainment.”

“I’m Anna,” I said. I hid my hands behind my back just in case she tried to shake my hand again.

“Anna. Nice to meet you. Now let me tell you that story…

“Once upon a time in a land so Medieval that they were still learning how to piss, there was a preacher. On the outside, people saw him as their leader. He offered encouragement and judgment to his followers, promising to never lead them astray. Every city he went to, new crowds rose up, ready to pledge their allegiance to him and to the Big Man Upstairs that he claimed to serve.

“Over time, the preacher became proud. His reputation preceded him, reaching far into the surrounding countries, including the non-English speaking kind. Everyone knew him to be a righteous man. No one expected him to fall as hard as he did.”

“You’re going too fast!” I squeaked, waving my hands high to get her attention. When she spoke, her gaze was turned upwards. When she did finally look at me, there was anger in her eyes.

“Don’t interrupt,” she said. Then continued.

“His downfall began when he met a witch. A beautiful witch, but a witch, nonetheless. She mainly kept to herself, casting spells and curses on those she felt deserved it. Or, from time to time, those she was paid to see destroyed.

“Her eyes were the bluest of blue. Rumor had it that she traded her soul for them. Another rumor said that if you stared too deeply into them, you’d be caught under her spell and remain her slave forever.”

I couldn’t help myself. “You have really blue eyes.”

“And you don’t know how to stop interrupting. Now shut up.”

I chewed on my bottom lip to keep any more words from spilling out.

“Thank you. Okay… where was I? Oh right. So. Let’s get back to the preacher’s pride.”

I wanted to hear more about the witch, but I didn’t dare ask.

“One day, the preacher turned to his congregation and in a fit of blasphemy, he claimed that he could do anything the people asked of him in the name of God. So the people threw ideas at him. Heal the sick? The preacher couldn’t. Call forth an angel? He could not. Turn water into wine? He wished. You would think that this would turn the people against him, but it did not. They were loyal to him, even going as far to say that God had decided that the people did not need miracles to believe.

“But this did something to the preacher. It drove him crazy. In a night of drunken stupor, he stumbled out of the privacy of the inn he was staying at and wandered the streets. At one point, he fell and hit his head on a rock. He should have died.”

Mina blinked at me then sighed loudly. “He almost DIED. Act shocked!”

I faked a gasp. Mina shook her head at me.

“He would have bled out in the street, but the witch found him. And despite the rumors surrounding witches at the time, she had a kind heart. Instead of leaving the preacher to die, she took him back to her home to bandage him up, even though it was common knowledge that the two of them couldn’t ever get along.”

I gasped. Mina glared. Bad timing ran in my blood.

“We’re running out of time,” Mina said, her eyes flicking to black. I gasped for real this time and jumped back. I hadn’t noticed it before, and I wasn’t quite sure how I missed it in the first place.

“You’re bleeding,” I said, pointing at her stomach. A thick blotch of blood stained her shirt and dripped down her leg. “Are you… are you dying?”

“Interrupting!”

“Sorry…”

Mina winched and held an arm over the wound. “To make a short story short, they fell in love. A preacher man with a wicked woman. Their relationship was more than just sexual, it was a business transaction. She helped him duplicate the miracles he needed to show his crowds and in return, she was given fifty percent of all the offerings given to the preacher for his works.

“But something terrible happened next. Their love making got perfected and nine months later, the witch was ready to burst out twins. It got harder to keep their affairs secret. The witch begged the preacher to stay with her as she gave birth. She wanted him, more than needed him, at her side.

“At this point, the preacher was tired of being a celebrity. He was getting older. All he wanted to do was settle down with his pregnant lover and live out him days praying for forgiveness. He planned on organizing a gathering of his followers and renouncing his faith before them. Even had a speech written for it and everything.

“But try to understand… The preacher didn’t have the option of giving up his faith. His sermons were so emotional and so grabbing that they brought many to his side, ready to serve. That’s when the angel came to him. And ruined everything.

“After the angel forced the preacher to forget everything from the past couple years, he visited the witch, hours after she had given birth to a sticky, nasty baby boy and a pretty, bright-eyed baby girl.

Here, Mina lowered her voice to better tell her tale. “‘These are the result of sin,’ the angel told the witch. ‘They are an abomination and must be destroyed.’ But the witch was as smart as she was beautiful.

“Before the angel had arrived, she’d felt the connection to the preacher die away. Expecting the worst, she turned to her newborn children and poured her soul into them, giving them what she hoped was eternal life. The angel saw what she had done, and in a moment of selfish anger, tried to shorten the lives of what he thought deserved to die. When he saw that the witch’s magic had already taken effect, he applied new rules to the twin’s existence.

“The twins could live forever, but they would forever represent the punishment that came from the wicked choices their parents had displayed. No matter which life they were in, the twins would always be separated. One—he motioned to the boy— would be bound to justice and the other—he looked at the girl—bound for darkness. When they met, the boy would kill the girl. ‘Thus pleases me,’ said the angel. And away his selfish ass flew.”

“That doesn’t sound like an angel sent from God,” I said.

Mina shrugged. “Hey. Angels aren’t perfect.”

“Are you an angel?”

Mina belted out in uncontrollable laughter. “Hell no!”

I frowned. “Then what are you? No more stories. I want answers.”

Mina’s face was suddenly inches away from mine. “Well, well, well… look who decided to find her voice.” She shoved me over, my back landing with a smack as I fell onto a surgical table. Colors flooded the hospital room and the cool metal of a defibrillator pressed against my suddenly bare chest. Doctors hovered over me. I could see my mother and father clinging to each other from behind a glass door, their faces twisted in agonized sorrow.

“Am… Am I the twin destined to die?” I asked. I couldn’t see Mina anymore, but I could hear her laughter ringing in my ears.

You interrupted me. I never got to finish the details of the curse.

“Tell me!” I screamed. At least, I think I screamed it. I wasn’t sure of anything anymore. Another shock his me in the chest. So painful… why couldn’t the doctor just leave me be?

I am the twin of darkness, Mina confirmed. Reincarnation doesn’t work when your own mother curses you to live forever. But thanks to my damn brother, I’m dead. Again. So in order to live forever, I get the lucky opportunity to steal the bodies of the soon-to-be-dead. And that’s where you come in. You managed to get yourself run over by a semi-truck. And now you go to either Heaven or Hell and I get to go dancing in your body. Fun, right?

“But my body is dying!” I cried. “Unless the doctors-”

Unless they nothing. Mina’s laughing hurt my ears. I’ve been talking to your soul for too long. Your body is rejecting it.

If I wasn’t about to lose my body, my stomach would have dropped. “You tricked me? I could have lived if I hadn’t been chatting it up with you?”

Duh. Darkness, remember? Plus, I like your blonde hair. Although I’ll probably end up dying it. And you have an innocent reputation. I can’t wait to screw that up.

“Please,” I said, turning to begging as my last resort. “My parents… they need me. I’m their only child. And… I have a boyfriend. He wants to marry me some day.”

Big whoop. Your soul isn’t strong enough to support a dying shell. Now get out and let me in. Dying hurts less than holding on.

“There’s no way I can live?” I asked.

Nope. I made sure of that for you. You’re welcome!

I pictured Mina’s eyes and I hated her for them. Would they transfer to mine? Would my green eyes turn bright blue with flashes of black?

They’ll be blue, Mina whispered. Just like my mom.

The doctors poked and prodded at me, their voices sounding far away to my ears. “We’re losing her!”

“I hate you,” I told Mina. “I hope you die.”

Always have, always will.

The white light swallowed me once again and I heard Mina’s voice no more.

***~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~***

 

Monica’s Prompt: 
I’m giving you one of two choices! The first one is an actual writing prompt designed to give you a start for your story. The second is one that I found humorous because it sounds like a frustrated writer giving up. (Perhaps writing it would be a good venting exercise? A way to yell at our inner doubts?) 
prompt prompt2

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1 Comment

Filed under Sarah

One response to “A Thousand Deaths.

  1. monica

    Sorry it took me so long to get around to commenting on this one! October has kept me very busy. Your story… hmmm. Well your enthusiasm is evident, however structurally I was a bit confused. To have an extended story/flashback within a short story left me feeling disconnected from the protagonist and antagonist, especially since I didn’t know anything about them before. Also, the mythology of the bad twin now taking the place of the good twin was a bit unclear to me. Perhaps I read too quickly, but I feel like I’m missing something. If this is a plot bunny, of course I encourage you to pursue it, but establishing a solid backstory and “rules” to abide by for this mythology would help me as the reader have a better understanding.

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