He and his sixteen-year-old sister lost their mother when the woman died of mysterious circumstances.
A bashed in skull and a broken jaw weren’t mishaps that occurred on their own.
Yet it was easier to burn the body and the questions that rose with the stench of the decaying flesh. The woman had been found in the afternoon heat floating in a swamp outside the village.
Even the police locked their lips, shook their heads, and left without investigating further.
Their eyes warned the dead woman’s husband – Clean up this mess!
Silence filled the woman’s place and the gaps between those remaining grew wider.
No eyes shed tears, but two pairs searched their father’s face for answers.
‘Forget about your mother. She’s not coming back.’
A weary man’s consolation to his children.
And on they went with their routines, nothing changed except the air felt lighter. The darkness weakened and the light grew stronger.
It wasn’t only one home, but the other homes experienced it too.
It was a feeling of being born again without symptoms of pain and fear. What had hung upon aching heads and limp necks was now gone.
The weight of the curses.
The culprit, the witch, the dead woman, her sorcery the reason for all suffering, eliminated after years of enduring. It had been decided one moonless night after months of planning – she must be killed.
Her curses will die with her.
And they did.
The villagers rejoiced behind closed doors and shed their dread and inhibitions. They opened themselves to a new way of life, no eyes watched them, no lips chanted spells, no longer were they victims of madness and jealousy.
Then one morning they found a dead cow and at noon an unborn child died in the womb, by evening it was clear that the curses had returned.
But who was responsible?
The sixteen-year-old daughter of a dead witch appeared to be a befitting successor. Why else would the girl always dress in black?
‘Maybe it’s her favorite color.’
The boy chuckled at his words as he added chili powder, dung, and nail clippings to the fire. His mother’s spell book lay open on his lap. He sat by the swamp in the dark of the night.
The stupid villagers would eliminate his sister and he would put a curse on his own father. Soon there would be no one to hide from in his own home.
He would be smarter than his mother. Her death had proved that evil is immortal. It simply changed shape.
He wasn’t the last, there would be more after him.
Believe it or not…the curse always comes back.
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