The Curse

The thrum of blood pounded in his forehead. “I can’t take this anymore. Undo whatever you did. Take it back.” His head dropped into his hands, and he began to sob.

“You’re pathetic. Were you always so weak? I can’t remember.” Her tone was ice. “You wanted to know me better. I showed you, gave you everything you wanted. Now you are frightened by the world that has been opened to you.”

He looked up at her, the visage she wore was as cold and impassive as her voice. “I didn’t know it would be like this! Everyone I get close to goes insane or becomes just like . . .”

“So? Surround yourself with stronger people.”

“I don’t want to hurt anyone!”

“Then stay away from them. Do you really think you only hurt people after we met? Don’t be foolish.”

“Undo it!” The pressure in his veins was growing. He could feel the wildness rise within him.


“Why not? What would it cost you?”

“Nothing. But it can’t be done. There is no way to reverse the change. This is what you are now. Learn to live with it. Or don’t. As you will.”

She began to turn away from, clearly done with the conversation. He grabbed her arm to stop her. Emotion showing on her face for the first time, she spun back. “Let. Me. Go.”

Fear momentarily swamped the inner storm, and he released her. Still, he pressed on. “What if I killed you? That would end this curse.”

Her laugh was cruel. “This is not some fairy tale, where if you kill the monster everyone else is released from its grip. If you were to kill me, I would be dead, and you would still be what I made you, what you wanted to be. Quit fighting yourself.”

“Why should I believe you?”

“Don’t. Try to kill me. My only regret if you were to succeed is that I could not relish the full bloom of your disappointment. But,” her withering stare nearly broke him, “do not make idle threats. I feel no loyalty to you, my creation. I will discard you without hesitation. That would end your torment. And your whining.” She held his gaze for one more beat before sweeping back around, his hope dying as she walked away.

The madness finally overwhelmed him.


“Why is she here?”  The new guard pointed to a screen.

The other guard, who had been on the job longer, briefly looked up.  “Oh, her?  She stabbed another inmate.”

“Why is she screaming like that?”

“She’s nuts.  That’s why they have her chained, too.  Gotta keep her from hurting herself or something.  But she’s always screaming.”

“Doesn’t it get to you?  I mean, even if you turn off the sound, you can hear it through the walls.”

“Used to.  Learned to ignore it.”

“What did she do, anyway?  I mean, to wind up in prison?”

“Went on some kind of rampage.  Tore up a lot of people before they got her under control.”

“Her?  She doesn’t look like much.”

“Looks are deceiving.  Assume anyone in here would kill you if they could.”


They sat for awhile, keeping watch on the monitors and filling out logs.  It would have been monotonous except for the screaming.

“I’m going to check on her.”

“Don’t bother.  You can’t let this sort of thing get to you.”

“It’s driving me nuts!”

“Suit yourself.  Just stay away from her.  Don’t do anything stupid.”

The new guard picked up the keys and walked over to the cell.  He opened the door to make sure she didn’t have some injury the camera didn’t pick up.  Faster than he would have thought possible, she leapt toward him, the chain breaking as though it were made of paper.  She grabbed his hand.

It only took seconds for him to shake her off, but by then the rage took over.  His world went black as his body rushed back to the desk.  Grabbing a pen, he stabbed the other guard in the chest with it.  He then began running through the prison, beating bloody anyone he came across.

She laid back down on her cot.  The madness had receded for now.  The relief was temporary, she knew, but it had been too long since she had last managed to free herself even for a little while.  Her eyes closed, and she slept.