No fear is grander than that which lies in my bosom at this current time. This fear stems from a knowledge few have ascertained before me. As I write this, my time on this earth grows rapidly shorter. My hands tremble as I recall this story of the true nature of the universe. My hand trembles while penning this letter.
My dearest granddaughter, I know you have found the man you want to marry and spend the rest of your life with; but take heed. My actions have brought a curse upon our family! Only harm can fall upon our spouses. You must not marry this man Jonathan you love so much, or he will die. You will mourn him as I weep for my lost Marie.
By: Doug Robbins
The year was 1964 and I was twenty-five years old at the time. I had acquired a bit of money from my first novel and decided to spend my summer in Paris. My next novel was to be set in Paris, so naturally I thought it made perfect sense. I remember having lunch at a little place called Le Cina. It was amazing. The onion soup tantalized my tongue into an orgy of flavor I had never known before or since.
After this fine lunch I decided to do a little shopping. I stopped into this old antique shop. The inside of that place had a smell of mothballs and sweat. A man approached the counter eyeing me. His hair was white and his left eye had a blue film over it.
“What do you seek?” the man asked.
“I seek truth, love, the pleasures provided by ultimate knowledge,” I said. He leaned in, pressing his palms against the counter.
“Who told you about ultimate knowledge?” The shopkeeper asked.
“A friend,” I replied.
He knelt down and retrieved a glass bottle of a purple elixir.
“If you want to have ultimate knowledge, it will cost you!” the shopkeeper said.
“I’m well aware of the price. The cost is five hundred dollars. I will write you a check,” I said. We made the deal. Next I headed back to the hotel room and I took a sip of the elixir. The stuff is supposed to be taken over a three day period. If I were to take it all at once, I would drop dead immediately. I twisted the cap back on the bottle placing the stuff on the desk. I sat down on the bed and waited. My thirst compelled me to head for the vending machine for a soda. When I got to the vending machine I saw a clown getting a soda. As he turned to me I avoided his stare. I began to smell the odious stench of embalming fluid emanating from his lips. The warmth of his breath on my faced mixed with the horrid smell began to annoy me.
“I want to punch this mother f**ker!” I thought. He leapt up into the air and scurried across the ceiling like a giant insect. He disappeared from sight. I noticed he had left a Pepsi in the pick-up section of the vending machine unopened. I picked it up and took it back to my room. The next day I awoke early and drank some more of my elixir. I heard knocking on the door. Against my better judgement I decided to answer it. I saw a sprite standing before me. Its purple skin caused me to recoil. It looked rotted and parts of it were falling off in clumps. It wore a Tinkerbell type curve hugging dress and its green hair was pulled back in a tight bun. The thing bent over.
“F^^k me,” it croaked. I recoiled in disgust. Then it turned its head around to face me. “Aren’t I pretty enough for you?” it shrieked. I fought back nausea as the terrible and rotted thing vomited maggots all over me. I swatted at the maggots punching them. Next they burst into flames and landed on the ground smoldering and screaming. The face peeled off revealing the skull. Its hair turned white and an orange light filled the eye sockets.
“All that you love will die!” she threatened. It transformed into a beetle and crawled off, leaving behind its dress. I used the dress to clean up my fluid and dispensed the soiled dress into the waste paper basket. The next day I awoke and took the elixir. I finished the stuff off and threw away the bottle. In the bathroom mirror a face appeared to me. It had horns atop its bald head. The thing had a pointy chin and long ears. Its teeth were fangs curled back over the lips. This was Aktune, the one with domain over the Earth. He had his own race he called Angels. They were not angels of Christianity. These angels looked like their father. They had elongated feet, long toenails, a tail, and overgrown bat or gargoyle like wings!
God created the Heavens and the Earth. He left the fate of the world to Aktune. I married Marie two years later. She was a girl I met when I returned from my trip to Paris. The new found knowledge sent my head spinning. I staggered out of the bathroom and over to the bed. Then I gripped the sides of the bed and waited for the world to stand still.
The sun barely poked out over the horizon. Marie was asleep and her back was turned to me. She lied on her side breathing deeply. I gently wrapped my arm around her slender waist and gently kissed her cheek. I whispered a soft “I love you!” and hopped out of bed. I made a pot of tea and stepped out onto the veranda. Then I sat down at the table and started typing on my typewriter. This continued for two hours. When I was done I took a walk through my wife’s garden. The gardenias were in bloom. When my wife joined me she was dressed in blue overalls, garden gloves, and white tennis shoes. They were a bit grass stained, dulling the overall whiteness.
“I couldn’t be prouder of my gardenias,” she boasted.
“They are the finest in all of California,” I said. I lifted her up and spun her around. She wrapped her arms around my neck and we kissed. She became pregnant that June. Marie grew larger and larger, yet her glow became more radiant. The following March she awoke me with pained cries of agony. I waited out in the delivery room. The birth took about forty-five minutes. Doctor Lowell came into the waiting room. He had his surgical mask pulled down and his eyes were full of despair.
“Mr. Dobb?” he said. “Yes,” I replied. He let out a sigh. “I’m afraid your wife lost the baby,” the doctor told me.
“Can I see my wife?” I asked.
“Yes of course. But she is heavily sedated.” I entered the room and bleakness seemed to cling to the walls. My wife was sweating and snoring lightly. I walked over to her and stroked her cheek as tears stung my eyes.
“My darling, we’ll get through this,” I whispered. She came home the next day and hurried up the stairs. I followed her. She stood in the nursery. The empty crib serving as a grim reminder of what we had lost before we even had it. I placed my hand on my wife’s shoulder. She placed her hand on top of mine. It felt so small and fragile in my own.
“We can try again,” I said. “We’re both young.”
“Yeah,” she said. Over the following weeks, I noticed Marie began neglecting her garden. The flowers became withered and the beautiful plethora of color had become brown. I walked into the old nursery; the barren reminder of our quiet shame. She stood in the corner of the room where the crib had once been, staring into nothingness.
“Darling?” I asked. She said nothing. Making an attempt to reach for her and comfort her, I was rejected. “Don’t touch me!” Marie said.
“You’ve got to stop blaming yourself,” I said. She turned around and her eyes burned like the demon sun.
“I don’t blame myself; I blame you!” Marie said.
Over the next few weeks, the two of us grew more and more distant. I slept in my bed while she slumbered on the sofa. One time when I awoke in the middle of the night, I found it impossible to move. The sprite I had seen ten years ago was lying on my chest. Her teeth were gnarled razors. Hot spittle dropped onto my cheek.
“Look what the clown made Marie do!” the sprite hissed. She turned into a snake and slithered out the window. I raced down the stairs and found my wife lying on a knife impaling her. The butcher knife was frozen in a block of ice; the sharp part, the blade was right side up. Blood pooled out onto the floor. My hands trembled, my throat burned, and speech became impossible. Then nausea overtook me. I raced to the bathroom and vomited. I was scarce sure I would even make it to the bathroom before emptying the contents of my stomach. From the doorway I heard a voice calling to me.
“Jimmy boy,” he said. I turned and saw the same clown I had seen at the vending machine.
“Did you enjoy my soda?” the clown asked. I felt a throbbing headache come on suddenly.
“I’ll kill you!” I threatened. He lifted off the ground and floated toward me. I punched at the air. He hovered overhead, then vanished right before making contact with me. I passed out. When I awoke the next day, the ice had melted. I called the police.
I wrote a book about the death of my wife. Fictionalizing and dealing with losing her, I found myself at Walmart at a book signing. Some girl, seventeen, and with blonde hair approached me.
“You’re like so profound as an author,” she said.
“Thanks,” I said. I signed the autograph and sent her on her way. Before long it was twelve o’clock and my stomach bellowed with hunger. I decided to stop off at a little out of the way joint called Benny’s. The interior of the place had a 50’s rock and roll theme. They had a juke box. The walls were lined with pictures of rock and roll royalty. They had photos of Elvis, Chuck Berry, and Little Richard too.
I sauntered up to the jukebox and found a tune to play, Love Me Tender. I started to remember a time when Marie and I were dating. This song was playing when we ordered Chinese food. I had attempted to cook a lovely fish dinner for two, but I had burnt the fish. The glow of the wine compelled me to sing along to the music. We shared a kiss and fell asleep that night under the stars, on a blanket, together.
As I made my way back to my table, I noticed a woman staring at me. She tried looking away but I was aware of her folly. I went back to my table and perused the menu. I became aware of a presence before me. I glanced over and saw the woman that had been staring at me, standing by the table.
“Yes?” I asked. “Hello,” the woman began. “My name is Ruby Jones. I don’t usually approach strangers in this way, and wondered if you might enjoy dining together?” Ruby suggested.
“Sure,” I said forcing a smile to my face. She sat down across from me.
“Thanks,” she said.
“You don’t expect me to foot the bill do you?” I asked.
“I have money,” Ruby replied. The two of us engaged in small talk at first, the weather, our favorite colors, and that sort of thing. The conversation eventually lead to the meaning of life.
“I actually know the truth about the Universe!” I boasted.
“You do huh?” Ruby replied.
“Indeed I do,” I answered.
“Enlighten me,” she said and leaned closer.
“This universe is ruled by a powerful creature known as Aktune,” I started. She stayed silent allowing me to continue. “He has his own race of what he calls angels but they resemble him; they have more of a gargoyle appearance to them,” I said.
“You’re very imaginative,” Ruby answered. I let out a small sigh.
“I wouldn’t expect you to believe me,” I muttered
“Don’t be angry. You have to admit your story sounds farfetched,” Ruby cautioned.
“I am not a zealot; I have been privy to some information that few know,” I stated. Then she began speaking in tongues.
“Kill the nonbelievers! Let their blood run through the streets!” she snarled. Aktune spoke through her in a language that does not exist on this planet. I saw her eyes irises and the white parts turn black. Everyone in the place looked on in a horrified silence. She returned to normal. In a desperate attempt at trying to calm herself down, Ruby hugged herself. Then she fled from the restaurant. I chased after her car in mine. Next Ruby pulled up to a church. She raced up the steps and hurried into the church. She went into the confessional. Ruby came out of the confessional a few minutes later; the priest, Leo, came out of the confessional with her.
“Are you friends with this woman,” he inquired.
“We met at an eatery a little earlier in the evening,” I admitted.
“She believes she is possessed,” Leo continued. “Can you confirm this?”
“The thing that spoke through her is gone now,” I explained.
“Are you saying that a foreign agent spoke through this woman’s body?” Leo asked.
“Yes, but it is not demonic,” I said.
“There is no time for procrastination,” Leo declared. “I will insist there be an exorcism performed at once! The church will condone it; I will find a way to convince them,” the priest said.
“My friend is just excited. Would you like me to take you home?” I asked. She nodded. When we arrived at her apartment, she asked if I would come inside and spend the night. She was seriously afraid of being alone in her own apartment that night. She took a bible into her bedroom and I slept on the sofa. The next day I awoke. I rubbed my neck, and headed to the bathroom; afterward I headed out the front door. When I arrived home, I cooked myself some bacon and eggs, brewed some coffee, and sat down to breakfast. I eventually did a little writing on the veranda. A couple of hours passed. I took a walk out to the dirt clod that had once been my wife’s garden. My wife had been the one with green thumb, not me. I knew the flowers in her garden would never bloom again. I went out and bought a pool table that day and set it up in the game room, which would have been the nursery. I received a phone call while playing pool.
“Hello,” I said.
“Howdy,” Ruby answered. “This is Ruby. I found your number in the yellow pages. I hope you don’t mind,” said Ruby.
“Not at all,” I answered.
“Did you sleep well? I did,” replied Ruby. “Thank you for keeping me company last night.”
“No problem,” I responded.
“Would you meet me in the park today? Say around two o’clock?” she asked.
“Sure,” I said. “I think I can make it.” The leaves were orange, red, and yellow. Ruby seemed a little dolled up. She was wearing eye shadow and a stewed cherry tomato red dress. Ruby wore high heels. She practically kept tripping in them.
“I don’t know what’s going on,” she began. “But you seemed so sure what was going on. Perhaps you can help me.”
“The problem isn’t with you; it’s with me.” My love life is cursed,” I said. “The minute I think I start to develop feelings for someone,” I began.
“You have feelings for me?” She did her best to hide her excitement.
“I have let someone I care for get hurt. I’m not about to do that again,” I vowed. She grabbed my hand and placed it over her heart.
“Don’t you see; you are already damned. A life without love is not one worth living,” Ruby said.
“I want to fall in love again. I really do.” But I’m afraid my own words sounded strange to me. She kissed my hand. I tilted her chin toward me and we kissed.
Several years had elapsed since then. I was a father now to a beautiful daughter named Lily. Ever since that kiss I had not seen the clown, or the sprite, and nothing had happened.
“Maybe the curse was broken. They say love conquers hate and good triumphs over evil,” I began to think. Lily was six years old now, and I watched her get on the bus. The bus driver seemed familiar for a moment. I could have sworn it was Marie. I rubbed my eyes and the image of my slain Marie was replaced by a burly woman in blue dress pants and an ill-fitting formal shirt with short sleeves. She had the jowls of a bulldog and the open mouth gape of a simpleton. The mole on her cheek changed colors from red to purple. The bus driver looked at me and said:
“The curse shall never be broken until your kin lies rotting in the soil!” The bus doors closed and I saw the clown and the sprite staring out at me from separate windows. They waved at me as the children turned into screaming burning skeletons! Then the bus tore down the road. I raced after it until my legs gave out and my lungs felt as though they were about to burst. I lied in the middle of the street, on my hands and knees, and panting. Finally I crawled into a nearby ditch. Lying on my back.
“I knew I was damned!” This was my final thought before blacking out. When I awakened, I was home and Lily returned home safe and sound. It had all been a horrible trick, hallucination, but I know the curse shall never be broken, and all future generations bearing my name shall be cursed.