Short Story: Trespassers Will Be Cursed

An old, weathered plaque stands outside the cave. You know the words written on them by heart.

KEEP OUT. TRESPASSERS WILL BE CURSED.

You ignore it, as you’ve done all your previous trips to the excavation site. The rest of your team follows without a fuss.

Well, most of your team.

“It says keep out,” your new assistant says.

“Don’t worry about it,” you say.

“But I don’t want to be cursed.”

It’s a familiar fear. Most of your current team members had the same doubts when they first came onsite. You convinced them, and you’re confident you’ll be able to talk the newcomer around too.

“We’ve been here for years, and nothing has happened to anyone. It’s just a relic of a long-gone civilization,” you say.

In this modern day and age, that usually works, but the new assistant is unconvinced.

“I don’t feel comfortable. I’d rather stay out.”

You frown.

“This is where we spend most of our time. If you don’t want to go in, then you’re unfortunately not suited for this team. Your job or your superstition. You choose.”

Your new assistant wrings her wrists, but finally relents and follows you in.

“Good choice.” You pat her on the back, then turn your attention to today’s work.

Even after years of exploration, you’re still discovering new rooms. Today’s chamber was only found yesterday, and you’re excited to see what you’ll uncover.

Your assistant is less so.

“I think I’ll resign after all,” she says anxiously, ignoring all the ancient artifacts you have just unearthed. Your lips twist as you turn to her.

“If that’s how you feel, the exit is right behind you.”

The girl leaves. You put her out of your mind. You have more significant things to focus on.

Like the gold-plated doll on the ground.

You pick it up with gloved hands, but the thin material isn’t enough to stop what is to come. Your human hands have defiled the guardian of the temple. You have defiled my avatar.

The eyes on the doll open.

“Trespasser, on you a curse I place. Until all of mine is back in place, you and yours will have no place.”

You are alarmed, but ultimately brush it off as a trick from a dead culture. You will learn better soon.

Better start looking, trespasser.

~End~

Genre: fantasy

September post count: 6/12

Short Story: The Curse of Two Twins

The curse was as complicated as it was cruel. It didn’t affect the twins directly, but from the moment the curse started, if anyone saw both twins, the second twin they saw would from then on always make them feel excruciating pain if the twin was within sight.

Their friends and family assured them that they could bear the pain, but the twins knew such promises would only turn into poisonous shackles when the torture grew too much. So they made a decision.

In the middle of the night, they packed their bags. The older would go east, the younger would go west, and alone together, they would break the curse so they could all be reunited again.

~End~

Genre: fantasy

Prompt: oxymoron

Short Story: The Undesirable on the Empty Hill

The hill was empty. Empty of people, empty of animals, empty of empathy. All it had was a carpet of grass, thick and tall from the lack of foot traffic up and down the hill. Because no one wanted to go up the hill where an undesirable stayed far away from everything else.

A long time ago, the undesirable was just another person. He was ordinary in every way, except that when the village came under attack by a hoard of demons, he volunteered himself as a scapegoat. He took on the curses meant for the village and hid away on top of  a hill.

No one had seen him since. Despite what he had done for them, no one cared to look. The danger was over, and no one wanted to dig up unwanted memories. The ordinary man who had bravely sacrificed for the village, my rescuer and master, was thrown into undeserved isolation.

But the younger generation had mixed views. Some were scared off by the horror stories of their elders, some were more curious than wary.

It was these curious minds who crept up the hill, using the thick grass as cover.

I kept my silence as I watched from my vantage point, not wanting to spook the young ones. After so much time in isolation, master would surely appreciate the human company.

~End~

 

Genre: fantasy

Short Story: The Art of Seeing the Unseen

Genre: fantasy

 

People talk about invisibility as if it’s a superpower.

He knows it’s a curse.

The busy, fast paced world is a dangerous place for an invisible person. There will always be people who run a red light when ‘no one else is around’, who dash through the ‘gaps in the crowd’, who squeeze into the ’empty pockets’ in crowded spaces.

Other people are protected because they are seen and thus avoided.

He has no such protection.

His involuntary invisibility is the kind that turns everything he touches invisible. The only way to notice him is to notice that something else is missing.

“Morning!”

Fortunately, there are people who do notice.

“Morning.”

“I have… a present for you. Happy early birthday and early Christmas!”

His sister nudges a dog in his direction. The dog sniffs curiously at him.

“Thanks?”

“She’s your reverses guide dog. If people can’t see you, they can see her.”

He doesn’t know how much a dog can help when people don’t notice when a whole bench disappears on the train, but he appreciates the thought.

“Thanks.”

“Let’s go shopping and test it out. There’re some new games I want to try.”

She catches his hand on her second try and pulls him off the couch. The three-seater springs back into view as they head out the door.

He wonders how long it’ll take her to notice all three of them are invisible.

~End~