Murder and Curses

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Chapter 9

The shattered remains of Travis Jordan the vampire were never found, at least not all of them. Perhaps it was the physical nature of vampires, but he seemed to be little more than colorless dust coating the basement floor. Some of this dust was scattered when Mae entered the basement and some of it clung to her shoes, but she was none the wiser. Therefore, Travis’s remains were left to combine with the dust and cobwebs of the cellar, perfectly dormant and unseen by all. Mae had deduced that Travis vanished in a puff of smoke or something when he was finished drinking blood, but she had no way of knowing. The only thing that she and Rachel could do was accept that Travis was gone, and he was not coming back.

Somehow, Mae Green arranged to have a simple funeral take place in two days; she simply wanted to get everything over with as soon as possible. She wanted a chance to say goodbye to her husband and put everything she had done under the proverbial carpet.

It was a small, simple service with the bare minimum of family members and friends. Richard Green did not have many friends, for he had never been around enough to make friends. Since he was never home much and his pursuit for a vampire had consumed his life, the lust for vengeance had been his only ally. In the end the curse had claimed him, and Mae believed deep in her heart that he understood this, even when he was in his feral wolf mode.

Rachel opted to stay home during the funeral. She had done nothing but curl up into her bed and cry her eyes out for hours each day, leaving her bedroom only to eat or use the bathroom. She seemed to content herself a little with music from her portable player, but even that did little to numb what she felt inside.

On the night after the funeral, however, everything changed. She felt a hot burning within her chest that spread through her arms, legs and neck. Muscle mass expanded where there had been none before, and her form morphed in such a way that her clothes ripped apart and fell from her body.

Hot breath escaped her mouth as she panted and thick spittle dribbled out of her mouth. She sat straight up and looked down at herself, her eyes widening. What the heck was going on? What was this black hair all over her body?

She blinked several times. Wait… how was it that she could see?

Her eyes traveled to her mirror across the room. For the first time in quite a while, she found herself able to stand up and have a reason to turn on the lights. Once she did that, she caught her expression…

She screamed. It was a horrible, blood-curdling sound, a terrified girl’s scream combined with an ear-piercing wolf’s howl. It was bound to wake up anyone in the house and perhaps the neighbors as well.

How could this happen? Travis had sacrificed himself to save her and that other girl! Did this mean that Melissa was still a werewolf, too? Had the curse failed to break for some reason?

That simply meant that Travis’s sacrifice had been in vain. It did not work. He should still be there with her now to hold her hand and speak gently to her during this, just as she liked.

Another ear-splitting howl escaped her throat as she swung her forepaw around, smashing the mirror. She continued her rampage by slashing the wallpaper with her claws, upturning her bed and knocking everything off her dresser. Having retained her eyesight simply meant that her aim was keen in her fury.

She trashed everything in her room until there was nothing left to knock over, throw or break. Then she simply collapsed on the floor in a heap and began to moan and wail.

Mae Green had fallen asleep on the living room couch again, unable to bear going into the bedroom. In truth, she had not slept in that bedroom ever since Richard left, for she did not want to sleep in an empty bed. Now she wanted to go in there less than ever. She doubted she would ever sleep in there again.

Seriously, what did she think would happen, anyway? That her husband would find that blasted vampire and then everything would be all right? That he would come home and they would live happily ever after, while she tolerated his werewolf side at night?

Neither of them had thought this through very far. But sometimes people reacted to new situations in very strange and impulsive ways, perhaps because they saw no other alternative. Then, once people made a stupid decision, they had a way of deluding themselves into believing that things would still work out somehow. That the ends would justify the means, and somehow everything would work itself out in the end because of their good intentions.

The loud howling upstairs broke Mae out of her musings, a howling that was shortly followed by the sounds of objects breaking and being thrown about. Her heart skipped a beat and her blood froze.

Under any other circumstances, she might have panicked and thought that Rachel was in danger and assumed there were vandals upstairs. But she knew that kind of howl and that kind of growling all too well. Rachel had been inflicted with a curse from a different werewolf; that had to be it.

Mae closed her eyes. Her chest began to heave with gut-wrenching sobs. When would all of this end? Rachel did not deserve to suffer for the foolish mistakes of her Aunt and Uncle!

She pushed herself off the couch and to her feet, trying to figure out what to do. The only logical thing to assume was that Melissa had bitten Rachel, not Richard. However, did Melissa not deserve to have a normal life, to be free from the curse as well?

Mae realized there was only one way to settle everything once and for all. She needed to take her own life. It would end every aspect of this curse once and for all, especially if there were any other poor souls out there who had been bitten by Richard. After all, he had made it clear that he had not been able to remember anything he did in werewolf form any longer.

She would not allow Rachel to turn into that kind of creature years from now, a feral creature that bit other people and possibly murdered and ate others. She would take the only step she knew how to prevent that from happening.

Mae walked into the kitchen and opened the silverware drawer. She examined her options for a moment and then selected a large meat knife. How poetic, she thought as she gripped the hilt firmly. A blade going into my heart… that seems to be how most monster tales end.

Tears began to stream down her face as she angled the knife toward her chest. The sharp tip rested against her skin, just above her heart. Goodbye, sweet Rachel, she thought.

She barely felt it when she made the plunge. The only thing she felt was relief that the nightmare would finally end, that Rachel would be safe, and that she would no longer have to endure the shame and guilt from her stupid mistakes in witchcraft.

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