Also Congratulations to David M Hoenig for his winning story My Boy!
When did I last move? How long have I sat here in my own filth lacking even the motivation to relieve myself? It really doesn’t matter, I stopped caring about personal hygiene years ago. Why had that wicked bitch even cursed me? So I broke her heart, who cares? She didn’t even have a heart to break. I knew she was a cold, heartless wench but I tried anyway. I tried to melt that icy exterior but she was glacial or so it seemed. Never a smile, never any sign that she was even capable of feeling well until…
Chiv Keeb was stunningly beautiful, the sort of beauty that may be drawn by a master artist but as rare to see as a flawless hundred carat diamond. Her snow white skin was smooth as silk sparkling in the sun as though she were dipped in glitter. Naturally ruby red lips begged to be kissed with emerald green eyes that saw all the way to your soul. I had never considered myself fool enough to believe in love at first sight but there I was, instantly in love. To my surprise this angel, an entire galaxy out of my league, felt the very same. The world fell away leaving us the only two souls in existence. If only that had been true.
Here I sit staring at this wall seeing nothing but my love and lamenting the loss hour upon hour as the darkness over takes me each night. I stare away at nothing with her image haunting me. Had she just been a dream? A hallucination created by the hag? I try to hold that thought at bay but I’m forever tortured by it. Vahiy was beyond vindictive with a heart buried below miles of permafrost flesh but was she that evil? Would she have cursed me for a hallucination of her own making? I’d like to think not though I know nothing was out of the realm of possibility. The years proved her cruelty was limitless. My Chiv Keeb just had to be real! Her image was all that kept me sane through these years of torment. She just had to be real!
“Mister?” The little voice asked startling me.
Company at last! My delight was gone in a second as reality crashed back in. I was a cursed troll in a cursed cottage and I knew exactly what the little voice behind me meant. Dread overtook joy but nonetheless, for the moment, I was no longer alone. I almost couldn’t bear to turn around knowing what I would see. My hesitation only urged the little angel to speak again.
“Mister? Are you alright?”
“Yyyes my dear.” My parched tongue barely squeaked out the words.
“My name is Sakleysi, what’s yours?” The young girl oozed sweetness from every pore.
“Patrem Maledictus, my dear. Do you know what that means?” He always hoped for the right answer.
“Ummm hairy man?” She asked, her cheeks turning red.
“No, perhaps I’ll tell you later. Tea?”
“That would be lovely!”
The small cottage had no kitchen merely a pot belly stove off in one corner with one tiny cupboard that was almost completely empty. It mattered not, tea was a distraction for a child who shouldn’t have wandered in. I grabbed the cupboard’s sole inhabitant and the kettle turning back to the beautiful child.
I asked her to fetch water while I paced my tiny cottage hoping that she would run but knowing she wouldn’t. I cursed Vahiy for torturing me but helpless to stop it. I teared up again as she walked back over the threshold sealing her fate. Why did they never run? He knew the answer, it was his curse for all eternity.
“Thank you.” I said taking the kettle from her tiny hand, “Have a seat dear.” I motioned to one of two rickety chairs at my table.
I set the kettle atop the unlit stove turning slowly back to my tiny company. Her hair glimmered in the sunlight just as her mother’s had. I crept behind her opening the blade of my straight razor as I did. Please be thinking of butterflies and sunshine my precious child. A few more steps, it’d all be over.
“What does it mean Mr Troll?” I had dreaded the question.
I kissed the top of her precious little head, “Cursed father, my child.” The blade opened the flesh of her neck before my words even registered. I was cursed for all eternity by the cruel Vahiy. Each year marked with a sacrifice of my own daughters until one would call me father, a man they had never met nor heard of before.
I sit here staring at my wall covered in little lines, my angels dancing in my mind waiting to mark another year.