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by brom21
Rated: ASR · Short Story · Fantasy · #2233227
A family seeks the cure for a curse that wreaks havoc on their town every three years.




The hurricane ravished the beach side town of Tidus. Stone houses ripped apart that sounded like a catastrophic rockslide as debris tumbled and flew. Trees were wrenched from the ground pulling up dirt like a sickle threshing wheat.

Screams from the men, woman and children being hurled spinning through the air were muffled by the vehement, blasting wind. Rain doused all surfaces like a soaked towel. The clouds resembled dark sackcloth as they rumbled with crackling thunder.

In a deep, underground shed, John, Mary and their two children coward and shook as the banging and shattering came from above.

Linda, the younger child, sobbed with her hands over ears.

John wrapped Linda in his arms. “Hold on Linda.”

“I hate this curse!” said Derik the older sibling with a slight sneer.

“I know son,” said John.

The door to the shed above them tore open and Mary got struck by a branch in the hip and was pinned against the ground.

“Mary!” cried John.

The cascade of falling water began filling the shed. John raced to Mary’s side.

“Grrr!” John said as he tried to pry off the branch against his wife’s hip.

“John, it’s no use. Take the children and leave.”

“I will not leave you here! Give me more time! The curse will not take you!”

The water will reach my waist in minutes. Go!” said Mary.

John buried his head in her shoulder and cried. “I’ll always love you.”

John turned and took Linda and Derik and braved through the falling rain. John poked his head out. The land was baren of homes, crop lands and other structures. The hurricane raged on but began to let up slightly.

About eight yards away, a tall hill sheltered from the rain and wind.

“Take my hands you two!” said John.

John held each hand of Linda and Derik and sprinted to the hill side. Derik stumbled a bit but remained on his feet. They reached the hill side and nestled against the sloping ground.

All three were crying and shivering. They waited and held each other. The harsh wind abated to a rough gale.

“It’s letting up,” said Linda.

“You’re right. The sound is lowering,” said John.

Ten minutes passed and Derik walked around the cover of the hill. “It’s almost gone. The sun is scattering the clouds.” Derik smiled.

John and Linda went around, looked up and smiled too. The silence said it all.

Their expressions fell. The destruction was done. Bodies were sprawled on the ground. Crops were stripped clean. Some who remained, wept over the dead.

“If only there way to lift the curse,” said Linda. “Every three years some natural disaster hits the town.”

“There is nothing we can do,” said John. “The curse has been with us for over a hundred years.”

“But there has to be a cure,” said Derik. “I know there is!”

“I admire your hope son. But life is life. Come. Let’s help where we can.”

The clean-up went by slowly. John was one who helped gather the dead bodies. Linda and Derik caried stone rubble into piles. When dusk came, everyone slept under the stars; all housing was obliterated.

The town was full of fires where people were gathered around. John and his two children sat around a small fire next to a tree stump. All three cried for what must have been twenty minutes.

“I can’t believe mother is gone,” Linda said with a sob.

“I miss her more than you both know. But she was right. It was one of us or all of us,” said John, wiping off tears.

“Stupid curse! How many people must die every three years?” said Derik “Our town should not have to be like this,” Derik pounded his fist on the ground. “Maybe there is more powerful magic than the magic that cursed our town by the sorcerer all those years ago.”

John shook his head. “If that were true, someone would have discovered it. It’s been over a hundred years.” John laid back. “Let us get some rest. There is more to be done in the morning.”

Linda and Derik laid back too and soon all three fell asleep.

In the middle of the night, Linda woke up chilled. The fire was low so she rose to gather more wood. When she had walked about five yards, a glowing woman in a white robe appeared in front of her.”

“Mother Is that you?” Linda said trembling as she took a step back.

The glowing woman responded. “Yes. My spirit has returned for an important purpose.” Mary took out a sealed scroll and held it out. “This scroll has the divine prayer of He who rules in Heaven. Take the scroll and your father and brother to the old the Emerald Forest.”

“Why?”

“The wizard who cursed the town still lives there. All three of you must speak the words of the scroll in faith before him and the curse will be lifted.”

Linda took the scroll and Mary began to fade away.

“Mother don’t leave!”

“We will be reunited. Goodbye.”

The scroll in Linda’s hand was sealed with a glowing gem. She ran back to the fire to the fire and woke John and Derik. “Father, Derik, wake up!”

“What is it?” asked John.

“Mother’s spirit appeared to me. She gave me this,” said Linda as she held out the scroll with the glowing seal.

“That seal! It must be magic!” said Derik.

“I don’t believe it. But that seal says I all. What else did she say to you?”

“We are supposed to go to the Emerald Forest and speak together what is in the scroll to the sorcerer who cast the curse who lives there.”

“Will that lift the curse?” said John.

“Yes. I think we should go now.”

“Linda, it’s still dark.”

Derik stood and brushed himself off. “I agree with her, father.”

John took a deep breath. “Okay.”

The three set off, each with a torch. The inland forest border was near. The three were silent as they went forth. They were in a sweat while walking.

“Father, I am scared,” said Linda.

“Don’t worry, I have a feeling all will be well,” said John.

The three met the forest and stopped.

“How do we know where to go?” asked Linda.

“If mother did not give directions, that tells me will meet the sorcerer wherever he is,” said Derik.

“That makes sense son.”

When they had sojourned a while through the maze of foliage, a small hut with smoke coming through a chimney was about seven yards away.

“That must be him!” said Linda.

“I agree,” said Derik. “Let’s pick up our pace.”

“He cannot see our torches. We must put them out,” said John. “The hut is under an open canopy and it is a full moon.”

Derik took the lead, progressing at a mild sprint with John and Linda following.

John stopped his son, grabbing his sleeve. “Let me lead and I will protect you and your sister.”

The three lighted over the grassy ground, making little noise as they could.

John, Linda and Derik crouched before a four-foot berry bush, right in front of the hut.”

“What next?” asked Derik.

John ran his palm down his face. “Give me the scroll Linda.”

Linda obeyed.

Everyone circled around the bush and John cried out. “Come out sorcerer!”

A haggardly man in a black cloak with a narrow, serpentine face emerged. “How did you find me!”

John broke the scroll seal and there was a flash of light.

“What magic is this! But no magic is great as mine!” The wizard hurled a ball of ice at the three humans. It struck John in the chest as he dropped the scroll. John fell back.

Derik picked up a sharp rock and threw it at the wizard. He laughed as he stopped it in mid-air then dropped. He raised his hand and made a fist, causing vines to grow and wrap around Derik.

“Linda! The scroll!” Derick yelled.

Linda dove for the scroll. The sorcerer stretched forth his arm and dispersed a beam of light at Linda. She held it up to look at the writing and the beam of light deflected off the scroll and back at the wizard. “Ack!” he cried, falling on his back.

Derik broke free from the vines and rushed to John. “Father get up! We must read from the scroll!”

John got to his feet and Linda joined them. And She held up the scroll and the wizard stood and sneered. “Enough!” He raised his arms and a pillar of fire appeared. “Burn!”

The pillar closed in on them.

John, Linda and Derik stood, assembled. “Speak it together!” said John. They read aloud in unison: We rebuke thee by the divine power of God, who is higher than any magic or strength. We cast down your curse to stop its affects and deliver the town of Tidus from your tyranny!”

The fiery pillar vanished and the sorcerer fell on his back, kicking and screaming. “Ahh! What…is…happening!” He writhed and flailed his legs and arms then dissolved in a plume of smoke.

“We did it! The curse is lifted!” said Linda.

All three cried with joy. John put his hands on Linda and Derik’s shoulder. “Let’s go back.”

Both nodded and followed their father in the opposite direction back to the town. They laughed and smiled all the way home.

When they arrived, their eyes widened and their jaws dropped open. They were speechless. It was as though the hurricane had not happened at all. The trees had returned as well as the crops and all the houses. Birds chirped in branches. The sun shone brightly.

“It’s a miracle,” said Linda.

“Mary saved us,” said John.

“No, the God of the scroll did,” said Derik.

John tilted his head. “Then praise God!”























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