A story about a cursed family... hope you like it.


The Flinch

"AAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa..." a loud, shrill scream penetrate the silent air of the Flinch Manor. It is coming from the hidden attic room on the third floor of the big, dark manor. Sophie ran as fast as she could to the place where no one except the family members dares to go. When she reached the staircase leading to the top floor she could see Mia's dainty, shivering body shriveled into a ball at the far corner of the aisle. Her face so white and pale, her eyes in tears traveled to the closed door in front of her.

"Mia, sweetheart, what happened?" Sophie went to her and held her tightly in her arms. "Mia, I told you not to go here... you could have been hurt." Sophie carried her young daughter in her arms.

"Mommy...that—that's Luke..." Mia cried, "Why is he there? You said... you said..." her voice trailed away in another bout of shivering. Then she whispered, "Mommy...what is going on?" Sophie sighs and just held her tightly in her arms.

When they finally reached the kitchen, Sophie bade Mia to sit on the bench and drink a cup of hot chocolate. Mia looked at her mother's distressed, sad face and wondered what happened. Then she remembered the book that her Grandma just gave that led her to the room at the top floor. "Mia..." she stopped and began pacing the kitchen floor.

After pacing the kitchen floor Sophie finally made her decision but before she could say anything Mia took out an old diary from her shirt and hand it to her mother, "Mommy... Grandma gave me this book... she said I should know... " she said with a worried face.

Sophie wanted to say something, anything, but she just kept looking at the diary. She remembered the time when her mother revealed to her the secret of her father's family and she understands that this time is important to Mia.

Finally, Sophie sat down near her daughter and held her hand willing her to understand. She looked into her soft, brown ayes and said, "Mia... well, you see... every family has their own secrets that they never reveal... and this goes for us too..." She stopped short. Sophie wondered how she could make her 8 year old daughter understand the dark, frightening secret of their family. She took a deep breath and said, "Mia... our family is cursed... you do know the meaning of curse, do you?" She stopped

"Are we bad people? Mia asked

"No, we're not! It's just that...Well, it all started when your great grandfather did something bad to your great grandmother... and he got a curse for his bad behavior... but that does not mean we're bad. It's just that some people do scary things when they feel really sad. Well, your great grandfather was really sad and that is why he did these bad things. Anyway, the curse is that all the men in this family will become ill and every female will only one son and one daughter...just like you and Luke..."

"Did Luke get sick too? But Mommy he is not bad... and he is not sad... he always laughs at me... but he's not bad." Mia cut in, looking into her mother's eyes. She couldn't accept the truth. She watched her mother's sad face and knows that what happened is much more frightening and sad. Sophie looks at her daughter's face and softly said, "Yes...he got ill too..."

"But—but he' not bad and he's not sad..." Mia cried at her mother.

Her mother takes a deep breath and said, "Of course he isn't...he's just ill...just ill..." Her voice trailed away. Mia looked from her mother's sad face to the book she held. Sophie looked at the book in her hands. She took a deep breath and opens the book. She began reading it softly, unveiling the secrets of the Flinch family.

************************

October, 31st 1951
It was almost a year since I married George, I couldn't believe how happy I am. George would be delighted when he hears my news; I'm two months pregnant. I have an instinct that it would be a boy. I could just imagine him now, George's eyes, and he would have his father's intelligence. I just couldn't wait.

There is another thing that I found today. While I was cleaning out the attic room at the top floor of this manor, I found a diary. It was hidden deep in the closet drawer. It was George's mother's diary.

Diana met Robert, George's father, at her cousins wedding. It was a love at first sight for both of them. I could feel her love for him. Diana was a teacher then and Robert was an American practicing law in London. Diana was born to great wealth and title, while Robert was the complete opposite. He has to work his way up the social ladder. He and his brother succeeded in their law firm with great efforts and determination.

The first few entries told the story of their courting. How Robert proposed to Diana on one bended knee under the moonlight. It was so romantic that I felt a tug at my heart...

I postponed my readings when I heard of George's return. I placed that diary together with mine in the secret drawer...
November, 2nd1951
George just left for work this morning. I've told him of my news and we're planning to celebrate tonight. We'll announce it to my family this weekend. How I can't wait to see the joy on their faces.
I continued my reading of the diary, after he left. I've reached the part of their wedding. I envied her. Her words were enough to make me feel as if I was there. The food, the music, the people and most importantly the atmosphere blend in with vibrant colors.

That was the first time Diana met Andrew, Robert's brother and best man. He was a handsome young man and the talk of the ton. Diana was charmed instantly. I could feel that she loved Andrew as a sister would of a brother. For she has set her heart only on one man but Robert thought differently... Diana wrote of Robert's insecurity. She could feel his jealousy of her relationship with Andrew. He wouldn't leave Diana alone with Andrew. I could see Diana was amused by his antics. She thought that his jealousy meant that he cared and loved her. I feel touched by their love. I wondered why George would not tell me anything about his family. It seems to me that they were as perfect a couple can be.

I ponder over this thought as I continue reading the diary... In one entry Diana reveals that it was only after two years of their marriage that they were finally given a child. Diana expresses her happiness so blatantly that even I felt extremely happy for her... My dear George was born to this lovely couple in March, 13th 1932. He became the centre of their life. I smiled at the thought of George as a young, sweet boy...

I decide to do some housework before George is due back for lunch. I place the book back along with my diary...

November, 13th 1951 Last week was a long week. I didn't have time to read Diana's diary at all. It was one party after another. Everyone was congratulating us on my pregnancy. It was so tiring that I got to bed really early almost every night. However, it was a great fun and I feel so happy. Today is the first day in a week that I finally got time for myself. So, I decide to continue reading Diana's Diary.

The next entry was a week after George was born. Diana mentions that she was worried about Robert's behavior. She explains that Robert now easily gets irritated at the small things going on around him. I felt a fear both Diana and the young George. I began to understand why George never could tell me about his family. I could sense a deep, dark secret lurking behind... The only way to know is to read Diana's diary.

Diana explained that Robert suspect that Diana had an affair with Andrew. Even though how many times she denied he wouldn't accept it. I can see Diana's pain revealed through the pages of her diary. My heart was wretch to see her in so much pain but there was nothing I could do but continue to read. Diana also mentioned that at times Robert would lock her in their bedroom just to keep control over her. I was shocked at Robert's behavior. I couldn't even begin to imagine how it felt to be in her position. The fear, the pain, and the torture were too much...

The next few entries revealed how dangerous Robert's behavior became. Diana mentions that it was as if he was a different person. I know how much Diana loves Robert and I respect Diana's decision to stay with her husband. Even though all the pain reflected on her would have me running far away. The clock now shows five minutes to eleven o'clock. It's time for me to get George's lunch ready.
November 29th 1951
Honestly, pregnancy has made me into a lazy person. My mother decided to stay here last week to keep me company while George is off to the court in London. His latest client is a man who is fighting for full custody of his children. It depresses me how two people can easily fall in love and lost their love because of some silly arguments. This was on my mind when I continue to read Diana's diary.

It seems that Diana was also troubled with her relationship with Robert. She mentions that at times to let out his anger, Robert would use physical abuse on her. I felt really scared for Diana. I fear that he would kill her...

As I read on I can feel Diana's sadness creeping through the pages. It was as if she lost hope of Roberts loving her once again but as society demands it she continued to be a dutiful wife. She mentions that Robert's hatred for her grew when she had her second child, Emily Megan Flinch. However, baby Emily didn't last long. After only 7 months she died... I could the deep pain that Diana suffered at the lost of her child. Suddenly, I feared for the child I carry in me.

However, I know with all my heart that I must be strong for my child's sake. I couldn't even begin to think how I could survive losing a child. It would be pure torture...

I can hear a car coming through the driveway...It must be George. I have to go...
January 1st 1952
It's New Year's Eve! Tonight our friends and family will come to celebrate New Year at our home. I've spent a month in December planning for both Christmas and the New Year. It's has been hectic. Now everything is in readiness. Being 4 months pregnant has made me glow. There are so many changes to my body that I have to buy a new set of wardrobe. I'm sorry I didn't have time to write for the past month but I couldn't get any spare time at all...

Now that everything is ready I finally have a few minutes of rest. While I'm in the kitchen waiting for the chicken to cook in the oven, George is outside setting up the lights. I couldn't find the time to continue reading Diana's diary. It's too painful to read about Diana's estranged life with her husband especially on the New Year. However, I promise to read it as soon as I got the time. Knowing George's family is important to me...
The doorbell is ringing and the oven's timer went off. Looks like the New Year dinner officially begins...
January 15th 1952
I finally got some privacy time... my family stayed here for almost two weeks and they've been fretting over my pregnancy for the whole time they were here. I feel irritated at times but nothing could stop them from their intentions. Now that they are gone I finally got the time to read Diana's diary. There are not many pages left in Diana's diary... I can't stop wondering what happened in the end but I should read from beginning to end to really understand the story...

Diana found that the reason Robert has been acting rather dangerous was because he saw the picture she took with Andrew and he thought that they were having an affair. Although in truth, Diana's relationship with Andrew is nothing more than brother and sister. Nevertheless, Robert disagrees. Every time I read I can feel the deep engulfing pain that she experience. The thought of someone you love won't trust you is deeply heart wrenching. I couldn't begin to imagine George doing that to me. I know he trust me with all his heart.

Robert's treatment of Diana got from bad to worse. At times Diana was locked in the attic room all alone. Other times he would torture her physically like an animal. When her parents caught hold of this news they were really worried. They tried to call on her but Robert won't let them near her. In the end, after all their unsuccessful trials her parents resort to asking an old gypsy to place a curse on every male direct, blood descendents of Robert's family. Diana explained this in her diary because it is the only place she could pour out all her pain and misery... Her last entry was on December 1943. That was the day she died...

I couldn't read anymore. It seems that I am torn with hatred for Robert and sadness for Diana. I kept on wondering that this must be the reason why George never wanted to talk about his family. All the pain and misery poured to his mother was a great torture for a young boy... I can't continue this. I need time to adjust to this...
February 3rd, 1952
Today George finally found out that I have been reading his mother's diary. He was angry at first but not long after that he calmed down. He explained that he couldn't bear it if I knew about the curse. Knowing at some point George will suffer from mental illness just like his father and uncle have shocked me to the core. However, after a few days of reflection I realize that no matter what happen to George I will always be there for him because that is what you do for the person you love the most. I will be strong for both my husband and my children no matter what will happen...

*****************************

The rest of the pages were torn from the diary. Mia looked at her mother for answers. Sophie looked at her daughter, "Grandpa got sick 23 years after mommy was born..." she explained. "It was a lucky thing he stayed sane for so long..." Sophie thought to herself.

"Is that what happens to Luke, Mommy?" Mia asked softly. There's a look of wariness in her eyes. "Uncle Matt got sick too?"

"Yes Mia... but for Luke...it was just too early..." Sophie cried. She hides her face in her hands as she softly cried. "I keep on wondering... it just might...it might... be my fault all along..." Sophie cried harder.

"It's not your fault. Nor it is anyone's fault." A voice said from the doorway of the kitchen. The voice came from a slightly hunchback, seventy-two old woman. Her eyes however, were soft and wise.

"Grandma!" Mia cried. She straightened when she saw her Grandma.

"Mom...what are you doing down here?" Sophie rose from her chair to escort her mother to a nearby chair.

"I knew somehow you were going to have to tell her about the curse." She looked at Sophie directly in the eyes.

"Yes we did talk about it..." Sophie replied.

"Remember this Mia, no matter what happens you have you be strong. That is the only way you can survive." Caroline said with conviction. "Heed the advice well. It would serve you in the future."

"Yes Grandma!" Mia cried.
****************************
After seventeen long years of wandering and searching for the gypsy that had started the curse on the Flinch family, Mia finally found a ruined and broken stone in one of the cemetery in North Ayrshire, Scotland. At first she didn't know what to do except just to look at the small broken stone and wonder at the irony of her name carved on the stone 'Linnow', which means 'to arrest' in the Gypsy language. So, she bends down in front of the grave and prayed timelessly asking the gypsy to lift the curse on her family. After endless praying and begging, her heart feels constricted and her head seems as if it was going to blow apart. Her body doubled over and she was in a terrible pain. The pain didn't stop for nearly fifteen minutes. Then, suddenly somebody touches her shoulder and all the pain lifted itself from her. She looked up and saw a good looking young gypsy man. He was smiling at her, and then he said, "So, you finally came..." It took a few seconds for Mia to understand what he said. She felt light-headed. It was as if every burden and torturing pain she felt these past years was lifted.

She stuttered, "WH—what do you mean?" For a few minutes she just looked at him, blankly.

He smiled and calmly explains, "The woman in that grave is my great-grandmother. She once told a story to her family about a curse she made that came true." He smiled and sat down beside her. "The curse was on your family, I presume... because you came here to lift the curse" he continued.
"How did you know I was trying to lift the curse?" She said after all her thoughts become clear once again.

"My Grandmother was a fortune teller. She can see the future. She said that one day I will see someone coming to this grave begging for something to be lifted." He said softly with a smile. Then he laughs, "At first I couldn't believe all this nonsense talk... but now I do... because you came here... and the curse is lifted."

"Really! I mean... how do you know?" Mia said half-excited and half-worried.
"That's what my grandmother said. Do you feel any difference?" He asked casually.

She thought about it for a while. She did feel great pain a while ago and then suddenly, it seems that everything just disappeared. She looks at the grave and smiled, "Yes...I think the curse is lifted." However, when she turned to her side the man was gone... She smiled and decide to return back home.




Short story by syer
Read 544 times
Written on 2007-11-05 at 11:10

Tags Flinch  Syer 

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liz munro The PoetBay support member heart!
WOW!
This grabbed me from the
start and is an amazing story.

You have great talent :)

L.
2007-11-06