Family Curse

by Jim Auel © 2002

So this was my day, I woke up again no flesh on my body. It was the one-day of the year I wanted to hide from anyone that wasn't family, for when the change came over me, I felt out of place around others. It started when I was 11 years old, my brother had been spared the curse till he was 14, but it hit me right on my 11th birthday. I couldn't do anything about, it was the family curse, everyone got it except my mom, and grandma. They weren't born Sorbecks that's why.

As I got up I looked over at the photo that mom had taken of dad outside the van window. He was taking a cross-country trip it was just about sunset as he rode his bike without flesh, meaning just a skeleton. He wasn't embarrassed; after all he believed the stories how the curse came about.

Centuries ago our family had defeated an evil wizard, so the story goes. Great great grandfather Hector Sorbeck apprenticed to a wizard at the time, who turned evil. Well Hector saw what was happening and what the wizard was becoming. He had some how taken the wizard's book, and defeated him using a spell that turned himself into a skeleton. He was safe from harm from the evil wizard. But the downfall could be one day a year being cursed to relive the spell if was not reversed correctly. Hector was holding the book when the wizard showed up and zapped the book destroying it. He had memorized the spell but cast it wrong later when he defeated the wizard. You can't kill what's is between life and death. Even the wizard knew this, and he hoped to have Hector stuck as a skeleton, but that wasn't the case.

7 Years later Hector's grandson found another copy of the book, but it was written in the same strange language. Now no one was alive who could read it. The family had tried over the years to learn how to translate it. But with little success, I hope to succeed, because I have heard of a man who knows old forgotten languages.

Another strange thing is that someone is following me. I don't who would follow me I'm a nobody, even at 25, I don't feel comfortable being followed like I have a shadow. It started at the library, then at an old bookstore. Then the other day I was at this book exchange, where people bring books to trade. He some how seemed familiar, but he tried to act like he wasn't looking at me.

A year later I had finally found out who the man that who knows forgotten languages. As I approach him in the Gwadric School Of Understanding he some how seems familiar be he look very old, like he will die any minute. I look at him for a while trying to be polite. I was suddenly struck with the realization that, He's the man who's been following me I think. I utter his name, Professor Hector Sorbeck, He says, "how can I help you", without looking up. I say, "I need you to see something". "What?" he says. I pull from my jacket pocket the picture of my father on his bike fleshless. He just smiles and says, "I think I can help you. Do you have the book?" "What?" I ask. "I have been expecting you. I have been keeping track of your family. I want something and you want something. I think we can trade."

Needless to say 3 weeks and a ton of lessons on the Jollic language and I can translate any of it with a little work. Strange how Hector Sorbeck really is my grandfather or rather my great great grandfather of sorts, He's used every spell in the book, and one is an aging spell, you know slows down aging. We spend a lot of time together, what a man. His second copy of the book was lost 100 years ago. He has made several copies as this book. There was only two ever copies made of the book. I think its so kewl that at one time he looked just like me when he was younger, that's why he seems recognizable to me. By the way, I've broken the spell on every family member. But I have a few mementos to remind me of it. The first and foremost is the picture of my father on a bike at almost sunset ridding his bike fleshless to the bone.

x x x

Read more Flash Fiction? or Back to the Front Page?