Original Works

Curse Of Royals

Curse of Royals

I sat on a cracked windowsill, watching the stars in the night sky. My legs dangled high above the mad waves that crashed against large deathly rocks, but that did not bother me. I was immune to the danger. Nothing could kill me, so I feared nothing.

As my mind drifted off to what my life was, I wondered if I would have done things differently. The answer was always the same; a definite ‘yes’. But despite my desire to relive my life, I knew I couldn’t. Curses don’t give you second chances, especially curses you inflict upon yourself.

Let me start from the very beginning.

I was born into a well to do family, with riches and power. My family ruled a kingdom with my father as king. Since the day I was born, I was pampered, loved, protected and treated the way a princess should be treated. Commoners would have said I had the perfect life, but I saw it differently. Everyday, I woke up to the thought of being shortchanged of being a royal. I had 4 older brothers and 2 older sisters, which made me the 7th in line for the throne. Unless all of them died, I was never going to rule.

Call me greedy, call me envious, but I really wanted the throne. I was not going to kill my siblings unlike the others I know, but I was planning to out live them. So, when I was old enough to leave the palace to take strolls among the people, I began searching for a way to live forever… or at least until all my siblings died. Yes, it was a foolish quest, as you may probably know that my siblings would not die without leaving heirs. But at that time, it did not dawn on me.

After years of search, I finally found a witch who offered immortality. She was very clear on how it worked but I was too blinded by jealousy to see how destructive it was. As I sat in her small cabin in the forest, the witch explained, “Take a drop of your brothers’ and sisters’ blood and boil it with pig’s fat. Then add a drop of your own blood into the concoction and drink it. The next day, you would be immortal.”

“That simple?” I asked, wondering why I did not have to chant a spell.

“I wouldn’t call it simple. But be warned, this is not a blessing.

“It’s not good-”

“No, it’s bad. It’s known as the curse of royals. The old kings used it on treacherous brothers.”

“Why is immortality a curse?” I asked with a chuckle.

“Because this immortality does not protect you from pain. If you are wounded, your wounds won’t heal until you chant a spell, a very long spell for that matter.”

“Well, I’m pretty sure I know how to protect myself. Thank you for your time,” I said. I gave the witch a bag of gold as a consultation fee and left.

A month later, I placed the curse on myself and saw it as a gift. But as the years went by, I realized the witch was right. The spell to heal wounds was long and difficult to pronounce under pain, and living forever while I watched my brothers produce heirs that pushed me further away from the throne was tearing me up inside. I was never going to be crowned ruler no matter how long I lived, and I was losing out in life.

I never found a charming prince to marry, my family shunned me when they discovered my secret, and when I left home, I was alone for many years. There was no need to feed myself but that was the only purpose I had in life. So I wondered, hunted, and questioned my existence. I thought that I was going to live like that forever, but a few years ago I stumbled upon a royal like myself.

Home was now oceans away and this young looking prince offered me a new home. We related to each other through the black scars on our bodies that came from wounds healed from a spell. When he introduced himself as Prince Kalton, the 11th son of King Aton, ruler of Withermore, I knew his story immediately. Both he and I were the result of envy.

You might think something exciting happened after that, but my story ends there. Everyday is the same, waking up and watching the sun till it sets, then watching the moon until I fall asleep. Everyday is as uneventful as the day before, but just as I was about to conclude the same for today, I heard a scream.

Turning to see who it was, I saw Prince Kalton dragging Prince Jaer up the tower steps and into the circular room. As he dropped the bloody prince on the ground, Princess Frey brought in Prince Jaer’s arm.

“What happened?” I asked, not at all surprised.

“He went back and threatened his grand nephew again,” Princess Frey answered as she threw the arm on the ground.

“Don’t! Throw! My! Arm!” Prince Jaer shrieked.

Prince Kalton was the kindest of us all as he picked the arm and placed it where it should have been. He then waved us over to help speed up the spell. Reluctantly, I helped.

Once the spell was done and Prince Jaer had his arm reattached to his body, he began to weep. We all left him then, and I returned to the windowsill. As his sobs echoed down the ‘royal’ tower, tears began escaping my eyes. No matter how tough I had grown over the years, I still cried when one of us sobbed. Those tears are a reminder of the life I could have had; a life happy and mortal, a life I lost to envy.

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Envy is known as an insatiable desire that pushes individuals to covet what they cannot have. Just like a royal too far from the crown, he/she feeds their desire by finding ways to obtain it. Some kill and some curse, but at the end of the day, the one that suffers is the one that’s envious.

Chasing after what you cannot have blinds you to what you can have. You miss out on all the good things in life because you’re so focused on that one thing. When you finally come to your senses, you are only left with regret for the time and opportunities wasted. Simply put, envy is not your friend… it’s your enemy.

Well, this short story wraps up the 7 Deadly Sins collection. If you have not read the rest, head on to the short stories page and check them out. And as always, let me know what you think of this story in the comments below!

© 2014 Jeyna Grace

(For more short stories, click HERE)

Original Works

Subject C

subjet c

An abandoned square building in the snowy landscape of Siberia was recently discovered. In it a diary of a self-proclaimed scientist was found. This is the final entry:

After months of our research, we have come to a conclusion that humans have the ability to adapt to rituals easily. However, an overdose of repetition can cause severe damage to the psychological well being of a Homo sapien, which ultimately results in strange and violent behaviours. This is proven by two out of three of our test subjects.

Subject A: Female, Early 20’s.

Contained in a room with a subtle and steady ringing tone. During the first few hours, subject A was unmoved by the sound, clearly aware it was an experiment she signed up for. But by the twelfth hour she began showing signs of resistance, shutting her ears in hopes to drown out the sound. Strangely, at the twenty-fourth hour, she adjusted to the sound and began to accept its presence.

We left Subject A in the room for a few more days and on the fifth day we stopped the tape. Almost instantly, she realized it was completely silent. She began searching for the source of the sound and when she found none, she went into a state of panic. We had to sedate her before she killed herself.

The next couple of days, we tied her to a bed and watched as she hummed a monotonous tone. She would not eat, she would not speak, and when she stopped for just a second to catch her breath, she goes into frenzy. After weeks of trying to help her recover, she stopped humming because of the soreness in her throat. The silence that was forced upon her caused more fits, and we decided to put her in a straight jacket for her safety. Unfortunately, that did not stop her from running into a wall and cracking her skull open.

Subject B: Male, Mid 30’s.

Placed in a room with a television. The first day, Subject B watched what was being played and showed mild expressions of glee. On the second day, he realized the television was on a loop, but he watched it anyway. After a few days watching the screen with vocal questions on why he was asked to do so, he stopped watching and retreated to a corner away from the television.

Seeing his attempts to escape it, we decided to take the experiment up a notch. We switched off the lights in his room, leaving the only light that brightened the windowless walls coming from the screen. A few days later, we found Subject B murmuring words that made no sense. I forgot to mention, there was no sound coming from the television.

Studying Subject B closely, we noticed he was mimicking the characters on screen. He could not hear them so he made up his own words. This was when we took the television away. Once the television was no longer with him, he began to act as the characters on screen. One of the videos on loop was a dead animal being eaten by ants. Subject B emulated what he saw by biting himself until he bled. When we entered the room to sedate him, he violently bit some of our men.

We tried to help Subject B as how we did Subject A, but we found our efforts useless. Subject B chewed off his lips, grinded his teeth, and clench his jaw repeatedly until his gums bled. Eventually, we had to end his suffering for him.

Note that this diary was found in a white walled room filled with grotesque repetition of the words, ‘it is over,’ in dark red. We have reason to believe it was written in blood, though yet to be determined if human or animal.

After investigating the building further, we found no trace of humans ever being experimented in the place. The building was completely bare, with no sight of equipment or bodies. Maybe the building was cleared up after the experiment, or maybe there was no experiment to begin with. The only thing that bothers me is the fact that we never found the owner of the diary.

Do you know where he is, dear reader? You wouldn’t be reading this if you don’t know where he is.

Do you know where I am, dear reader? You wouldn’t be reading this if you don’t know where I am.

~ ~ ~

Subject C: Male, Late 40’s.

Subject C suffers from a strange psychological disorder. He writes to himself in a diary, pretending to be doing something with his life. His words revolve around characters that he believes is himself. He does not have a dissociative identity disorder, but he has a strong conviction of the ‘lives he has lived’.

When spoken to, Subject C seems like an ordinary person. His history backs up that notion. He came from a well to do family, obtained a good education, and had a bright future ahead of him. The only problem was that he didn’t do anything with what he had. He ‘hibernated’ for so many years that he became used to it. Only now he tries to relive his life in the different dreams he once had.

We don’t know how to help Subject C recover. He is not violent like the rest, but he remains unmoved. Since the beginning of the experiment till now, he seems to be comfortable in his plain white room. I guess it’s time to call it quits. This experiment is over.

Concluding with my hypothesis, humans have the ability to adapt to rituals easily… not doing anything is one of them.

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You’re probably going, “What the heck did I just read?!”

Don’t worry, you’re not Subject C… or are you?

This is a strange story about a deadly sin called ‘Sloth’. Sloth is actually the hardest sin to write about because it’s rather vague. Is laziness sloth? Is laziness a sin? After reading what it meant, I decided to paint sloth in a clearer picture, though my method seems to be the opposite.

Sloth is not laziness, sloth is having something but not doing anything about it. Sloth is when you have talent, time, skill, finance, education, heath, dream, but you do nothing with them. Sloth is when we waste our lives away when we have so much to live for. The thing about sloth is that the moment we adapt to its lifestyle, we cannot get out of it. It drives us crazy just to get up and do something when we are so comfortable not doing anything. At the end of the day, sloth leaves us regret for not living life to the fullest. It is then that we imagine what our lives could have been, but have no power to change the past. We are ultimately left with nothing.

The easiest way to beat sloth is to do something. Hone a talent, grow a skill, improve yourself as a human being. Sloth does not have the power to stop you from being great, unless you give it the power.

Anyway, I hope this story wasn’t as confusing as it seems. Do let me know what you think of it in the comments below 🙂

© 2014 Jeyna Grace

(For more short stories, click HERE)

Original Works

The Idol

The Idol

I had just returned from my trip to India when I found an idol sitting in front of my house door. It was made of dark wood with ruby eyes and cupped hands. I had no idea who left it, and living up to my own conviction of never bringing a foreign item home, I decided to step over it as I entered my house.

As a professor with a dream of being a full time archaeologist, I’ve read enough books and watched enough Indiana Jones to know that artefacts belong in a museum, not a home. There are a few reasons for that and one being superstition. I was never superstitious, but I found no reason against being a little careful when dealing with artefacts. After all, curses are real.

The following day, I left my house with the idol still at the front door. I was not going to touch it until I knew who left it. So during class that day, I asked if any of my students decided to leave me a gift. When no one lifted up their hand, I promised extra credit. Still, not a single hand was raised. I admired their honesty but I also hated not knowing the origins of the idol. By the end of the day, no one claimed to have left me the idol and I was forced to step over it once again.

That very night, I could not fall asleep. Something did not feel right and it was churning uneasiness within me. I tossed and turned, and even played a sea breeze track to calm me down, but nothing worked. After an hour or so of attempting to sleep, I heard something that got me to my feet. It was the sound of three knocks on my front door.

Don’t ask me how I heard it or why I got up to answer it. Even though I remember heading downstairs and opening the door to nobody, I still do not know why I did it. I regretted it of course, because that night I took the idol in. Strangely, once it was in my house I managed to sleep the moment I hit the bed.

When the following morning arrived, I woke up feeling rather horrible at the lack of sleep. But I managed to pull myself together as I headed to work. During the first class, I snapped at five students and blamed it on the lack of caffeine in my blood. Once that day was over, I went to bed not at all thinking about the idol.

The next day, I had a meeting with the school board. I spent the whole morning touching up my trip report, but when I presented it, the board was not impressed. In fact, they were appalled at my writing. When I reread my report, I found it horribly written and did not understand why. Did my ‘touching up’ make it bad? At that moment, I could not even recall writing it. I usually wrote my reports way in advance, but this time I don’t even know if I did.

What I was going through seemed rather ordinary when I spoke to a fellow colleague. He said stress had its way of messing with my head, but when I claimed I was not stressed he told me to take a few days off.  After our conversation, I began to ponder on his words. Something was indeed messing with my head, and at that thought everything clicked.

The moment I returned home, I went looking for the idol. There was nothing wrong with me before I brought it in, and the problems only started after I did. I was sure the idol had a hand to play in everything that happened the past few days. But after searching for a few hours, I could not find it. I turned my house upside down but the idol was nowhere in sight. After exhausting myself, I decided to look for it the next day.

Dragging myself to my room, I was hoping for one peaceful night. Sadly, I was kidding no one. Just as I shut my eyes, I was pulled from the darkness by a splitting pain in my chest. It was so painful I literally rolled out of my bed and crawled to my phone. I called 911 immediately and then I called a friend. I told him to come over and find the idol, as I still believed it was the cause of everything. When he and the ambulance arrived, I was immediately taken to the hospital. I don’t really remember much of the journey, because the pain was crushing my insides. All I do remember is wanting for it to stop.

Once at the hospital, a doctor checked my pulse and asked what I was feeling. Despite him repeating the question over and over again, I turned to my friend and kept muttering about the idol. My friend shook his head and said there wasn’t any, but I insisted he was wrong. I insisted until I was deemed out of control and had to be sedated.

One would think that being sedated puts you at rest, but my experience was quite the opposite. I was still in pain, my head was spinning, and there were voices screaming at me. In the darkness of my eyelids, I searched for the idol but it made no appearance. When I finally gave up and prayed for the pain in my chest to stop, a moment of clarity hit me. Was it really all my own doing and not the idol? Just as I was willing to accept any reason for my situation, the pain vanished.

Suddenly, it was all over. Whatever the reason was no longer mattered. Why? Because the flat tone from the heartbeat machine stopped it all. I was no longer living to feel anything. There was nothing left, except for one thought; I let the idol in… and it killed me.

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Wrath works like this: First, it finds a situation that agitates you into feeling angry. Once you give in and let anger in, it then finds every opportunity to show itself. The more anger you release, the more it lives in you. As you let it grow it begins to affect your emotions and thoughts, and eventually it attacks your heart. Wrath is a curse that affects you mentally, emotionally, and physically. The moment you let it in and allow it to make home in you, it’s going to take over. To be safe, never let anger in. Just step over it.

This short story is part of my 7 deadly sins series. If you have not read the rest and would like to, visit the short story page, hover your mouse over the titles, and click on the one that says ‘7 deadly sins’.

Anyway, do let me know what you think of this story in the comments below! I really appreciate the feedback 🙂

© 2014 Jeyna Grace

(For more short stories, click HERE)

Original Works

Mermaids’ Gold

Mermaids Gold

I was a carpenter’s son. As a child, I rarely had good food on the table and money to buy new clothes. Through my years growing up, I was never satisfied with my life. I felt as though I was missing out on a lot, and so it was only normal when I made my search for mermaids’ gold my sole ambition.

The first time I heard of mermaids’ gold, I was merely a teen. I was by the docks accompanying my father on his delivery when I heard a few sailors talking. They said that if you sailed northeast for three whole months, you would find a small island. They also drooled over the myth that the island had a cave full of mermaids’ gold that would multiply tenfold under a full moon. I did not believe them at first, but when more sailors spoke of it I found myself sharing the same story with my friends.

Some of my friends bought it, some laughed me off, but no matter what their reactions were I decided to save up as much money as I could and sail to that island. My determination to find satisfaction in life led me to working a few jobs until I had enough to buy a small boat. It was not an impressive boat, but it was not an eyesore either. The day I paid the retired one-legged sailor for it, I gathered three of my friends and set sail.

For three whole months my friends and I sailed northeast. We battled storms, survived attacks from sea monsters, and dreamt of the treasure that awaited us. Once the three months were up, we found the small island and honestly, we were shock that it existed. No matter how much we believed in the story, part of us had a little disbelief. Seeing the island, we finally proved our doubts wrong.

The island was not a large one, and a walk around it would only take a day. Being rather small, we briefly wondered if there was even enough space for gold, but when we found the entrance to the cave we smouldered our questions away.

Without wasting any time, we entered the dark cave with torches in our hands. Our voices bounced softly down the walls, as we were both nervous and excited at the same time. After walking for a couple of minutes, we hit a descend. Strangely, there were steps but we were too eager to even find it odd. As we followed where the steps led us, we stumbled across skulls and bones. That should have set the warning bells ringing but we ignored them. Finally at the bottom, we found ourselves in a wide dome-like chamber.

The centre of the chamber was a pool of water. The reflection of the water danced on the wall and on the gold piles all around the chamber. There were also two long tables against the walls filled with meats, fruits, and wine. My friends dashed to chomp down the food and I followed after them. Once our bellies were full, we tried to find a way to bring all the gold back to our ship.

“The ship has a rather large sack. We could make a few trips to take them all,” one of my friends said.

“There are also empty barrels,” another added.

“Great. Why don’t you retrieve those items while I wait for you here,” I said.

Everyone nodded their heads and my three men crew left. They also took pockets full of gold and had a childish grin on their faces. As I waited for their return, I snacked on juicy fruits and drank the sweet wine. I was focused on choosing what to nibble next when I heard a splash. Turning to see where it came from, I saw a mermaid sitting by the pool.

She was beautiful, with long golden hair. Her fin was glittering and small, white seashells covered her body except for her arms. She smiled at me and gestured for me to have more of the food. When I did not respond, she asked, “Are you full? Have you had enough?”

“I…” I was tongue-tied

“Eat more, take more. Do so until you’re satisfied,” she said with a sweet smile.

“You don’t mind?” I asked sceptically.

“Of course not. I just want you to be happy,” she said.

I nodded my head and walked down the table. My stomach had bloated from all the food but my taste buds were yearning for more. When I finally had the strength to stop myself, I sat against the wall and watched the mermaid. She said nothing as she continued smiling. Occasionally, she would play with her hair and I began to find her strangely alluring. After an hour, I began to wonder what was taking my friends so long. Did they leave me? Surely not. There was still so much gold left.

As I got up to leave, the mermaid asked, “Leaving so soon?”

“I, I’m just going to look for my friends,” I replied.

“Take some gold with you,” she said.

I hesitated for a moment but ended up filling my pockets to the brim. The moment they started sagging from the weight, I left. When I returned to the beach I was rather relieved to see my ship, but when I boarded it and found no one, my worries returned.

“Maybe they went back to the cave,” I told myself.

Without thinking too much, I hurried back to the cave. As I re-entered the chamber I immediately asked the mermaid, “Did my friends return?”

“No. I saw no one,” she replied. “Your pockets are empty, fill them up.”

I had emptied my pockets on my ship earlier, and at her offer I filled them up again. Once they were full, the mermaid asked, “Is that all?”

“I can’t take anymore,” I replied, tapping on my pockets that were about to burst.

“Then why don’t you stay?”

“Stay?”

“Stay with me. Eat all you want and have all the gold you desire,” the mermaid offered. Her voice was like a lovely melody and I found myself considering the idea.

“Be with me forever,” she added. And then, her face began to transform.

The sweet, pretty mermaid’s skin turned scally as her eyes became fish-like. Her mouth also slit wider and sharp teeth protruded outwards. As her appearance changed, I began to notice the small seashells on her body and how they looked like bones.

My throat immediately tightened at the sight of this monster, but my body made no effort to run. Instead, I found myself being drawn towards her as she called me to her. By the time we came face to face, I lost all my will to resist. All I wanted was to be with her and I did not question why.

If only I did.

If only I did, the blackness inside her mouth would not be the last thing I see.

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I’m not sure if this one was an easy guess, but if you thought of lust then here’s ten points to whichever Hogwarts house you’re in!

Lust is one of the 7 deadly sins and it’s pretty obvious why. It attacks the deepest desires of our hearts and promises to satisfy our needs. The moment we entertain its too-good-to-be-true offer, we ignore all the warning signs and dive deeper to feed our desires. Once we enter lust’s lair, it would convince us to stay and when that happens, it would be too hard to say no. When dealing with lust, I would suggest running the moment you sense its lure. It is always better to be safe than sorry, right?

This story is part of my 7 deadly sins short story series. Do let me know what you think, and check out Black Ghost and The Other Me for more deadly tales.

© 2013 Jeyna Grace

(For more short stories, click HERE)