One Man's Treasure

One man's treasure. His whole family's curse.

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12. 11

When Paul woke, he found himself lying at the edge of the River Thames. He got up and looked down at his clothes, touched his face and looked at his arms.
 He was fine.
 Paul knew it. He knew it.
“How much did I drink last night?” he muttered, stuffing his hands in his pockets and walking away, “Voices and demons and curses, pah! What's gotten into you, Paul?”
He inquired about the Flying Shoe to many pedestrians, but no-one seemed to know. They all commented on how stupid a name it was.
 And then he came upon the lady who had welcomed him in.
“Poor dearie!” she clucked, “You must have had a bad bump on the head. It's over there you're staying!”
He looked up to where she pointed and found himself looking at an old inn with no sign. And, sure enough, his car was parked outside.
 Whatever. Wasn't unusual at all.
 He trudged his way up to the inn and let himself in - ignoring the fact that the place was absolutely deserted - and found the room he was meant to be staying in.

 Curses. What a load of twaddle.

 Paul found his suitcase and decided to pack his things and leave immediately.
 Not that he was scared or anything.
 But, with a gnawing sensation digging into his stomach, he peaked into the bathroom - just to be sure. He stepped in. No tunnel entrance. No trap doors. No voices. Paul looked into the mirror. It was his reflection alright: his handsome, pudgy face with the smart glasses and the single dimpled cheek.
 And with a small but noticeable addition.

 Around his neck was a mark only a rope could have made.

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