99 Curses

Kara’s Vale is a spooky place that lends itself well to the tales of witches and black magic that founded it. But nobody ever expected anything like this.

Ted, the police sergeant, has two problems. One of them is a drinking problem. The other is the gruesome massacre of nine people at a party in the town hall. There’s blood on the walls, guts on the floor and a head swinging from the chandelier. These murders make no sense. And none of the surviving witnesses saw an attacker. Ted believes this is the work of supernatural forces.

The witch, on the other hand, has ninety problems: the ninety remaining residents of Kara’s Vale. She’s got an impossible amount of power, a strong stomach and a vivid imagination, and she’s using all three to systematically tear Kara’s Vale apart. She watches with glee as the police scratch their heads and the bodies pile up. She never wanted any of this. At least, not at first. Now, she wants it all. And nothing is going to stand in her way.

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2. Relentless

The harsh fluorescent bulbs of the coroner’s office beat down on him relentlessly, worsening his ever-growing headache. He took another swig from his newly-filled hip flask, glad that he’d had the foresight to fill it with his personal distillation of the locally grown potatoes. He chuckled at the realisation that if he wasn’t the sheriff, he would have been arrested for producing incredibly pure moonshine.

“So what are ya tellin me, doc? His fucking head just flew off his body and lodged itself in the chandelier? Do you know how FUCKING stupid that sounds?”

“I don’t know what to tell you, Ted. From what I can tell, his head left of its own accord, the baker over there appears to have had a very severe parasite infestation, and the baker was stabbed to death with a sharp thin object, most likely a rapier, and on top of this trainwreck of a mindfuck there are at least 6 others missing.”

“Look, I’ve gotta tell my deputies to look out for something. Please?”

The head coroner let out a sigh. “Giant maggots? Sorry, Ted, it’s all I’ve got for you right now. I will keep you updated.”

“Thanks, doc. You have been such a good help,” Ted sarcastically shouted as he left the sterile confinement of the morgue. He downed the rest of the hip flask. He was going to have a bad day.

* * * * * *

Nine. There’d been nine other victims. She knew because she’d counted them as they lay on her table, eight times, and then once more for luck. She’d heard stories that the town clerk, who also worked a second job as a window-cleaner, had had an affair with the butcher’s wife, broken his heart in half. So she’d made his likeness from glass, wiped her spells over it till it gleamed in the anaemic moonlight, and shattered him into a million pieces with one blow from her hammer. He’d been dust when she was done. She wondered if they’d figured out those tiny oddments of viscera were a whole separate person yet. She wondered what it’d looked like, flesh cracking and then exploding like it was brittle. She’d pressed the mayor’s secretary’s hair into a little paper origami doll, scribbled it with black magic and then slowly, slowly unfolded it. She’d made a rag doll of the mayor’s daughter and filled it up with pins and needles. She’d made kindling of the paper doll that was the mayor’s son, and she’d melted the candle of his supermodel wife, and then, she’d made the town’s meddling head reporter choke to death on her own sharp tongue. And she’d laughed. Well, more like snorted, but it was okay. Because she’d been alone.

She’d decided to leave the house that morning, head on down to the crime scene to check out the damage. She’d been held back by two constables, and done a beautiful job of worriedly asking what the problem was. One of those constables was her best client. He’d told her there’d been a tragic accident. “Accident, my arse,” she’d whispered as she walked away. “Tragic, my arse!” She’d bellowed delightedly from the windows of her house after locking herself back inside. Nobody knew her secret. Everyone knew her. At least, they thought they did. Nobody knew what she did; what she could do, what she would do, to the people of this fucking town. All she had to do was wait.

So she sat down on her sofa, turned on the news, and grinned as she flipped to the news channel to watch a very drunk Ted struggling to hold back those reporters.

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