My sister Autumn died when she was eighteen. She wasn’t totally popular amongst the masses, she didn’t really have any skills or successes – unless you counted addiction and sex, then she was successfully addicted and sexually active, sure. She hadn’t left much of an imprint behind otherwise, aside from the fact that she left me an uncle. At fourteen, I became an uncle to Remington “Remmy” Owen and Ronnie Owen, a twin boy and girl.
When my sister announced her pregnancy, my mother was disgusted and my father was horrified. After the pregnancy was announced, I would sit in my bedroom for hours and hear the whispers on the other side of my bedroom door, wondering if Autumn could hear it, too. Our mother and father bickering back and forth like a flame lit between one another; harsh, rasp whispers about what they were going to do to help our sister and her children once born.
Autumn never brought the boy around. In fact, to this day, I couldn’t tell you whom she birthed the children to because by the time we showed up at the hospital, he was lost and gone forever. My sister was in tears holding her children, sobbing how she didn’t want to do it alone.
Things didn’t always stay that way, though. Remmy and Ronnie became a staple to the family and also to the community. Our small village was mostly filled to the brim with the elderly and barren of any children. Autumn had a distinguished look to her face as her children grew and evolved in front of her – however, there was always some underlying sadness to the way she held herself. When the children were three years old, Autumn fell dangerously ill and spent a total of four days in the hospital before they discovered the 6-centimeter mass on her cervix and my sister, in turn, became the least successful thing she had been so far – a corpse.
My father was especially nervous and frantic after Autumn’s death and, as the months drew went on, my mother started holding some animosity of sorts against him and playing the blame game. Say my father would accidentally break something in the house, the only discernable thing my mother could offer to the conversation was, “Well, maybe if you would have watched yourself, that item wouldn’t be broken and our daughter wouldn’t be dead amongst other things.” It sliced through me like a knife but completely severed the tendons the day my mother sat solemnly in the kitchen when I arrived home from work and said, “Your father is dead.” It was a heart attack; nothing significant or creative about his death, just something easy yet successful.
Somebody had to take care of the children and that someone was me. By this point, I was just shy of eighteen myself and the children were three-year-old bumbling toddlers, running amok in the household. My mother was sitting with her head in her hands one day, frail and white in the face from the toll the deaths took and whispered, “I just can’t do this by myself anymore.” And, without even thinking, I quit my job and took on the responsibility of those two beautiful children that my sister had left behind.
As time went on, the village around us went through many transitions. It started off as nothing noticeable; a flu here and there, an elderly person falling violently ill to the point that death would befall them. The twins went through stages of illnesses until, finally, I called an in-home doctor to do an assessment in fears that they were never going to get through the sickness.
They were born with so weak of an immune system that the slightest peek at a cold could send them into days and days of coughing fits, snot-covered madness, and bed rest. When the twins were diagnosed and the doctor left their bedroom, my mother was in the doorway wagging her finger back and forth, an eyebrow raised. “I knew this wasn’t going to end well. I knew there was something wrong with those children.” And as quickly as that, she retreated to the basement.
Within a week, the twin’s bedroom in the basement was complete. They slept upon covered mattresses on the concrete slabs of the floor and had several books they liked to read upon a shelf, toys off to the side. The twins, of course, thought this was magnificent at the time because they had all this glorious, wide-open space to play and shout and move around like children should do. When I asked my mother why Remmy and Ronnie had to stay in the basement, she told me that this was the best place for them until we “got things figured out.” At the time I had no idea what she meant by this, but she never allowed visitors, and the twins became so detached from society that it was unreal.
When I was twenty-one, my mother fell ill with a dastardly flu that had her losing pounds by the day and throwing up a thick, black gunk that escaped her throat and fell out onto the floor like a slithering snake. When I was reading books to the children in the basement, I heard my frail mother’s weak footsteps making their way to the basement door as quickly as possible, the door slamming, and her suddenly materializing on the steps. “Y-you cretins!” She stuck a long, feeble finger out and mustered up every bit of strength to breathe her next words, “You have caused so much dishonor and death to this family and community when rightfully you should have been the ones to die all along!” which ended up being her last words as well, and she dropped off the last three steps in a heap of clothes and bones.
Remmy was coughing up a lung downstairs when I pulled out my mother’s sock drawer and found the journal with the cover missing and only one filled page. Not a diary, not a place to keep receipts – no, she had left a note specifically for me to find, if not somebody else when the time called for it.
I am sure that you hold some animosity against your dear old mother, son, I would too if I hadn’t been established with the entire story from the very beginning. You see, it was not just utter and uncalled harshness in which I brought agony to your father’s last dying days. You see, he did this to himself.
Call me crazy, call me anything you’d wish; however, I am not to blame for what happened to this family. When your father was nineteen and we had just started seeing one another, he unveiled to me that he had been sleeping around like the cheating bastard he was. He and his pals would head off to the bar while I was sleeping soundly in bed wondering what work he was up to that was keeping him so late. One evening, he came home in a frenzy, telling me that he had fucked up, he had really done it this time. He admitted to me that he had been fucking other women behind my back. During this time period, there was a lady named Evelle Northbottom who lived on the outskirts of town with her young daughter, Samille, One night, your father and his friends got far too drunk and pushed Samille into an alleyway, where they tied her up and did horrible things to her for hours straight, listening to her screams. When Samille was let free, she ran home to her mother.
Your father saw Evelle everywhere he went. She would show up in the most random parts of town as if seeking him up and telling him that he was being punished for the sins committed on her young daughter. I forgave your father, of course, because where else did I have to go? He was my way out of a life I would have never had for long. One day, when Evelle was befallen by sickness, she finally approached your father and explained the curse. He was to have a daughter of beauty and success, one that would entice the entire village and bring great improvements and accomplishments to the folk living within. Then, at eighteen, she would fall violently ill and leave heartbreak and havoc in the hearts of many who had to see her go. And that was your father’s curse – he would fall in love with this beautiful daughter, and she would in turn be pulled out from under him for his committed sins.
But Autumn was nothing special, was she? That’s because your father had that damn curse at the back of his mind and he failed to encourage her to become everything she was supposed to. The curse only worked as far as he would push it. With Autumn becoming mixed up in sex, drugs, and fulfilling absolutely no talents, her life was going to take a turn for the worse. But don’t you think that any witch with any knowledge in her brain that this may occur, would have a back-up plan?
And there you have it – that’s why she became pregnant with Remmy and Ronnie. They were the missing link for her depressing, unsuccessful and untalented lifestyle. They would stand in for the black fog that was supposed to surround this entire village. The sickness they bring to others with those immune systems… the way others are drawn to them like some sort of God… they have control and power that is unheard of. I tried to warn you.
I tried to warn everyone.
Don’t think that I brushed off my mother as crazy and pushed these twisted words aside from the get-go, because that’s not what happened. Sure, it sounded unlikely and it sounded like pure babbling horror to me; however, there was some truth to her words. Things worked out exactly as she had explained them and, to some extent, it did seem like the twins were bringing havoc and death to a village that never had a problem prior.
Because, in the end, it was only Remmy and Ronnie and I inside that house in a town that now held a population of three. On that day, I had gone to see Emily Dixen, the last living elder in the town, 78 years old. A doctor from a few towns over walked out of her home wearing a mask and shaking his head that she didn’t stand a chance and to say my “goodbyes” now. I leaned over her bed and saw that small, eager smile stretch across her lips as she told me she would be leaving this world. And with her last breath, she replied as if she owed it to the world, “Tell that beautiful niece and nephew of yours that I hope they have a better life than anybody in this town.”
I walked the mile back to our home to get started on some dinner, and when I got there, our doorway was wide open. My pace picked up from that of a tortoise to that of a cheetah running full speed. By the time I made it to the basement, I found exactly what I thought I was going to – no Remmy, and no Ronnie. Not even a note. They were gone.
And so that’s where we are today and the exact reason why I am writing you. I am but an old man now, unable to care for myself, unable to reason with why things happened the way they did. I grasp an understanding of curses and, furthermore, I believe with all the power within me. My sister carried a curse because of my father, who carried a curse because of a terrible sin. My mother carried a curse for staying with the heathen and I carried the curse, in turn, by dealing with them for so long. For allowing them to do what they did. Hell, they may have not even known what they were doing. But I think the problem is that they understand now and they’re going to take themselves elsewhere and do it all over again.
You see, in the years Remmy and Ronnie were alive, they hadn’t aged much at all. They will be around for a long time to come, spreading horror and illness to those in their wake. And, as somebody who has fulfilled his time here on earth, I can do nothing other than warn those who haven’t experienced yet what I have. Those little devils were always up to no good.