If you were to look through my family history, you would find many strange occurrences, most of which my parents tried to keep as a secret from my younger brother and I. Unfortunately, in a family with… circumstances… such as ours, it’s rather difficult to shield your children from the cruelty of life.
In a family like ours, there are no secrets.
I’ve gathered little information on our condition over the years. Most of it came from my grandmother, whose lips became looser as she got older.
“Your great, great, great uncle Thomas was the first,” she told me once, as she sat in a lounge chair on her front porch, smoking a cigarette after swearing me to secrecy – my parents were trying to make her quit. As her shaking fingertips flicked the ash away with expertise, she fixed me with a hard gaze in her hawk eyes. “He ran out onto the train tracks and just stood there, watching the train come at him. They had to pick up pieces of his body across the county line. Ever since then, the story has repeated itself, in different ways and with different characters.”
As far as I know, that’s where the curse began. If I had any skills in genealogy, I’d try to see if it went back farther, but I’m useless and, besides, records have a tendency to go missing after a few generations.
Nonetheless, however it started, it’s continued. There’s one in each generation. When my mother was ten, it was her younger sister, Elizabeth. She jumped, but I’m not sure off what – my mother won’t talk about it, and that’s one subject my grandmother doesn’t like to touch. I’m not sure I really want to know, anyway.
Growing up, it hung as a shadow over my head. Mostly because my parents were always afraid that it was going to happen to me, or my little brother, Max. Of course, with my morose disposition and general introversion, I suppose I was the greater concern.
Perhaps it would help you all if I spoke plainly:
In each generation, a child in our family commits suicide.