Author Topic: The Dubious Story of Dave  (Read 146 times)

Agent24

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The Dubious Story of Dave
« on: January 17, 2019, 04:54:28 PM »
This... thing started as a bad dream and a joke with a friend. I hesitated to post it here but then figured perhaps someone would get a laugh out of it.
Give feedback if you want.
It's a work in progress. It doesn't have a proper title yet. I apologise in advance for what lies inside. There's probably going to be a lot of swearing.

Everything contained within is copyrighted to me, naturally.



The Dubious Story of Dave

NEGATIVE ONE

It was one of those days.
   You know the kind I mean – the kind preceded by a night where you get home late from work, tired and hungry, so you take the easy way out and grab a box of microwavable Chinese-flavour-rice-risotto in the ‘Family Pack’ size, only to find that the box contains an actual Chinese family.
   While this was probably all your own fault, and down to a matter of perspective in the way your exhausted eyes read the wording on the front of the box as you opened it, you can’t help cursing the Karen’s Kitchen company as you drive back into town with said family in tow, trying to concentrate on the GPS while dodging a headache, as your passengers all talk over each other in non-stop mandarin, occasionally glaring at you as if it’s your fault.
   You don’t get to sleep until three in the morning, naturally, and when you do, it’s fitful and useless.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2019, 10:30:49 AM by Agent24 »
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Agent24

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Re: The Dubious Story of Dave
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2019, 04:54:46 PM »
ZERO

It was one of those days.
   You know the kind I mean – the kind where you wake up feeling like Frankenstein’s monster probably would have felt, if Dr. Frankenstein had stitched all those stolen body-parts together blindfolded, then reanimated them with a flat 9-volt battery, and for some inexplicable reason you’ve got the lingering memories of a horrible nightmare involving overstaying Chinese guests, memories you just can’t quite seem to pull from the fading remnants of sleep but that you’d swear were real, if only you hadn’t just pulled your pants down for a morning piss to find that you’ve now got two dicks.
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Agent24

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Re: The Dubious Story of Dave
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2019, 04:55:42 PM »
ONE

Dave screamed, the waistband of his pants falling out of his grip and sliding down his skinny legs to fall in the fast-growing puddle of urine at his feet, a puddle fed by twin golden streams that poured forth from the pair of penises that stood proudly side-by-side in the approximate space where the average man would have only one.
   “What the FUCK” said Dave out loud, hands and arms jerking in indecision at his sides, as he tried to reconcile the image he was seeing with what his muscle memory knew, only managing to get his aim corrected at the last second.
   He stood with a penis in each hand, his pants around his ankles and soaked in urine, the toilet water turning only the palest of yellow from the few drops which hadn’t found their way onto the floor.
   “What the FUCK” he said again, as if saying the words twice might make something happen. It didn’t. He stared down at his crotch in disbelief. His head spun. His sodden pants were turning cold, the smell of urea and old sweat floating up to bite his nose.
   “This is fucked,’ Dave exclaimed to the empty air “This is totally fucked!” he continued, letting go of both penises and watching them flop downward. They swung together and whacked into each other, momentarily bouncing apart before coming to rest.
   “Ow.” said Dave. Not because it hurt, but because his brain thought that what he just witnessed looked like it should have.
   Muttering a continuous train of curses which included many instances of the word fuck, Dave, with one eye still on his penises, stepped out of his reeking pants and picked them up off the floor before dumping them into the sink. He turned on the cold water tap. He looked at his penises again. He continued to mouth the word fuck without actually speaking.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2019, 04:59:08 PM by Agent24 »
"Our imagination spans that infinite moment, between the asterisk and the ampersand."

Agent24

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Re: The Dubious Story of Dave
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2019, 05:20:06 PM »
TWO

Dave stepped out of the shower, forcing himself not to look down. His body was on autopilot, his brain caught in thoughtless loops of logical fallacies and confusion. He reached out, his hands finding his towel, his towel finding his waist, then his left foot finding a bar of soap on the floor and flying out from under him. Dave pinwheeled with all the grace of a rabid possum, sprawling against the open shower door and ripping it off its hinges.
   He surfed the door down the pale blue of his bathroom wall, its snapped hinge leaving a choppy wake of torn plaster and paint, the bottom edge of the frame gouging the linoleum until the top end caught on the bathroom sink, stopping momentarily before taking the whole thing with it.
   Lying flat out on the smashed door, Dave could only watch in slow motion as the sink somersaulted overhead, launching his soaking pants towards the ceiling. He watched them arc through the morning light, marveled at the way the early sun lit the pale spray of dilute urine that chased them, too late in noticing the shadow of the sink slicing the edge of his vision.
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Agent24

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Re: The Dubious Story of Dave
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2019, 06:03:35 PM »
THREE

   Dave woke with a splitting headache. His arms hurt and his towel felt damp. Something was repeatedly poking him in the ribs and everything was black. A cold, heavy weight scraped against his shoulders. He reached up blindly, his fingers finding someone else’s arm, which he found to be attached to a hand that guided his own to the edge of a broken sink. He grabbed the sink and pushed. As the wreckage of what was once a perfectly good bathroom sink fell away from across his face, the arm revealed itself as belonging to the Chinese woman standing over him. She looked oddly familiar.
   “Get up now, it’s very important.” She poked his ribs with the toe of her shoe again.
   “Oww.” moaned Dave, for real this time, and now that he thought about it, it wasn’t just his head and arms that hurt. His back hurt where the cold door-handle dug into his spine and his left foot throbbed.
   “Get up! You have to hurry. There’s not much time.” She said, urgently.
   Sitting up, Dave tried to focus on her. She was tall with typical straight black Asian hair. She wore a look of deep worry and a red backpack. Her shoes were actually motorbike boots. The rest of her clothes matched them.
   “Who are you? What the hell is going on? Why are you in my house?” questioned Dave.
   The woman seemed to consider something momentarily.
   “Jessica,” she replied. “I can’t explain now. We need to leave now. Get up!”
   “OK, OK, whatever.” muttered Dave, pushing himself off the broken door and onto his knees.
   “Can you .. look the other way, or something?” he said, trying to stop his towel falling off. The woman seemed suddenly embarrassed.
   “Oh! Sorry, I will wait outside. Put some clothes on quickly.” She turned and walked away, her boots thumping on the floor.
   Dave lumbered to his feet, keeping his weight centered over his right leg. He surveyed the smashed door, the demolished sink, his still-wet pants, felt his mind give up on trying to deal with any of it, and limped to his bedroom. He pulled a fresh towel from the closet, pulled off the damp one, and once again came face-to-face with the phallic permutation that had been the beginning to all the events of such a wretched morning.
   “Oh for fuck’s sake” he said loudly to himself, “That’s right. There’s that.”
   Dave stood before his mirror and considered the sight before him. His arms were bruised, his face had a smear of dried blood on it from a cut on his forehead. He was listing to the right, and to top it all off, he had a pair of penises.
   Not one, not like a normal person, no. Of course not. He had to have two, now, for some reason, not that he knew what that reason was.
   The briefest desire to simply lop one of them off skipped across his mind. He closed his eyes and tried to think, but couldn’t. He opened them again. He thought he heard a distant rumbling noise, his brain dismissing it as thunder.
   A second thought found its way into his consciousness, crawling out from under a slimy rock somewhere in his head. It involved various sexual acts between him and two women at the same time. Dave’s mind lingered on it for much longer, his concentration only pulled back into the present by another distant rumble of thunder and then immediately following it, the Chinese biker woman’s voice.
   “Hurry, we have to go now, it’s important!”
   Ignoring her, he tried to contemplate possible causes for his genital predicament. He was at a loss for words. Maybe he was still asleep. Maybe it was all some weird nightmare. It certainly made absolutely no sense. People can’t grow any sort of body-part overnight, that’s physically impossible, he told himself. We’re not lizards. Or are we? Maybe I was bitten by a radioactive lizard...
   Dave would have continued that train of thought all the way down the line, but he felt like crap and there was a strange, annoying Chinese woman in his house, and his desire to get rid of her was at that moment greater than his concern for the sudden appearance of a second penis. He started getting dressed.
"Our imagination spans that infinite moment, between the asterisk and the ampersand."

Agent24

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Re: The Dubious Story of Dave
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2019, 09:29:53 AM »
FOUR

   “Alright, are you going to tell me what you’re doing in my house?” said Dave, as he walked into the kitchen to find the woman sitting at his dining table, her motorbike helmet, gloves and backpack lying beside a punnet of half-eaten strawberries. He realised they were his. “Sure, help yourself to my food too,” he said, sarcastically.
   “I love strawberries. I don’t want them to be wasted.” she replied, as if that absolved her of everything.
   “What?” shot Dave, staring at her with puzzled annoyance. “Why’d they be wasted? I was going to eat them. Until you did.”
   “Don’t worry about it. You will know why soon enough. But first you must tell me what happened last night.”
   “Last night? What…?”
   “Did you do anything out of the ordinary?”
   “Out of the ordinary, like managing to demolish my own bathroom while strange women break into my house? No. Everything was just fine until I woke up this morning. Why are you in my house anyway?”
   “What about a dream? Did you have one? Was it usual?”
   “Actually.” said Dave, deciding she might just be crazy, “Now that you mention it, I did have a strange dream last night. I dreamt that a mysterious woman dressed all in black broke into my house and stole all my strawberries. The weirdest thing -” he paused for effect, staring at her with his best wide-eyed-moron impersonation “- is that it came truuuue.”
   “Stop doing that.” she snapped. “I’m serious. Did you have a dream or not?”
   “Fine, fine, whatever. OK. Yes. I did have a weird dream. I can’t remember it properly though. Something bizarre about -” Dave stopped, swallowing in discomfort when he realised that his earlier joke was about to pull a one-eighty on him and slap him in the face. “about… about a family of, uh, some Chinese people. In my house. They wouldn’t leave.”
   The woman seemed to relax, ever so slightly.
   “And anything else?” she asked, looking at him expectantly.
   Dave glanced down at his pants, thinking that it’d be an interesting conversation with a tailor, to be asked Which side do you hang?
   “There might be, but I’m not telling you what it is.” said Dave.
   “Oh?” she replied, with a smile that made her look like the cat that just caught the mouse of knowledge. Dave sat in embarrassed silence, trying to read her mind. It was a futile effort.
   She smirked to herself and ate another strawberry, reaching for one more when there was a new, louder, rolling boom of thunder. Dave felt it shaking up through his chair. The biker woman tensed. She closed the strawberry punnet and put it in her backpack.
   “That’s theft you know” said Dave jokingly, trying to defuse his shame. “Breaking and entering and theft.”
   “We have to go,” said the woman, putting on her helmet. Her voice sounded tight. “Now.”
   “We? No. You can go. You can have the strawberries too. Just leave me alone.”
   She rose from her chair, gloves in one hand, backpack in the other. She swung it over her shoulder and started moving towards the front of the house. The thunder came again, pummelling the air like a heavyweight prizefighter, and this time the whole room shook. Dave felt fear begin squirming inside him, something let loose from a hidden cave of ancient fears that until now he didn’t know he had.
   “I can leave you alone, but I think you will want to come with me, because only I know how to fix your ... little problem.  And if you don’t get out of this house right now, you will probably die in it. No, you will die in it.”
   “What are you talking about? What the fuck is going on, and what’s that noise?” demanded Dave, but the biker woman was already striding for the front door, gloves in hand, pulling a bunch of keys from her pocket. As she passed through it, Dave noticed the broken window, the pieces of glass on the floor.
   “Oh, great. You actually did break into my house. Thanks for that!” He shouted after her. She stopped halfway across the front lawn and turned back to him. She shouted a reply, voice muffled by her helmet. He barely heard it.
   “It doesn’t matter. Hurry up, get out of there!”
   Ignoring her again, Dave stormed back into the house and returned to his kitchen for a coffee, only to find that it was on fire.
   “Fuck! Fuck-fuck!” he swore, watching flames leap and dance from his oven, making their way up the walls and filling his nose with the acrid smell of blistering paint. His range-hood was melting, the curtains ablaze, his tea-towels smouldering. Panic and confusion raced through Dave’s mind, his eyes darting everywhere, fear kicking at his intestines while he stood paralyzed in the middle of his burning kitchen like a stoned rabbit in the headlights of a runaway combine-harvester.
   A sickening noise assaulted his ears, a noise utterly horrendous, like someone shredding a chandelier of blackboards in a giant-sized blender with blades made from fingernails, and at the same time playing the top 10 worst sludge-metal albums of all time, simultaneously, and backwards. The whole house shook ominously. He realised now, that the noise was was coming from beneath the floor.
   Dave’s brain finally crashed into gear. He lurched down the hall towards to his bedroom, grabbed his cellphone and turned on his heel, trying to dial the fire brigade, wondering if surviving an earthquake was possible inside a burning building.
   As he reached the kitchen again he saw the flames had multiplied, spilling out into the hallway, lapping the quickly blackening ceiling. They seemed to pulse in time with the noise, with the shaking now so violent the floorboards were beginning to split apart as he stumbled over them.
   The woman was already on her motorbike, the engine roaring as Dave sprinted out of his doomed house, the infernal noise below growing louder and louder, front door shaking like a leaf, the remaining pieces of broken window-glass jumping from their frame to shatter across the cracking doorstep. He vaulted over it, and with adrenaline-numbed feet slamming against the driveway, ran towards the woman who was patting the seat behind her.
   In a confusion of arms and legs he mounted the pillion, wrapping his arms tightly around her, and as the bike roared and pulled out into the road, Dave turned his head to look back. He wished he hadn’t.
   His house was a towering inferno of orange flames and thick black smoke, its burning carcass shuddering as if pulled at by a million unseen hands, until Dave noticed the ripples in the ground, the waving of the trees, and as the motorbike rounded the corner of the street, he saw his burning house, uprooted garden and entire section collapsing down into a perfectly rectangular sinkhole that exactly followed the outline of his property.
   Dave turned his head back, trying to see where they were going but only receiving a face-full of dusty suburban air that made his eyes water. He lowered his gaze to the bike’s speedometer, trying to read the needle through half-closed eyes while the wind scathed his hair and chilled his arms through thin shirt-sleeves. He tried not to think about what had just happened. He closed his eyes completely, throwing his mind into the roar of the exhaust and the pull of the wind.
"Our imagination spans that infinite moment, between the asterisk and the ampersand."

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Re: The Dubious Story of Dave
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2019, 09:54:24 PM »
FIVE

   The noise he’d been lost in forever suddenly died to silence, leaving Dave with only a ringing in his ears, and then someone was pulling his hands free from one another, and his arms free from around the person he realised he was holding on to. He opened his eyes, noticing he was astride a motorbike. He slid off it awkwardly, almost tipping it over. He was standing in a small garage, shaking from cold. There was a workbench at one wall, a few shelves holding tools and various motorbike parts. Through the windows beside it, he could see a cut-out section of neatly trimmed hedge.
   The driver tapped a button on the wall nearby then waved at him to follow, and the garage door began to tumble down along its tracks from overhead, like a flat, rattling, brown waterfall. Dave turned and saw the strip of sunlight beneath its descending mass grow smaller and smaller before disappearing. He stood detached from the experience, watching without seeing.
   He felt a hand on his shoulder, turned his head to see an Asian woman looking at him with concern, saw her speak words he couldn’t hear. When he didn’t respond, she began steering him towards a door which led from the attached garage into a house.
   The house was dark, decorated in a modern, minimalist style that was completely unfamiliar to him. They moved through a laundry, a kitchen, and into a lounge which held the same rich, dark, luxurious tone. Antique, Asian-style artwork hung on the walls. There were various potted plants in the room’s corners, a large bookshelf stretched along one wall, ending in a small computer desk, but there was no television. A black leather couch with a coffee-table sat on the opposite side of the room to the books and computer. She led him over to it.
   “Sit down,” she said, “I will get you something to drink” before turning and walking away.
   Dave sat and leaned back onto the couch, his body sinking down into the cushions. They felt incredibly soft. He breathed an involuntary sigh. He looked around the room. The books on the shelf didn’t appear to be in English. To his right, large windows had their light dampened by closed blinds. The computer was off, no more life than a dull orange stand-by light. The potted plants were just as mysterious and unknown as everything else. He let himself sink deeper into the couch, trying to escape the cold that was lurking inside him.
   There was a noise to his left, Dave turned his head to see the woman entering the room, carrying a steaming cup. She crouched down beside him and pushed it into his hands.
   “Drink this tea and rest. You will feel better.” she said.
   Dave brought the cup to his lips, the warmth of it a welcome sensation in his hands and the steam pleasantly wafting upon his face. He couldn’t recognize the smell of the drink, didn’t understand the taste, but swallowed anyway, glad of the warmth it brought to his weary head and the way it spread down inside him, sliding around the coldness and beginning to soften the hard edges of its presence.
   When he finished, the woman took the cup from him. Her movements seemed slower, the outline of her hands and face almost leaving trails in the darkened air. He tried to speak but his tongue felt as if it were melting away, the sensation flowing down through his entire being. He couldn’t move, couldn’t think. His thoughts were nothing. His body was gone. The woman smiled at him, ever so slowly, and walked away.
"Our imagination spans that infinite moment, between the asterisk and the ampersand."

Agent24

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Re: The Dubious Story of Dave
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2019, 01:05:42 PM »
SIX

   Dave’s mind crawled slowly from a dark ocean of sleep, back onto the pitiless shore of consciousness. He was in a darkened, unfamiliar room, lying on a couch that wasn’t his. There was a thick blanket across him. The smell of strange plants and other scents wandered through the air along with slow, instrumental music, which filtered in quietly from another room. An empty teacup sat on a coffee-table before him. There was an ancient looking scroll hanging on the wall above a bookshelf filled with books that in the dim light might have been Chinese or Japanese or perhaps even Klingon. Dave really couldn’t tell the difference.
   He sat up slowly, his brain lagging behind, as if it were connected to his skull with a fraying piece of elastic. He tried to remember what exactly he had done to end up wherever he was.
   At first, there was nothing. Then, strange memories started drifting in, memories that couldn’t possibly be real, memories that must have been a nightmare. He’d been running from a burning house, everything collapsing around him as an earthquake shook reality to bits and all the while a demonic-looking Chinese family laughed and laughed. He felt fear welling up inside him, felt a chill he’d never felt before, but which also seemed disturbingly familiar.
   More memories came now; a high speed motorbike chase, a fist-fight in a bathroom, and the vaguest recollection of having a threesome. None of it made any sense at all: that wasn’t his scene.
   Dave swung his feet out onto the floor, felt his left foot twang with pain. He reached down to rub it and his shirt-sleeve rode up to reveal blotches of dark bruises up his forearm. God, he thought. What the fuck did I do?
   He flopped back on the couch, trying to make sense of the disjointed timeline jerking through his head. He couldn’t. He held his face in his hands and groaned loudly. The music stopped.
   He looked up to see a woman walk through the doorway. She was tall and beautiful and distinctly Asian. She wore a dark green dress that flowed like a river of silk, with embroidered dragons on it. There was something strangely familiar about her. Damn, thought Dave.
   “Did we-” he started to ask, without thinking.
   “No.” Her tone of voice made it clear that not only had they not, but that they never would. Ever.
   Turning, she flicked a light-switch, and the room lit up with a dim glow that seemed to come from everywhere at once. She walked over to Dave and sat down on the couch.
   “How are you?” the woman asked.
   “Uhm. That’s a good question.” replied Dave. “I’m not really certain. It probably depends on who you are, and where I am. Who are you?”
   “I’m Jessica. This is my house” she said “And you’re Dave, I know.”
   “How -”
   “You already told me. What do you remember? It’s important.”
    Dave groaned again, rubbing his face with his hands.
   “Oh, God, I don’t know. I had some kind of nightmare about a house-fire – I think it was my house – it was burning down and being demolished by an earthquake at the same time. There was also this fight with someone, maybe in a bathroom. The weird thing is,” he said, pulling his sleeves up and showing her the bruises, “I think that bit actually happened.”
   She looked at his arms, but didn’t acknowledge them.
   “Do you remember anything else?”
   “Not really. I think I was riding a motorbike too. And other things that make no sense. Like a family of Chinese people laughing at me.”
   “Well,” said Jessica, leaning back in her seat. “It wasn’t completely a nightmare. Your memories are probably a bit mixed up. You were in a state of shock.” She continued, “because your house really did burn down.”
   “What? Oh. God damn it.” said Dave, not sure how to feel, except that when he got around to realising what he was supposed to feel, it wouldn’t be particularly good.
   “Sorry.” said Jessica.
   Dave thought for a moment.
   “So you’re, what, a kind Samaritan who let me sleep on your couch because I’ve got nowhere else to go?” He felt a hollow feeling opening up inside his stomach now, as he said it.
   “No. Well - sort of,” Jessica said, “I will tell you from the beginning.” She took a deep breath.
   “Someone broke into my family’s mausoleum a week ago. They stole some artifacts and vandalized others. For doing such a thing, they should have been cursed. A curse powerful enough to destroy everything they owned and take them with it. It is the curse that would befall any who would violate my family’s tomb.”
   Dave stared at her, trying to comprehend what she was saying.
   “Somehow the curse went wrong. Somehow it ended up fixed to you instead. I don’t know why exactly. I am sorry that you have lost everything. But if you help me find who really did these horrible things, I can re-fix the curse so the right person is punished. And then you will be free from it.”
   Dave was still staring at her. At some point he’d stopped listening.
   “I’m sorry,” he said, “but are you on drugs, or something? I’m serious. Because I don’t believe this. Curses don’t exist. Magic doesn’t exist. It’s just ridiculous,” said Dave, “or is that the joke? I’m being punked, or something, right?”
   Jessica looked at him with a mixture of annoyance and pity. She said nothing for a few moments. Dave waited for someone to come in and tell him he was on a T.V. show. They didn’t.
   “I will prove it.” she replied. “When you woke up this morning, you had two penises. You still do.”
   “I – what?” exclaimed Dave, sarcastically. “Very funny. Ha-ha. I’ll give you points for originality, but I think your show just jumped the shark.”
   “Look for yourself. The bathroom is the third door on the right.”
   Dave got to his feet, the blanket falling to the floor.
   “OK, and then you can tell me the truth. Because so far this is just insane.” He headed for the door, muttering. “You’re all insane.”
   He limped out of the lounge and down to a bathroom in more of the same darkly-themed Asian style décor. He switched on the light and closed the door, turned, saw himself in the mirror. He looked awful. His hair was a mess, his eyes were bloodshot. The bruises on his arms looked even worse in the brighter light.
   “This is stupid.” Dave said to himself, unzipping his fly while looking around for the hidden cameras.
   “This is totally -” he stopped, as his hand reached into his pants to find not one, but two, practically identical penises in the place where he had always had one.      
   “What the FUCK?” Dave exclaimed, and again for good measure, “What the FUCK?”
   More memories suddenly dislodged themselves from the slag-heap of his subconscious, bringing forth the realisation that he’d had this exact reaction before. He felt a strange sensation shift through his head. It was as if someone was pulling the world out from under his brain.
   When he returned to the lounge, Jessica had folded his blanket and put it on the coffee-table. She sat on the couch, a smile on her lips. Dave leant on the doorframe, face pale, staring at her.   
   “It’s an old Chinese curse.” She said. “One that my great great grandmother invented. She used it to punish men who cheated on their wives. She said if a man wanted to sleep with two women at once then he deserved to have two penises. And then nobody will sleep with him.”
   She paused, looking thoughtful.
   “But it is strange. That particular curse was not part of the ones protecting my family’s tomb. It shouldn’t have been invoked at all. Of course, none of this should have happened to you in the first place. But it has.”
   Dave tried to take it all in, tried to match it up with the memories bumping around in his head. Some of them seemed to line up. A lot of them didn’t.
   “So, everything you’ve told me is true?” He said, feeling a worm of fear do a somersault inside his stomach and start chewing away at a corner. He sat back down on the couch.
   “Yes. It is unfortunate for both of us.”
   They both sat in silence. Dave hit the replay button again on his recent memories. Bolstered by the disturbingly real authority of his recent discovery, they seemed to have more clarity.
   “You were in my house. Before it burnt down. I remember now.” said Dave “And you stole my strawberries.”
   “Yes. I was hunting down whoever it was that broke into the tomb.”
   “Yeah but I didn’t do it, did I? You said so yourself. So why come looking for me?”
   “I didn’t, not specifically.”
   Jessica reached up to a thin black cord that was hanging around her neck. She pulled it up. Hanging on it was a jade figurine of what looked like a bird.
   “This amulet is a kind of tracking device. Its power is invoked if the tomb’s curse is invoked. It will track down the person who broke in.” She dropped the amulet back down inside her dress.
   “It led me to your house, of course, because the curse is fixed on you. But when I saw you, I realised you couldn’t possibly have been the grave-robber. You were too-” she stopped abruptly, then continued. “You weren’t the right type. I began thinking that perhaps the curse had not worked properly. But since then I had another idea.”
   Dave stared at her blankly.
   “I think the person who broke into my family’s tomb is very smart. I think they managed to redirect the curse somehow. I don’t know how that should be possible. My great great grandmother’s family was very capable with magic, and her spells, especially a curse this powerful, should not be easily tampered with. But it seems someone has indeed done it.”
   “So, basically I’ve been framed and hunted down by the wrath of an ancient curse for something I didn’t do? Great. Just great.” said Dave, dragging his fingers through his hair, tearing some of it out.
   “Yes, but you’re looking at the wrong point here. A curse or other magic can’t be redirected to just anyone. Whoever it was that did this – you must have met them in person. There needs to be a conscious connection. If we find that connection, we find the real criminal. We break the connection, the curse will return to its original target and this dishonour to my family will be properly avenged.”
   “Wait, wait, hold up.” said Dave, lifting  his hands in the air, “You said the curse is fixed on me? You’re saying it’s still there? Isn’t burning my house down enough?”   
   “Yes. It is still fixed on you. I told you already, but that was before you believed me,” Jessica  explained. “The curse tried to kill you this morning, but I saved you. So, it will try again in seven days. And every seven days after that until it is successful.”
   “Oh, this just gets better and better,” said Dave bitterly, his hands falling on his knees, his body slumping into the cushions. “This is just great. So great. So, so great.”
   Jessica looked at him the way you would look at a grumpy two year old.
   “Don’t be upset. It is fixable. We just need to find the person who really did this.”
   “And how are we supposed to know that? From where I’m sitting, you don’t have a single clue, and I’ve got even less.’
   “I do have one clue. It is probably someone you met recently, likely last week. But maybe only in the briefest way. They maybe only said one word to you, or just smiled or simply made eye contact. Enough time for you to remember each other, even if only subconsciously.”
   “And how am I supposed to remember anyone like that? I barely remember what I did last week.”
   “There is one other thing. You both would have needed to exchange something physical. An object, something you would not have been likely to lose or give away before the curse could be invoked.”
   Dave stared at the far wall, trying to think. An idea popped into his head. He couldn’t resist.
   “I think I got it! There was an old man outside the mall the other day. He had a little stall set up. It had a sign saying Deadly curses! Swaps only. I thought it was much too good an opportunity to pass up, So I swapped my watch for a brand new death-wish.” He tapped his fingers on his leg, mouthing the words. “Hey, that’d be a good opening line for a song.” He began singing. “I swapped my watch for a deathwish...
   Jessica glared at him.
   “This is really important, Dave. My family’s honour is in the balance, not to mention many of my great great grandmother’s old artifacts and secrets. And your life, remember? Or do you really not care for your own existence?”
   Dave stopped singing and tried to look like a pillar of seriousness. It didn’t work.
   “I know, I know. I’m just trying to lighten the mood.” He gestured broadly to the dimly lit room. “Actually, have you ever thought about getting some mood lighting that was a little less … moody?”
   Jessica pinched the bridge of her nose and sighed, shaking her head.
   “Look,” said Dave. “I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but I have no idea who I might or might not have swapped some arbitrary items and a word or two with. The only thing I typically give anyone in exchange for anything is my credit card. And so far, they’ve always given it back.”
   Jessica suddenly stood up from the couch.
   “I need to do some research.” she said, walking to the bookshelf and scanning across the spines until she found the book she was evidently looking for. She pulled it out then sat down at the computer desk to read. Dave waited. Jessica kept reading. Dave waited some more. The only sound was that of turning pages.
   “Uhm. How long will you be?” asked Dave.
   Jessica swung round on her computer chair to face him.
   “As long as it takes.” she said.
   “And then?”
   “Then, I will have found a different way to find the grave-robber.”
   “And then?”
   “And then, I will hunt them until I find them. And then, I will re-fix the curse. And then, they will feel its full fury.” She said, smiling with all the perfect sweetness of a poisoned plum tart. Dave felt a horrible shiver run down his spine and into his toes. He swallowed before speaking again.
   “And once you do that, I’ll be free of the curse?” he said, weakly.
   Jessica smiled again, this time with lower traces of homicide.
   “Obviously.”
   “And … I’ll stop having the, uh- two penises?”
   She paused for a moment before answering.
   “Yes. Well, probably. Maybe. As I said, that one shouldn’t have been invoked to start with, so I can’t really be sure.”
   “Wonderful.” said Dave, flatly. “I’ll forever be dual-dick Dave of the travelling freak-show.”
   “Actually,” said Jessica, “I believe the correct term for your condition would be diphallia.”
   Dave looked at her in exasperation.
   “That really, really, doesn’t help.”
« Last Edit: January 22, 2019, 01:08:23 PM by Agent24 »
"Our imagination spans that infinite moment, between the asterisk and the ampersand."