King Moon and the Uncursing #atozchallenge #flashfiction #K

“If I may ask, what do you think you’re doing?” Geno pensively asked.

“We found a wagon!” John said excitedly.

“I can see that. It’s a Gypsie caravan. I knew the family who owned it. The caravan was looted and they were murdered… by Nazis,” Geno said sadly.

“I almost forgot,” John showed Geno a walking stick.

A look of shock came over the old man.

“Where did you find this?” Geno asked seriously.

“I walked outside to stoke the fire. I’ll admit, we’d never havfound this wagon if the stick didn’t lead us here. Something’s hidden inside, it rattles.”

“This staff belonged to my dear friend Sasha Wojtyla. He had three daughters who lived with him in this wagon. I can’t imagine the horrors forced on them by the Nazis.”

“Why is ‘Help us, Ana’ carved on the staff?”

“I made the staff for Sasha on the birth of his first child. I made the staff out of Elder. On Sasha’s bequest, I placed seven leaves of Vervain, powdered eye, dried tongue, and powdered hearts from a wolf, a salamander and 3 tree swallow’s. I charged the staff with a protection spell. It protected them from illness, but I’m afraid not the Nazi’s.”

“What was it doing in your backyard?”

“Sasha gave it to my son when his wife Catarina was sick, he may have thrown it from the wagon to hide it from the Nazis.”

“What do you plan to do?” John asked.

“We must search the area for anything from the wagon. If we find anything, we’ll return it and burn all of their belongings.”


“It’s our tradition. We must remove nothing from this wagon. An unspeakable curse will befall anyone who violates this edict,” Geno warned. “This is why all the Nazis died.”

“I found these a few meters from the caravan. What are they?”

“Glossopetrae! Serpent tongue stones. They dispel misfortune and illness, some use them as oracle stones. Place them on the floor of the wagon, quickly!”

Geno lit some small twigs on fire as he prepared to set the wagon alight.

“What are you doing?”

“I intend to destroy the wagon and its contents before night fall.”

“There’s some elegant stuff in here. You don’t want to destroy it, do you?”

“The sun is hiding behind the mountains. Tonight, is Saint John’s Night. All spirits visit humans, either to help or to harm them. The sanctity of this burial site must be safe. We will only live if we burn this wagon. We have no choice, we must do now it!” Geno’s voice cracked with fear.

“You don’t really think—”

“The revenant will come! If certain rites don’t get respected, the dead will return. They cannot make the journey to the other world. They will bring many múle.” Geno watched the wagon burn. Walking over to John, he snatched the walking stick and tossed it into the pyre.

“Hey! I found that,” John said.

“And I am returning it to its rightful owners.”

The stick burned an radiant blue color, and in seconds, it vanished.  A firefly hovered above where the wagon had been.

“It’s King Moon!” Geno gasped in fright.

The green glow became brighter and brighter. Out of the light, the spirit of a man holding a flute clad in silver appeared.

He waved the flute over Geno.

“A great wrong fixed. Your curse is removed,” King Moon said.

We watched as Geno turned into a firefly and flew into the light. The light disappeared, taking with it Geno’s spirit.

This flash fiction is part of a month long journey with the A to Z challenge. Each day the letter is the prompt for my short stories themed: “Thirty Ways to Kill …”

And keep on the lookout for my upcoming novel – “Lifeblood of the Dragon.” Lifeblood is set in the seedy alleys of post-war Los Angeles. The morgue is full more often than not. Cameo appearances by the well known gangster Mickey Cohen and his goons.

check out other great writers at the 2022 A to Z challenge

Murder of Crow’s Feet

According to the newspapers, Mr. Robert Summerfield was the richest man in the world. His estimatedworth in the trillions of dollars.

Three retired strippers had all been Mrs. Summerfield. They each had come to check on the failing health of their “benefactor.”

Carmel, wife #2, had spent her allowance for the month. She came by to see if Robert would give her a loan.

“I’ll even give him a little performance…” Carmel told her latest paramour.

Gupta was Mr. Summerfield’s nurse. Licensed as a pharmacist in India, she had more than the requisite experience to be his caregiver.

“I must see Robert.” Carmel whined to the butler.

“My answer is ‘no’ he’s sleeping.” Gupta said with authority.

“You’ll have to wake him.” Carmel adjusted her skin tight skirt.

“Come back tomorrow.” Gupta’s tone was stern.

“Then perhaps you can tell me how often is Dr. Memphis seeing him?”

“Daily. Your husband might live to be one-hundred.”

“Humph” Carmel gave a disapproving look.

Gupta jutted her chin. “It would be better if you returned tomorrow.”

Carmel looked in her mirror and tried to rub away the crow’s feet. “Alright then. I’ll be back tomorrow.”

“Out of the women that he could have married, he chose her.” Gupta sighed.

Carmel strutted up to the ornate front door at nine am. She had dressed in a silk dress with a slit, the way her husband liked them.

Gupta was talking to Mr. Summerfield when the doorbell rang. “Carmel was by yesterday to see you.”

“She wants to know why I haven’t died yet. Of my three wives, I trust her the least.”

“She stopped by for more money…” Gupta rose to leave.

“The paltry sum of one-hundred-thousand dollars a month doesn’t seem to be enough to satisfy her. I need to take her out of my will.”

“May I use the bathroom?” Carmel walked into Mr. Summerfield’s private bath.

“I’m staying here I don’t trust her,” Gupta whispered.

“Nor do I,” Summerfield smiled.

Carmel strode from the bath, making sure her ex-husband could see her legs. Gupta was readjusting Mr. Summerfield’s pillows when she looked down into Carmel’s handbag. Her practiced eye caught the words Veronal on a smoky colored bottle; the bottle looked empty.

“Diethyl barbituric acid, you clever girl.” Gupta calculated how much would cause death. Verona had been off the market for decades. “Where did you put the Verona?”

How are you feeling? Carmel bent over and kissed Robert.

“Never been better. The doctor says I can leave this bed next week.” Summerfield smiled.

“I hate to ask, but I’m a little short this month.” Carmel inspected the crow’s feet with her mirror.

“You’ve never shown the least restraint in spending my money. No, you cannot have anymore this month and NO you cannot use my phone to call your fleabag lawyer. And Yes, you can leave me the hell alone.”

“You beast. She has poisoned your mind.” Camel pointed at Gupta.

Poison that’s rich coming from her mouth. Gupta was trying to find the Veronal.

“Carmel, I think you know the way out!”

Carmel walked out. Gupta entered the bath and examined the medicine cabinet. The bottle of heart medication that had been almost empty was full. Gupta checked her ordering log and saw that it was almost time to order more. When she smelled it, she knew it was Veronal.

“Two can play that game.” Gupta pocketed the medicine.

Telephoning to India, she spoke to an old acquaintance. Minear hunted for rare herbs and plants in the brackish lagoons of the Kerala swamp on the southwestern coast of India.

“This is Gupta. You are well?”

“Yes, thank you.”

 I remember your mother was feeling poorly.”

“Yes, yes. She is much improved. Tell me how I can help you.”

“I need three Nyan pods. I will send funds for those as well as for your business to continue.”

“Of course, you are always welcome. I have your address in Los Angeles. I will collect these things and send them on their way.” Minear smiled as he said goodbye.

A week later, a box with three green pods arrived; She removed a seed and mashed it to paste. She mixed the paste with Phenylephrine to potentiate the effect. She added the paste to a face cream.

 “We want you to see results after all.” Gupta chuckled.

The next time Carmel came, Gupta met her.

“I’ve made you this.” she handed her the jar.

“What’s it for?” Carmel asked.

“Crow’s feet. They will disappear in several days or weeks. It’s a family recipe and I can say from experience, it works.”

“Thank you.” Carmel unscrewed the lid and put a small amount on the corner of her eyes.

“Mr. Summerfield has been feeling very ill since your last visit.” Gupta sounded concerned.

“Tell him I called, please.” Carmel left exhilarated.

For six days, Carmel applied the cream. On the seventh day, the maid found her unresponsive in bed.

 The “Suicide Tree” paste had soaked through Carmel’s skin, stopping her heart.

“That’s so sad. She should have spent more time improving her mind.” Gupta smiled.

This story is part of a month long journey with the A to Z challenge. Each day the letter is the prompt for my short stories themed: “Thirty Ways to Kill or die …”

And keep on the lookout for my upcoming novel – “Lifeblood of the Dragon.” Lifeblood is set in the seedy alleys of post-war Los Angeles. The morgue is full more often than not. Cameo appearances by the well known gangster Mickey Cohen and his goons.

Please join blogger in the A to Z Challenge