MANTULA Part Twenty-Five: Halfway There

How does a person cure themselves of a curse? That was the question that lingered on my mind. There had to be a way to reverse it. If there was a way to make it happen, which was painfully and obviously possible, then fixing it was also possible.

I felt like that poor sap Howard Carter who discovered King Tut’s tomb and suffered the wrath of the Egyptian pharaohs. Or maybe I’d end up like Lon Chaney Jr. in “The Wolfman,” cursed to die trapped in a horrific body, dead before he got to get naked with the gypsy girl.

“You wouldn’t happen to know why I would be unchanged? Or of anything your grandmother might have said that could be used to reverse the curse?” I typed.

Diana leaned forward to read my note on the screen. She’d been doing it so much her breasts were now dangerously close to spilling over the top of her wet towel. Not that I minded. I doubt Glenn would be bummed to get another peek at the beautiful CEO either. Being a tarantula, she wouldn’t be able to catch me looking, so I did. Her skin looked smooth and unblemished, not to mention warm and inviting, curvy in all the right places. And her face, as she read the two sentences and sat back, was soft and glowing. I could picture her across from me at a dinner table, perhaps over a bottle of the house red at some high-priced hipster restaurant. Only I couldn’t be a tarantula for that to happen. And really? Did I really want that to happen whether I was a spider or not?

“That’s something I would ask those two saints she cursed in the first place. You are all just pawns to frustrate them. No offense, Doug. No offense, Glenn.”

It may have been designed for them, I thought, but it’s us who got screwed. And why was I unchanged? I wasn’t addicted to anything that I know of. Depressed. Sure. But not addicted to anything.

“There’s nothing that can be done, that I can do, to fix this?” I wrote.

“I’ve thought about this for a while. All I can think of are the basics, the simple stuff you would find in any old Google search. Do you have white vinegar wherever it is your staying? If not I have some here. You should bathe in it. Leave some around you. It soaks up negative energy, which is what curses are made of.”

Glenn chimed in. “That’s a new one on me.”

I agreed. “Not heard of it either, but it’s worth a shot. I have some back at the apartment. Not sure what in the hell vinegar has to do with curses, but Diana seems pretty convinced it can help.”

Diana leaned forward, narrowing her gaze at me, as if she hoped to discern my beady black eyes from the rest of my hairy, ugly body. I let my eyes wander to her round chest again.

“There’s one more thing. A big part of all this has to do with my grandmother and her pain. Her soul went into death unhappy. That’s what we’re facing. Her spirit needs to be put to rest, only I’m not sure how to do that,” Diana said. “Here’s what I suggest. Talk to your saint friends and get them to help. If they’re worth their salt as saints, they should know how to put a soul to rest.”

That was a big if, I thought. But it was worth a shot. I could see the news made Glenn pretty excited. We were well on our way to figuring this out. I started typing on Diana’s keyboard.

“They’re not our friends. We never asked for this to happen to us.”

After reading my note, Diana sighed and got to her feet. “Listen, as nice as it’s been having you over I have company coming over and can’t talk now. Can you guys come back some time? I’ll be home tomorrow after six. How about you talk to your saints, tell them what we’ve discussed, and see what they have to say?”

I went back to the keyboard, not happy to be getting the boot. After everything we’d just talked about, the ghost of her grandmother in the hallway, she still wanted to keep her date? “Don’t tell anyone about us. Don’t share this information with anyone. Do we have a deal?” I typed.

Tightening her towel, Diana nodded and made her way to the front door. “I don’t know many people in Cottonwood to talk to anyway. Don’t worry. I’m not sure how you guys got in here, but how about you leave through the front door this time?”

Doug and Glenn learn a thing or two about vinegar.

I hesitated at the keyboard. It would only take a moment to tell her about the reporter for the Sedona Daily Reader. If she really wanted to help us, then I should tell her about him, about how he used to be Glenn’s dealer. I wanted to tell her not to trust him, but she stopped me before I could get my leg over the keyboard.

“Please, that’s enough for one night, alright? No more typing. The door’s right here, guys.”

Glenn fluttered at the edge of the coffee table. “I think we’ve overstayed our welcome. Are you ready to hit the rain again.”

Without another word, I popped onto ManQuail’s back and we trotted to the door. Diana watched us leave peacefully. An odd smirk passed her face as we went by. “I still can’t believe this is all happening.” She muttered to herself.

She quietly shut the door behind us, leaving Glenn and I in the rain once again.

“I don’t know about you, man,” Glenn laughed. “But I will be glad when monsoon season is over!”

“Hold on a second, Glenn.” I bounced off his back near the concrete landing at Diana’s front door. “Why don’t you go on back? I can make my own way back this time.”

“What? In this weather? Doug…”

I interrupted him. “I really need a little time to be by myself.” When he started to talk again, I held up a leg to stop him. “Really. I need some time to think.”

Published by patrickwhitehurst

Patrick Whitehurst is a fiction and non-fiction author who's written for a number of northern Arizona newspapers over the years, covering everything from the death of the nineteen Granite Mountain Hotshots to Barack Obama's visit to Grand Canyon. In his spare time he enjoys painting, blogging, the open water, and reading everything he can get his hands on. Whitehurst is a graduate of Northern Arizona University and currently lives in Tucson, Arizona.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: