“The bitch is dead.”
“Was it you?”
“Of course it wasn’t me.”
Anthony could hear his aunts whispering in the living room, believing that no one could hear them. They might as well have been talking at a normal volume—their voices carried like wolves howling into the night’s wind. His Aunt Maddie, short and round, had a raspy voice from years of chain smoking, and his Aunt Rowelda, though slightly taller, was just as round and had a piercing voice that matched up well with nails running across a chalkboard.
Not being able to contain his anger anymore, he pushed open the door from the den to the living room with enough force to make the door hit the wall, knocking a picture of his late Uncle Dorian off its hangings. The sound of shattering glass as it made contact with the hardwood floor stopped his aunt’s conversation immediately.
“That bitch that you’re so content with being dead is my mother!” He snapped indignantly.
“Yes,” Maddie sneered, “And she should have taken that god-forsaken curse to the grave with her!”
“A curse that she brought onto this family when she married your father.” Rowelda added, rolling her eyes in distaste.
It was no secret within the family that his mother’s side of the family despised his father’s side of the family. Before they had fallen in love with each other, Tabitha and Malcom had come from two very different families, both of whom were hellbent on wreaking havoc on the other. Anthony’s parents had kept their love a secret for years before finally coming out with their plans to get married. Despite protests on both sides, the wedding went off without a hitch, and the two thought that Anthony’s birth might be reason enough for the two sides of the family to lay down their brooms in peace. No such luck.
“This family is only as cursed as everyone in it makes us out to be!” Anthony Shouted, “The only things cursing us is everyone’s stubbornness.”
“Have you not read our family’s histories, boy?!” Maddie asked, tapping her foot on the floor in the annoying sort of way she did whenever she was agitated. “The Baxters and the Clairmonts have never not been enemies. Your mother and father cursed us by joining what was never meant to be united.”
“I don’t understand how my parents marrying could have cursed this family.”
“The Baxter’s and Clairmonts are destined to kill each other off. There is only room for one magical power in this community.” Rowelda countered.
“That doesn’t explain what they cursed when they tried to break the cycle of hatred between our two sides of the family. If anything, they should be shown gratitude for trying to bring peace.”
Maddie and Rowelda looked at each other with expressions of remorse for the first time that Anthony had ever seen. Rowelda nodded and made a waving gesture from Maddie to Anthony. “You tell him.”
Maddie, with a look of resignation on her face, walked over and placed one hand gently on Anthony’s shoulder. “It’s not what they cursed, boy. It’s a curse they created after they married.”
“What are you talking about?!”
“It’s you.” Rowelda stated. “You are the curse that will tear this family apart.”
“And we can only hope,” Maddie finished, “That you take those damned Clairmonts with you while you’re bringing the Baxters down.”