Sis amplexibus Amor alios mututa memini et amoris in mutationes memini.
May you be embraced by a love beyond recall that alters others
and a love within recall that alters you.
On the coffee table were the photocopies Harris had left with her. One had notes and writing, with small diagrams on the backs of others. The writing was in squiggles he didn’t recognize.
“Have you noticed any changes in your … relations …. with people since you first heard about this?’ she gestured at the photocopies.
“I’ve been more cautious, if that’s what you mean. Aware that they may not be really attracted to me at all.”
“Yes. Yes. But I mean something more. Have you resisted?”
“Oh yeah.” Harris told her about declining Francis’s offer before he knew about the curse.
“I see. What happened as a result?”
He thought a moment. “Her boyfriend attacked me. Shortly after which his mother beat the crap out of my apartment door.”
“Then this is a munus sanguine. A blood blessing. Very ancient and powerful. When you decline what it attracts to you, you pay a price.”
“If I say no to it, it kicks me in the ass till I say uncle?”
She made a wry face. “That is possible. In addition it can effect all your friendships and work relationships in negative ways.”
“That might explain Becky. I didn’t think the blessing had brought together. We both remembered each other and weren’t that interested, or so it seemed. First she was interested, then she wasn’t. It’s complicated. She was after … ” He didn’t want to explain about Andy. “She was like a woman who only digs you because of your car.”
“Yes. Yes. A munus sanguine would cause that. It’s an aura, an energy it creates to serve you. It wants you to be satisfied. I’m not clear it if means to actually harm you but when its aim is frustrated it does what it can to keep you focused on being satisfied.”
“I’m not sure if getting my ribs fractured is the road to satisfaction. What about this guy who won’t leave me alone.”
“Yeah! Look I’ve never been into queer stuff but one guy caught the curse fever. He’s not threatening at all. I made out with him to see if that would end the attraction. I felt that once we acted on it we’d be free of the curse.”
“You did not forget?”
“Nope. Neither did he. It certainly didn’t give me satisfaction. More like a dose of confusion.”
“I don’t know enough yet to tell you what this means. From my readings about the munus sanguine it becomes dormant the less one gives in to it and as one ages as well. The nature of the satisfaction becomes less physical.”
“And it gets passed on from father to son.”
“Yes. Does your son have knowledge of it?”
“Yes. How did you know I had a son?”
“It was in your palm.”
“Oh. Anyway, I met him for the first time this past weekend and told him. Me and my dad. All three of in a room together. I suppose the curse was jumping up and down with joy.”
“Have been aware of when the blessing is happening?”
“Yes. There’s a gleam in the eyes of the other person that I now recognize. I didn’t see that with Becky which is why …”
“Yes. Yes. You have resisted as a result.”
“Yes. There hasn’t been any ‘action’ recently.”
“Yes, but how about danger. I sense you are in danger.”
He told her about the Stalker.
“The munus’s aura is calling on what it can.”
“But you said it doesn’t want to hurt me.”
“It may want you to forget it. That would allow it can continue to act without your awareness. This is one way of diverting your attention.”
“But if it gets me killed?”
“It lives in your son already. It will go on.”
“So if my son doesn’t have children it will be finished.”
“Let us hope that never happens. As you can see what is happening to you for it to … survive .. think what it would do if it had no other way to continue.”
“Okay. Okay. If I accept all this how do I deal with it? Keep screwing around when it holds that blessing gun to my head. Screw around or I’ll fracture more than a rib?”
“It was given to your ancestor. I believe it can be given away by you. It has to given with awareness though. Awareness that you are giving it and what the consequence will be for whomever you bestow it on.”
“Why would I bestow this on another victim.”
“It was given to your ancestor for revenge, I think. I have read the diary entries several times. Rowell felt betrayed when Tobias chose not to continue protecting him as he felt he should be protected.”
“Or maybe he saw it as a chance to give it away. It free himself of it.”
“Very possible Harris. Awareness is your only real defence.”
“But if the people acting because of this aura aren’t aware I’m vulnerable. Christ the bus driver could turn on me, right?”
“No. Your awareness level is now too high for anything that random.”
“Do you have an amulet for me. A relic to ward off, what did you call it, the last time I was here – the eye of love.”
“I wish I did Harris.’
Harris recalled what Marshall has said about the Mirror Mind movie where breaking the mirror didn’t release him from it but only made everything worse for everyone in the next movie. “I wonder if breaking the spell is the right way to go? What’ll happen to me, to my dad if I succeed in getting it out of our … blood line?”
“Everything has a price, a consequence. Even doing the right thing. Surgery to remove a cancer always leaves a scar.”
“What are you willing to sacrifice to be free of it? I will continue my investigations. There is always more when one knows where to look.”
Outside Harris ate another of the Quknrg bars as he waited for the bus. Almoneutra was more caramel than almond. He leaned against the bus shelter. Nothing could sneak up on him if he leaned heavily enough against the wall.
He checked his phone. No messages.
Nothing to read in his shoulder bag either unless he read the wrappers for the remaining Quknrg bars but he didn’t want to spoil the flavour surprises. If they weren’t supposedly healthy he might have felt satisfaction while wolfing them down.
At his apartment he stripped off and headed for the shower. If he could have washed the curse out of him he would have stood there for hours. He missed his hair too. Drying what remained of it in the mirror he wasn’t sure if he was the same man.
What had happened to the long haired mindless guy who’d eat ice cream out of the carton standing naked in front the freezer while deciding which two frozen meals to toss into the microwave or if ordering Wong’s dinner for three was a better option. He missed plum sauce for his pop tarts in the morning.
He stood the scale. Holy fuck! Ten pounds less? Had Alex rubbed that much out his belly the other night?
Yeah he had been eating less but not that much less. Or did the curse now want him thin. What was that phrase, ‘nothing tastes as good as thin feels.’
Naked he went to his kitchen and looked in the cupboards, the fridge. Most of his favourites were there but nothing appealed. Nothing. Not even the doubled dipped strawberry frosted chocolate filled pop tarts.
He opened his lap top. Time to plan a vacation. Whether he went or not, planning never failed to clear his mind. He checked airfares to Aruba, noticed that there were a few sweet specials over the next couple of weeks. He knew some of the resorts they included weren’t as good as the pictures showed them to be.
He admired the selective way the resorts had been photographed, nice sunsets with pretty bikini clad girls cavorting with tanned, hairless guys in sunsets on clean white beaches. Beaches he knew weren’t that white or that clean but that with simple photo manipulation were stunning, seductive.
If he went he wouldn’t go to any of these places anyway. He’d made that mistake on his first trip there. He checked Casa Della, his favorite, but they had no spaces available for the next two weeks. Not that he’d be going there that soon.
The time share prices hadn’t changed since he last checked them. Would he want a one or two bedroom? Since he couldn’t afford either why not go for that two bedroom with an ocean view. No, better yet, an in land view. Sunrise was better than sunset and when one of the frequent storms blew in there’s be less risk of losing his windows.
He could feel the Andicuri Beach sand between his toes. What the hell why not book it? Escape was in order after all that had being going on the past few weeks. He deserved a break.
He checked his bank account and the healthy balanced was now healthier thanks to the overtime bonus he’d got from Santa.
“Thank Santa for me.” He turned to Andy.
Can’t wait to read the whole thing? order the PDF for $5.00 – paypal.me/TOpoet – say you want Kiss
This work is licensed under a