He drove himself to the nearby grocery store. He was definitely not going to go to the ER, or even the doctor. It was just a broken finger after all. It hurt like fuck, but the bone wasn’t jammed through the skin. “Fuck fuck, fuck.” Mark muttered as he carefully pulled on his finger. A loud cracking pop happened, and then it straightened. The pain lessened immediately, even as the swelling increased.
He couldn’t decide if this was coincidence – or if something else was going on. That crazy old man had messed with his head. Could this dollhouse have a fucking curse? Mark swallowed his disgust, what kind of father would bring home a fucking cursed object? At the grocery store he got a finger splint, and wrapped his finger tightly to prevent it swelling further. He’d broken a finger before, so he had a a pretty good idea how to take care of it. Now he was perpetually flipping people off with his right hand. Good, he was pissed anyways, and subtly flipping off the entire world seemed fitting. When he climbed back into the car he considered where to go next. He couldn’t quite go home yet, since it was still a little too early.
Curiousity took the best of him and he decided to stop by the library before he went home. He threw back painkiller. Maybe he could find out if there was any book about this curse, and the weird fucking note. His mood was sour, and he wasn’t even sure he believed any of it anymore. Sleepwalking and a broken finger could be one hell of a coincidence. Plus, his finger hurt, and he didn’t really give a shit. He looked at the little scrap of paper in his hand: Abel’s curse. Sounded like the world’s dumbest prank was being pulled on him.
He went into the library and he almost went to the computer to try to figure it out himself, but he barely knew how to use those things. So instead, he asked the librarian who was sitting at her desk annoyed. “I’m trying to look up something called Abel’s curse, do you have a book on it or anything?”
She frowned. “It seems like every few months someone’s asking me about the Abel’s curse. Did you get a dollhouse?”
“What?” He said, completely embarrassed. She knew about the dollhouse? Or was this just a coincidence thing? Did Vladimir tell all his customers they had the curse? Maybe just like to freak people out. Mark coughed, and then said, “Do you have any books about it or not?”
The librarian rolled her eyes. She came back with a stack of books 10 minutes later. “Good luck.” She said.
He took the books to the nearby table. They were already bookmarked, which made flipping to each section easy. Four books, four sections about the Abel’s curse. Two of these books were almost exactly restated from one another, and they didn’t include much information at all. “Abel’s curse is a curse upon an object that contains seven stages ending in death. Typically the death includes murder and suicide.”
The text between the two books was nearly identical. It seemed strange him the two books would even bother mentioning the Abel’s curse. It was virtually no information, useless. He flipped open the third book, and it didn’t particularly have much more information. But there was a hand written scrawl next to the section, “I already have sleepwalking, a broken leg and the bloody nose. Is there any way to stop it?”
The handwriting was in young girlish scrawled. It looked like the kind of thing that should be covered with hearts, and funny little notes to a boy. There was a drop of blood directly below the note. Possibly from a nosebleed?
Underneath her note was a second note in tight tiny capital letters. “I have sleepwalking and a broken toe.” This one had a name written directly underneath it, Kevin.
His phone buzzed, and his pocket. And he realized time had been flying. He was late now, and Kelly was surely getting frustrated. “I want to check this two books out,” Indicating the one he hadn’t even looked at yet, and the one with the handwritten notes.
“Do you even have a library card?”
“I… I guess I’ll need one.” He said. He filled out the forms, his broken finger causing his writing to look even more terrible than normal. Subtly, he checked his nose to see if it was bleeding, but it was not. Eventually, he managed to check out the two books.
“Look, I don’t know what you guys all have been getting into. But make sure you return these books on time.”
Grabbed the two books through them in his truck and drove home. By the time he arrived Kelly was in the middle of making dinner. She had made his favorite, spaghetti with actual meatballs. And the whole loaf of garlic bread, fresh bread that she had baked herself. And a side salad. It was a feast.
“No chicken nuggets?” He said.
“I just want to give you a taste of what life would be like if you let me stay home. I want to stay home. I don’t want to go get another crappy job.” She said.
He felt a longing inside his soul to give his wife exactly what she wanted. But the reality was that they couldn’t even eat like this now. Much less when she stayed home, there would be less money, less food, more Ramen. But he tried to enjoy the feast. But in the back of his mind he was wondering when he could look at those two library books more closely. Abel’s curse, had he caught it?