THE GIFT_(6) by The_Technician

Rating: 94%, Read 29686 times, Posted Jul 30, 2014

Fiction |

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This story is somewhere between a non-romance short story and a non-erotic semi-occult fantasy. It is very, very tame on the erotic side. There are some rough reference to a serial rapist, but no activity is described.

If you are looking for something stronger, try some of my other stories.

But if you are looking for a short, quirky little story that will possibly make you think, smile, or possibly even laugh when it is over, read on.

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This warning probably doesn’t apply to this story, but I put it at the beginning of all my stories so that everyone is warned that I write some pretty heavy stuff. If you look up other stuff by me, you have been warned.

WARNING! All of my writing is intended for adults over the age of 18 ONLY. Stories may contain strong or even extreme sexual content. All people and events depicted are fictional and any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Actions, situations, and responses are fictional ONLY and should not be attempted in real life.

If you are under the age or 18 or do not understand the difference between fantasy and reality or if you reside in any state, province, nation, or tribal territory that prohibits the reading of acts depicted in these stories, please stop reading immediately and move to somewhere that exists in the twenty-first century.

Archiving and reposting of this story is permitted, but only if acknowledgment of copyright and statement of limitation of use is included with the article. This story is copyright (c) 2014 by The Technician ( [email protected] )

Individual readers may archive and/or print single copies of this story for personal, non-commercial use. Production of multiple copies of this story on paper, disk, or other fixed format is expressly forbidden.

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It was hot... the kind of heat that slaps you in the face and takes your breath away when you dare to venture outside the protection of your cocoon of air conditioning. It was the kind of heat that causes the world to shimmer around you and creates mirages of water over the highways. It was the kind of heat that makes you distrust what your eyes think they see through the distortion of the intense sun. It was exactly that kind of heat. And that’s why Karen Baker didn’t believe what her eyes were showing her as she drove the little-used desert highway through southern Nevada.

Walking beside the roadway in the intense heat was what her mother would have called a “babushka”– an elderly woman from the old country. She was pulling a small, two-wheeled shopping cart behind her as she walked. The gray hair of her head was covered in a black, triangular bandana. Her shoulders were draped with a heavy, black shawl. Thick, black stockings wrapped her legs. Over all of that, she was covered in a thin coating of desert dust that swirled around her as she trudged slowly along, swaying slightly from side to side with each step.

It wasn’t until Karen had passed the old woman that she realized that what she was seeing was actually real. She slowed and pulled the car over to the side of the road. Then, after checking that there was no other traffic, she slowly backed up until she was alongside the stooped figure. She pushed the button to roll down the passenger side window. The heat immediately swam into the car and washed against her face as she leaned over and said, “Do you need a ride?”

The woman turned her wrinkled face toward her, but said nothing. Karen thought for a moment of the Christmas Witch Doll which her grandmother used to put somewhere in the Christmas tree each year.

“Can I help you?” Karen said.

The ancient crone smiled. It was an almost toothless smile. Then she said, “No, I am beyond anyone’s help, but it would be nice to be out of the heat for a while.”

Karen was perplexed by that odd answer, but replied, “Get in. I will take you into town.”

She got out and helped the woman put her small cart into the back seat. Then she opened the front door and helped her into the seat. “What are you doing out here in the middle of nowhere in this heat?” she asked.

The woman merely smiled at her. It wasn’t until Karen had resumed driving that the woman finally spoke. “My daughters don’t want to be near me when I leave,” she said. Then she laughed. It was the same laugh that Karen’s grandmother used to use when telling the story of the Babushkas who used to be in her village. There was another name that she sometimes used for them, but Karen could not remember the Russian word. It meant witch, but not in an evil sense... usually.

“It is my time,” the woman said. “But my daughters don’t want my gift because unless you have the proper heart, the gift becomes a curse.”

She looked over at Karen and smiled again. “Yes,” she said, nodding her head as she spoke. “I’m a Baba, as was my mother and her mother before her. But my daughters do not have the proper heart. For them the gift would become a curse... and they know it.”

The woman paused and made a smacking sound with her lips as she shrugged her shoulders. “So,” she continued, “they drove me out, and while I was gone, they fled, never to return.”

She sighed. It was a very deep sigh that tore at Karen’s heart as she heard it. “I could not pass on the gift. And so, I wander looking for them so that at last I can go in peace.”

She turned again and grinned at Karen. Many questions filled her head, but the first that escaped from her mouth was “What do mean, ‘Gift’?”

“It is a gift,” the woman replied, “that I must pass on to my blood. But it is a gift in two parts. Almost anyone can receive the first part.” She laughed. Again the sound was the same as when Karen’s grandmother had told her of the Baba Yagas.

Baba Yaga! The name came suddenly to her mind as soon as she heard the woman cackle a second time. Along with the name came the image of her grandmother’s face leaning in and wagging her finger at her as she gave the stern warning, “Never, ever, let a Baba Yaga complete the circle with you... never!”

The old woman’s voice drew her back to the present. “But the second part of the gift can only go to someone who is pure of heart.” She cackled again. “Or at least more pure of heart than the average woman.”

She looked over at Karen and smiled. Somehow, this time, her face seemed younger. Maybe it was her eyes. They were such kind eyes. They reminded Karen of her grandmother when she was in a really good mood. Both her mother and her mother’s mother were very kind and loving... at times.

They truly could be loving, but most of the time they had to work at it. They had lived hard lives and anger was much closer to the surface in both of them than love.

Karen smiled back at the old woman and said, “Thank you, but I am just a normal, everyday woman doing what anyone would do.”

After a short cackle that was almost a snort, the old woman said, “Margarita wouldn’t have stopped for me.” She smiled once again before adding, “... neither would have Nina.” She pronounced it “Neeeena,” drawing out the “e” sound.

Karen almost slammed the brakes in shock. Her grandmother was Margarita. Her mother was Nina. She turned to look at the woman in fear that bordered on terror. How did she know their names?

She old woman bobbed her head as she slowly spoke, “I named her Margarita after my mother. That’s the tradition in the old country.” She pointed to herself and said, “She named her daughter Nina after me.”

She turned to fully face Karen and said, “You are blood of my blood, and you are worthy.”

Karen felt the wheels of the car begin to dig into the soft gravel of the shoulder and turned her attention back to the road. After she was totally back on the highway, she began slowing down so that she could safely pull off onto the side of the road. But before she could bring the car to a stop, the woman’s voice spoke a final time, “The gift is passed,” she said. “Now I can depart. Use it well.”

When the wheels finally came to a stop, Karen was alone in the car. She looked at the empty seat beside her and then at the back seat where she had placed the battered two-wheeled shopping cart. It, too, was empty. But on the seat, in the pattern of the wire that formed the cart, was an outline of dust.

Karen reached back and rubbed it lightly with her fingers as if she were trying to convince her own mind that she had not gone insane. After looking all around inside and outside of the vehicle several times and concluding that she was definitely alone, she restarted the car and headed for Vegas.

Las Vegas was her destination. The purpose of this trip was to meet her fiancé and get married there. It wasn’t exactly an elopement because he was coming from California and she was coming from Kansas, but they were, in fact, running away to get married.

They had met on the internet and everything had clicked between them. She had met him twice in person. In both instances, he was on business trips that brought him to the Kansas City area. He stayed over for the weekend and took her out to dinner and took her to movies and took her to visit local attractions and, of course, he took her to his bed.

Kevin was an almost perfect lover. He seemed to have her pleasure more on his mind than his, and she reached orgasm each time they made love. When he proposed marriage to her in a recent chat, she immediately accepted and they made plans to meet in Las Vegas to be married at one of the chapels there.

Her strange meeting with the old woman on the road had delayed her and now she was cutting things very close for the wedding time they had reserved at the chapel. Kevin was waiting for her at the hotel. And as soon as she got to the room she quickly changed and they left for the Marriage License Bureau.

There was no real problem with getting the license. They had filled out the pre-registration forms on-line and the office was open until midnight 365 days of the year. The problem was that, at this time of the year, the better wedding chapels of Las Vegas are booked solid for weeks at a time. It only took a few minutes to get the license, but even so, they arrived at the wedding chapel a scant five minutes before their reserved time.

Two couples who had reserved times after them were already waiting. Kevin and Karen rushed to the front where they and the official witnesses gathered before the wedding chapel pastor. The ceremony was wonderful and everything that Karen had imagined it would be up until the point where the pastor told them to join hands and face each other for the vows.

As soon as Karen took Kevin’s hands in her own, images began flooding through her mind. She could see Kevin at school as a child. Images of him in the woods behind his parents’ home flashed through her mind. She could even hear the squeals and screams of the dogs and cats as he tortured them. Then images of four other women flashed in front of her. They were at dinner, at the movies, in bed... and in caskets. The images caught up to her first weekend with Kevin in Kansas City. She saw herself coming out of the bathroom in that special nighty she had purchased for that night.

The images then seemed to loop back in time and she heard herself gasp as she saw more women. They were lying face down on the grass, their dresses bunched obscenely around their waists, a bright red bandana tied around their throats. Time seemed to jump again and her second weekend with Kevin flickered by, followed by another woman– again face down on the grass.

For just an instant the image was of her standing where she was, holding onto Kevin’s hands. Then the images moved on to Jamaica, where Kevin had said that they would honeymoon. They were walking on the beach together.

A series of images followed with Karen in a house somewhere, and then blackness that cleared slightly to reveal her lying in a casket with Kevin grinning down at her while saying in an almost crying voice to people standing behind him, “I loved her so.”

The final image before Karen jerked her hands free of Kevin’s grip was a pair of hands opening an envelope from an insurance company. The large check inside was payable to Kevin Jerome and carried the notation, “For the accidental death of spouse, Karen Jerome.”

Karen stood trembling before the startled minister and witnesses. She frantically looked around the room as if looking for a place to run. Then her gaze settled on the two couples who were waiting for the next ceremonies.

She rushed down the aisle and grabbed the hands of the first groom. A series of images flashed through her mind, stopping at an image of a frail old man sitting at the bedside of a very old woman. He was wiping her forehead with a damp cloth and saying, “I will join you soon, my love.”

Karen released his hands and said to both of them, “You are very blessed. Love each other well.”

She then grabbed the hands of the second groom. Again images flashed through her head. This time, however, they ended in a small, squalid room with a bed alongside a kitchen area. The woman was standing in the middle of the room crying though swollen eyes and swollen lips. The man was sitting at the table drinking directly from a bottle of vodka.

Karen released his hands and said to the bride, “You are cursed. This man is a drunk who will beat you. Leave now while you can.”

Then she ran back and once again grabbed Kevin’s hands. The images once more flashed through her mind, but this time she was ready for them. As the images flashed by, she began yelling at Kevin, “You are a twisted serial rapist and killer. You have killed before and you are marrying me only to kill me for the insurance.”

Kevin tried to break loose, but Karen held on even more tightly as she screamed, “I will stop you! I will stop you! I will stop you!”

Kevin finally broke loose and ran toward the door. A security guard and LV Police officer were hurrying in, summoned by the pastor’s secretary who had heard the screaming.

“Stop him,” Karen screamed. “He’s the Glenboro Strangler!”

Kevin made the mistake of trying to bull his way through the two officers. The security man was an ex-Marine and the LV officer was well-trained. He found himself almost immediately lying on the floor in handcuffs.

“How do you know this?” the LV officer asked as they raised Kevin to his feet.

“I know,” answered Karen in a voice shaking with sobs. “I know.” Then she sighed deeply as she slid the engagement ring off her hand and dropped it to the ground.

“There is a metal box hidden beneath the back seat of his car,” she said slowly. “It contains trophies from at least six murders. There are also pictures of four previous wives that he married under various names and killed for their life insurance.”

Kevin, or whatever his name really was, struggled futilely in the security guard’s grip and screamed the officer’s question at her, “How do you know this?”

She smiled at him and said softly, “Never let a Baba Yaga complete the circle with you.”

She laughed and added, “... especially if you have something to hide in your past... or in your future.” She laughed again and was surprised at how high-pitched her laugh now sounded.

A few minutes later, another officer entered the chapel carrying a flat, brown metal box. He raised the lid to show it to the first officer and the guard. There were pictures of four women in bridal veils and several woman lying face down in the grass. There were also seven fingers lined up in a row.

“Get him out of here!” the officer growled. Then he turned to Karen and said, “Ma’am, I’m afraid that we’ll have to also take you downtown so you can explain how you know all this.”

She called her mother from the jail. She wasn’t being charged, but the detectives were extremely interested in how she knew about the murders. “Mom,” she said when her mother answered the phone, “I think I am in big trouble.”

Her mother asked what had happened and she answered, “I met great-grandmother Nina on the highway this afternoon. She left her gift with me before she departed.” She fought to hold back the tears as she said, “I am afraid that I am cursed.”

“Tell me everything,” her mother said, and Karen began with meeting the babushka on the road.

She told her mother the complete story and ended with “I am in so much trouble. Baba Nina said the gift was a curse to those who were not pure of heart.”

“You are not cursed,” her mother answered softly. “You saw the past and the future, and in that future your husband murdered you. To know that in advance can be a curse.” She laughed softly and continued in a much brighter voice, “But now, that will not happen because you have changed your future. You are not cursed, you are blessed.”

“Then what is the curse?” Karen asked.

“If I had accepted the gift,” her mother said quietly, “I also would have been able to see the future, but I would have been powerless to change the smallest part of it. That is the curse.

Indeed, that is the worst curse a person can ever receive.”

An officer tapped on the door to the small room where Karen was sitting. Karen said loudly, “I’m finished with my call,” and two detectives then entered the room.

“Miss Baker,” the one detective said, “There is nothing that indicates that you were at all involved in any of Kevin Jerome’s crimes, but we really need to find out how you came to know what you told the officers.”

“Detective,” she answered, “I will tell you everything if you will do me one little favor.”

“What is that?” he answered.

“Take my hands,” she answered. “Just take my hands and I will tell you EVERYTHING.”

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Rating: 94%, Read 29686 times, Posted Jul 30, 2014

Fiction |


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