Black Petals Issue #90 Winter, 2020

Curse of the Candles
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Curse of the Candles-Fiction by Jerry Payne
Death Rattle-Fiction by Jan Cronos
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The Return of the Ferryman-Serialized Fiction by Roy Dorman
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Blood-Red Drops-Poem by Chris Collins
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Female Mischief-Poem by Hillary Lyon
Worm-Poem by Hillary Lyon
The Lycanthrope's Lament-Poem by Hillary Lyon
The Sea-Poem by Jason Rice

90_bp_candlecurse_mdavis.jpg
Art by M. C. Davis 2020

Curse of the Candles

 

By Jerry Payne

Tragic magic

 

 

Frank had been fired from US Armored Car Service when over $500,000 went missing. They could not pin it on him, even though his partner disappeared after a shootout with the FBI.

Premiere Marketing in San Francisco had decided to take a chance on Frank, hiring him as Vice President of Sales. He spent a lot of time at his office in the City, thus neglecting his wife. He had brought his family to California from New York, trading one big city for another. Instead of overlooking the Hudson, he now had a view of Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay.

When his boss was destroyed in court because of a corrupt judge, Frank was right there to offer solutions to this life-changing atrocity; but there was nothing their attorneys could do to stop the damage to their company. Frank had to think outside the box and, in so doing, decided to get dirty and hurt somebody. Most of the suggestions from others were about how to minimize the damages, but not Frank’s. He was all about revenge and taking them down and making them pay in blood for filing the lawsuit in the first place—the result of his last job’s experience.

“Hey Frank, you know I don’t like it when you talk that way; take it down a couple notches,” his boss said.

 

The next day Frank had a sales appointment in a shady area of the city. He was a little apprehensive to even go, but they were really interested in the product and seemed ready to sign a contract, so it was imperative. Frank had driven for 20 minutes and turned right on 7th street where the company was. As he turned towards the curb to park, a truck was backing up and backed right into his bumper, hard. He got out of his car and walked towards the truck; two guys got out and walked toward Frank.

A box had fallen out of the truck onto his hood; the contents were candles, and several rolled into the street. The car behind Frank swerved to miss the candles and rammed right into Frank’s door, just missing him. He was getting really pissed off as he looked at his car, now dinged in both the front and side. As the two from the truck approached him, he challenged, “What the hell where you clowns thinking?”

“Did you call us clowns, asshole?”

“Yes, I did, and I want you assholes to get those candles off my car, and give me your insurance information,” said Frank, taking his jacket off.

The taller one said quietly, “I’m not gonna take your shit,” and pulled a knife out of his coat.

Frank grabbed his jacket and wrapped it around his arm, “Come on, you bastards! Let’s see what you got.”

The driver of the other vehicle that had hit Frank was watching and listening, and said, “Okay, guys, let’s back up and tone it down.” He approached them dressed in his police uniform; off duty, he was now part of this mess.

The three others, seeing that he was a cop, backed up. The knife vanished. The cop was able to take care of the mess and get everybody on their way. Frank was still pissed off as he put his jacket back on and got out his briefcase for his meeting.

 

The customers signed the contract for their 150 employees, leaving Frank feeling better, though still mad. He asked around for suggestions of a place to get the drink he really needed and some lunch. He was directed to Mary’s down by the bus terminal. Taking the advice, he headed to Mary’s for that drink and many more.

At the bar Frank asked for his favorite cocktail and sat there enjoying his first sips while he looked over the menu. Frank asked, “Hey, barkeep, what is the lunch special today?”

“Bacon cheeseburger on an English muffin,” the barkeep responded.

“That sounds good; put me in for one, and bring me another drink.”

Frank glanced over at the older gentleman sitting one bench away from him and nodded a hello when the gentleman looked over at Frank.

“My name is Bob. Haven’t seen you in here before. You new here?”

Frank, sipping on his drink, answered, “I had a business appointment around the corner and came here for some lunch and quiet time.” Frank kept thinking about those damn candles that had caused the police officer to crash into his door.

Old Bob continued, “We don’t get many strangers in here; it seems that people would rather go elsewhere.”

Frank, with an inquisitive look on his face, asked, “What are you talking about, old man; is this place haunted or something?”

“Don’t laugh, you might be right.”

“What the hell are you talking about? I think you probably have had too many of whatever you’re drinking.”

The oldster replied, “Wait a few minutes and you’ll see our resident witch come in for her afternoon drink.”

Frank came back at him with, “A witch? I don’t believe in them or what they say they can do.”

“When she comes in, sit down and talk to her; it won’t take long for you to start to believe, and tell her about the candles”

“I’ve heard enough of your crap, and how did you know about the candles? I didn’t mention them. What the hell is going on here? Just let me finish my lunch”

Frank sat there and finished his cheeseburger, and was just wiping his face when the old man next to him hit him on the shoulder, “She just came in; go and talk to her. You’ll see.”

With a couple of drinks under his belt, Frank got up from his bar stool and looked over to where the ‘witch’ was sitting, trying to see if she looked different or weird. He walked to her table and introduced himself, almost ready to add, “Let me tell you about what happened to me.”

This lady in her late forties sat there at the table with a shawl over her shoulders and a pair of dark sunglasses covering her eyes. “Sit down. What is your name?”

“My name is Frank. What do you do as a witch, if I may ask?” He was feeling uneasy about his question.

The witch, obviously feeling very comfortable, said, “There are so many things I do, like help people who have a problem and don’t know what to do. I can get involved and put together a plan to help them.”

“Okay, you help people; I did not know that.”

“Well, now you know. Do you have a problem I can help you with?” she said with a smile.

Frank was getting interested, but not there yet, “No, I don’t think so.” He wasn’t ready to tell her about the candles and accident. He decided instead to address the big problem at work. “Too bad my boss isn’t here; he is the one who needs your help, but I think he is more interested in revenge.”

The witch, looking into his eyes, said, “Revenge is my specialty; tell me about your boss.”

Frank beckoned the waitress over to the table and ordered a double. “Well, just recently he had a lawsuit filed against his company. The filers should never have had a chance to win, but the judge sided with them. Now it looks like he might lose his company; he really is pissed off, and wants to destroy them.”

“Well, Frank, I might just have the solution for you. Are you interested?”

Frank with a few drinks in him, agreed, “Yes, yes, I am interested; we need to get those bastards, and make them pay. What do you have?”

The witch, now looking very serious, said, “For this scenario I recommend the Curse of the Candles; this should give you all that you want.”

Frank just about dropped his drink. “What the hell did you just say?”

“Yes, Frank, I said candles; just do as I say, and you will no longer have any problem.”

Frank sat there with a blank stare on his face. Then he and the witch spent the next hour going over the details, which entailed putting black candles in the company offices (only after putting the grave dirt she gave him from the cemetery around the wick) and then lighting the candles at the stroke of midnight with a wooden match. There was also a white candle which would go in the boss’s office to keep bad spirits away from him. By putting the black candles throughout the offices, they would be able to spit at and curse (sending bad energy to) those who they sought revenge upon.

Frank drove home with the candles and all the instructions he’d received, excited to get this process started and to see the damage it would do to those who tried to hurt his company. The next morning, he sat down with his boss and explained all that he had learned and that this was the opportunity to get the revenge that they had talked about. It did not take long to convince his boss, who was for anything that would make him feel better. With the approval he was seeking, Frank proceeded to put the black candles around the offices and put the white candle in the boss’s office, just as he was instructed. Now all he had to do was wait...

 

A few days had gone by, and Frank was at his favorite watering hole, liquoring up before heading home. However, this afternoon he was approached by one of the waitresses who was now off work. They sat there at the bar exchanging laughter and getting chummy. It was time for Frank to make his move, since he only had so much time until he had to be with his family. He had told her about the candles in his office and invited her to go there to see what he kept talking about.

The office was empty of all staff, and Frank was showing off his new toy that would destroy people. They ventured into his office and to his couch where they made themselves comfortable. It did not take long until there was clothing on the floor. As Frank was getting his pleasure, he watched the black candle on the desk, and could not take his eyes from it. He kept rocking back and forth as if in a trance.

The young waitress was enjoying the rocking as she lay under this big man. She could not see his face, and it seemed like such a long time of rocking back and forth; now done with the pleasure, she wondered when he was going to get his. Back and forth he went, saying nothing; she was getting concerned because this had never happened before.

Wanting to see his face, she asked, “Frank, are you done, or do you want more; talk to me?”

There was no answer, and this was getting too weird for her. “Frank, please get off me. I need to get up. You are not answering me, so please get off.”

Still no answer! She started to push him off, pushing harder as she started to get scared. “I mean it! Get the hell off of me, you bastard!” She started to cry—pushing to no avail—tears running down her cheeks.

Frank, still looking at the black candle and rocking back and forth, slipped back to see the scared little girl. As Frank moved down, she could see his face, eyes now swollen—blood red and fiery. Pure horror overtook her.

She screamed for him to get off, to no avail; he still had his hands and arms on the couch. Frank, entranced, stared into her eyes and, without changing expression, moved his hands to her throat, and rocked back and forth.

Screaming and crying, with all her strength she grabbed his hands and arms, trying to release the grip around her neck. The grip grew stronger as he continued to rock faster and her screaming got louder.

Frank acted like he did not hear her, just staring into her eyes and mumbling under his breath, as he choked her and moved faster. Totally out of control, choking her as she fought to the last second, Frank slammed into her, relieving himself at her last breath.

The lifeless woman underneath him, Frank rolled to the right to get off her. With his pants down to his knees, he struggled to pull them back up. Pulling on his belt, his hand slipped and hit the black candle, knocking it onto the couch, where it rolled under his pants as he sat there.

With hot flaming wax on the floor the flames rose, burning the pants Frank struggled to get off. Trapped in pants totally engulfed, he looked to the ceiling and let out a gut-wrenching scream. Flames fed off the flesh of both legs, consuming all below his waist. He spasmed in pain and grabbed at the edge of the couch with his left hand as he slowly melted to the floor, only to pull the waitress’s body on top of his, her knee crashing into his skull. They disappeared into a fiery grave as the black candle continued to burn brightly.

 

The End

 

 

Jerry Payne, flmpowers@gmail.com, who wrote BP #90’s tale, “Curse of the Candles,” has written two novels, owned his own corporations, and experienced his own demons. A mixture of past experiences and witty storytelling gives the reader a wanted read. In “Curse…” a corporate executive introduces an out-of-the-box solution, obtained via a witch he met at a bar, against a competitor. The black magic he expected to destroy the enemy has backfired. Family and friends will be affected, but not as he intended.

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