Yellow Mama Archives II

Ted R. Larsen

Acuff, Gale
Ahern, Edward
Allen, R. A.
Alleyne, Chris
Andes, Tom
Arnold, Sandra
Aronoff, Mikki
Ayers, Tony
Baber, Bill
Baird, Meg
Baker, J. D.
Balaz, Joe
Barker, Adelaide
Barker, Tom
Barnett, Brian
Barry, Tina
Bartlett, Daniel C.
Bates, Greta T.
Bayly, Karen
Beckman, Paul
Bellani, Arnaav
Berriozabal, Luis Cuauhtemoc
Beveridge, Robert
Blakey, James
Booth, Brenton
Bracken, Michael
Burke, Wayne F.
Burnwell, Otto
Campbell, J. J.
Cancel, Charlie
Capshaw, Ron
Carr, Steve
Carrabis, Joseph
Cartwright, Steve
Centorbi, David Calogero
Cherches, Peter
Christensen, Jan
Clifton, Gary
Cody, Bethany
Costello, Bruce
Coverly, Harris
Crist, Kenneth James
Cumming, Scott
Davie, Andrew
Davis, Michael D.
Degani, Gay
De Neve, M. A.
Dillon, John J.
Dinsmoor, Robert
Dominguez, Diana
Dorman, Roy
Doughty, Brandon
Doyle, John
Dunham, T. Fox
Ebel, Pamela
Fagan, Brian Peter
Fillion, Tom
Flynn, James
Fortier, M. L.
Fowler, Michael
Galef, David
Garnet, George
Garrett, Jack
Glass, Donald
Graysol, Jacob
Grech, Amy
Greenberg, KJ Hannah
Grey, John
Hagerty, David
Hardin, Scott
Held, Shari
Hicks, Darryl
Hivner, Christopher
Hoerner, Keith
Hohmann, Kurt
Holt, M. J.
Holtzman, Bernard
Holtzman, Bernice
Holtzman, Rebecca
Hopson, Kevin
Hubbs, Damon
Irwin, Daniel S.
Jabaut, Mark
Jermin, Wayne
Jeschonek, Robert
Johns. Roger
Kanner, Mike
Karl, Frank S.
Kempe, Lucinda
Kennedy, Cecilia
Keshigian, Michael
Kirchner, Craig
Kitcher, William
Kompany, James
Kondek, Charlie
Koperwas, Tom
Kreuiter, Victor
Larsen, Ted R.
Le Due, Richard
Leotta, Joan
Lester, Louella
Lubaczewski, Paul
Lucas, Gregory E.
Luer, Ken
Lukas, Anthony
Lyon, Hillary
Mannone, John C.
Margel, Abe
Martinez, Richard
McConnell, Logan
McQuiston, Rick
Middleton, Bradford
Milam, Chris
Miller, Dawn L. C.
Mladinic, Peter
Mobili, Juan
Mullins, Ian
Myers, Beverle Graves
Myers, Jen
Newell, Ben
Nielsen, Ayaz Daryl
Nielsen, Judith
Onken, Bernard
Owen, Deidre J.
Park, Jon
Parker, Becky
Pettus, Robert
Plath, Rob
Potter, John R. C.
Price, Liberty
Proctor, M. E.
Prusky, Steve
Radcliffe, Paul
Reddick, Niles M.
Reedman, Maree
Reutter, G. Emil
Riekki, Ron
Robson, Merrilee
Rockwood, KM
Rollins, Janna
Rose, Brad
Rosmus, Cindy
Ross, Gary Earl
Rowland, C. A.
Saier, Monique
Sarkar, Partha
Scharhag, Lauren
Schauber, Karen
Schildgen, Bob
Schmitt, Di
Sesling, Zvi E.
Short, John
Simpson, Henry
Slota, Richelle Lee
Smith, Elena E.
Snell, Cheryl
Snethen, Daniel G.
Stanley, Barbara
Steven, Michael
Stoler, Cathi
Stoll, Don
Surkiewicz, Joe
Swartz, Justin
Taylor, J. M.
Taylor, Richard Allen
Temples. Phillip
Tobin, Tim
Traverso Jr., Dionisio "Don"
Turner, Lamont A.
Tustin, John
Tyrer, DJ
Varghese, Davis
Verlaine, Rp
Viola, Saira
Waldman, Dr. Mel
Al Wassif, Amirah
Weibezahl, Robert
Weil, Lester L.
Weisfeld, Victoria
Weld, Charles
White, Robb
Wilhide, Zachary
Williams, E. E.
Williams, K. A.
Wilsky, Jim
Wiseman-Rose, Sophia
Woods, Jonathan
Young, Mark
Zackel, Fred
Zelvin, Elizabeth
Zeigler, Martin
Zimmerman, Thomas
Zumpe, Lee Clark

The Curse


by Ted R. Larsen



She sat knitting booties. Happily humming. Glowing. Radiant.

He felt sick to his stomach.

He stammered. “But . . . but I thought you were taking precautions.”

She laughed. “I was, but nothing’s foolproof, you know. I guess God just wants us to have a child.”

The room spun, and he sank into a chair.

She walked over and patted his hand. “Don’t take it like that, darlin’. We’re ready, and I think it’s time for us to have a baby. Don’t you?”

Her innocent smile made him want to puke. He couldn’t bring himself to answer.

“I thought I was being careful,” she went on. “I don’t know how it happened.”

He knew how it happened. The curse. He knew it was the curse.

“But anyway,” she blissfully blathered, “I’m glad. A little person to take care of will be wonderful!”

He should have been sterilized. He should have stayed single. He definitely should have told her about the curse.

On the other hand, she’d never have believed it. He wasn’t all that sure he believed it, himself. Old wives’ tales are just that, and this was an enlightened age.

He sighed. Who was he kidding? He believed it. Every third generation, passed down from grandfather to grandson.

Other families handed down photo albums, antiques, memory boxes. His handed down the curse.

Well, maybe it would be a girl. Then there would be nothing to worry about.

Sure, that’s it. A girl.

Somehow, he doubted it.


He spent every night dreaming of terrors and horrors and beasties that howl at the moon.

And, of course, the curse.

He would never get a good night’s sleep until he knew if it would be a boy.

A palm reader predicted boy, but who believed in that kind of thing, anyway?

The woman with the tarot cards refused to tell him what she saw. She made the sign of the cross over herself several times before he left.

And the crystal ball lady? Charlatan.

This mumbo-jumbo was stupid. He needed to see someone more scientific. Someone he could trust.


The ring dangled from a string over the mother’s belly. The old woman, smelling slightly of incense and sauerbraten, mumbled under her breath as she waved the ring.

He tried to remember how it went. If the ring swings up and down, it’s a boy; side to side for a girl? Or was it the other way around? What if it went in a circle? Maybe it was . . .

The woman stood and cleared her throat. “No question. ‘Twill be a boy.”

He shook his head and paid her fee. Another twenty dollars down the drain.

He should have known better. When would he learn? They needed to see an OBG. He’d heard that doctors can tell you for sure what it will be.

He didn’t exactly trust doctors; but then who trusted mumbling old crones, either?


Well, damn.

He really had known all along but hadn’t wanted to believe. The doctor was positive. It would be a son.

Of course. Curses have a way of beating the odds.

He realized for the millionth time he should have mentioned his little family legacy to her. Now, he couldn’t. There would be no way of talking her out of having this baby.

He would just have to hope for the best.


The nurse in the waiting room commented on how tired he looked. He explained that he basically hadn’t slept for nine months.

He didn’t explain about the curse.

She told him to relax, the delivery would be over in no time, his wife and child would be fine. Just fine.

He tried to tell himself he was just being silly. Maybe they were all wrong and it would be a girl after all. Maybe the curse was simply a silly old family fable.

And anyway, who believed in werewolves nowadays?

As he fretted, the full moon shone in through the window over his shoulder.


It was a difficult delivery for the assisting nurse.

It was a difficult delivery for the mother.

But for the doctor, who suddenly delivered a clawing, biting wolf cub, it was the most difficult of all.



Ted R. Larsen’s story “Only the Stones” (SF, 8800 words) placed third in the International Aeon Award short story contest, and his other work has been accepted for publication in numerous venues, including The Avalon Literary Review, Broadkill Review, and many others. He proudly calls Northeast Ohio home.

Site Maintained by Fossil Publications