Silence is Golden. Short Story.

Hope everyone had a good weekend.

I was at my sister’s house, which was pretty fun, got to see the monster dog again. He’s absolutely ginormous now. Also met his best friend ever, an English Mastiff, who is smaller by comparison, but she’s big enough to play with him at least.

It was a pretty relaxing few days, helped plant some trees (i.e. stood around and watched) and that was pretty much it. We’re lazy people apparently. I didn’t get as much reading done as I would have liked, but books wouldn’t fit in my backpack, so that was a pity, but I did get one I’m reading finished off, which is something at least.

On with the show!

________________________________________________

Well shit. This wasn’t going to be fun.

 

 

Christina pulled at the necklace, but it wouldn’t budge, it was stuck firmly to her skin, she tugged and pulled until the skin around it was red and inflamed.

 

Damn.

 

 

Ok, something else. She picked up a letter opener, then put it down. It might get the thing off, but it would also take a lot of her skin with it. No, something else, a better idea.

There was always Rick, but she couldn’t go to him. Not now. She didn’t think she’d be able to stand his smug grin, that little chuckle. He’d never let her live this down. Though in his defence, it would be adding to an already long list. It was her own fault realistically, she shouldn’t have put the necklace on. She knew she shouldn’t do it, yet she did it anyway. Probably some kind of spell to get her enchanted with it so she would put it on. Some kind of thief low-jack. She didn’t have anything in her cabinets that would dissolve the spell and any acids she had would eat through her skin too. No, there was no use for it. She’d have to go see him.

 

 

Fuck.

 

 

It had been three days, she had held out three entire days without being able to open her mouth. She couldn’t speak, couldn’t eat, couldn’t even get a damn glass of water. Christina was starting to feel woozy and completely out of it. She needed liquids. Luckily she had the hydrating balm, that worked ok, but it wasn’t a replacement for water, it was only supposed to make things a bit easier during sports. She had to go to Rick either way, get the spell removed, or at least shifted, otherwise she’d never be able to fence it. Sure it was a pretty gemstone and an expensive setting, but who the hell wanted a necklace that fused your mouth shut. Maybe some politician could buy it for his gabby wife. Christina tried to grin, her mouth didn’t stretch.

 

She finally choked down her pride and started the trip to Ricks, bringing with her the rest of the haul she had gotten. Best to get it all checked out by someone who knew about spells. She had no need for them, she always meant to learn, but it never seemed that important. Besides, Rick had been there to undo other fun surprises like this, at least he had been there before the break up. Now their relationship was strictly business. Well, mostly.

 

 

The bell above the door jingled as she entered, Christina cringed, she hated that fucking bell. “Welcome to-oh. Hi. What do you want?” Christina held up her backpack. “More stuff for me to check over? What’s my cut?”
Silence.
“What’s up? You’re making me nervous.”
Rick stepped from behind the counter, he was wearing jeans and a t-shirt, Christina was glad she couldn’t grin, otherwise there would be one plastered on her face.
Ricks eyes went to her neck.
“Ouch. Nasty. How long?”
she held up 3 fingers.

 

“Wow, a whole three hours, I didn’t know you’d be able to stop talking for that long.”
Christina shook her head and gestured 3 again.
“Three days? Really? Fuck. That can’t be fun. Why the hell did you wait?”
She shrugged.
“Where did you get it?”
Christina walked to the counter and grabbed the small writing pad sitting on it, she reached around the till, looking for a pen, finally her fingers found one.

 

Got it in a house.

“Which one?”

A fancy one.

“Fuck sake. Fine, be like that.”

He gently caressed the necklace, his fingers just briefly brushing across her skin.

 

“I have just the thing. Hang on.”
He went to the shelves and grabbed a few bottles, then he returned to behind the desk, there he mixed a few splashes of each in a small bottle. He shook the bottle vigorously for a few seconds, then he uncapped it and flung it at Christina.

 

Despite expecting it, she still flinched, as soon as the liquid hit her skin, she felt her mouth unclench, she pulled the necklace off then started stretching her mouth.
“Jesus christ, your breath stinks.”
“Get me water.”
“Magic word?”
“Now.”

 

He grabbed a bottle from beneath the counter and lobbed it to her, Christina unscrewed the cap and drank half the bottle without stopping. It landed in her stomach, heavy and sour. She took a deep breath, trying not to throw it all up again. When the feeling passed, she took a sip from the bottle.
“So where did you get that?”
“Somewhere on the east, not sure of the address, think it was on Landhall road, could be wrong. It was a busy night.”
“I see. Lucky you came to me. You wouldn’t have lasted much longer.”
“I wasn’t in that much trouble with it. I would have figured it out eventually.”
“I’m sure.”
Rick grabbed the backpack and emptied it onto the counter, he scanned over everything then picked up a few pieces of jewellery. “These need to be cleansed. You’re lucky too, some of these have much worse spells on them than what you just dealt with.”
“I was careful when I was taking them. The damned thing got me when I was sorting.”
“Why were you sorting unprotected?”
“I was tired.”
“Well you’re lucky you hit that one first.”

He placed the handful of jewellery into a bowl, then shovelled everything back into her bag.
“I’ll add the release onto your tab, yeah?”
“Fine with me…So, how’s Sally?”
“Sandy. And we broke up.”
“I’m sorry.”
“Don’t lie.”
“She seemed nice.”

 

“What did I just say?”
Christina took her backpack off the counter. She had known they had broken up the moment she saw his clothes, he had worn suits when he was dating Sandy.
“Well, thanks for releasing me.”
“You’re welcome. Now, if you don’t mind?”
Christina frowned, “everything ok?”
“Yeah, why?”
“You’re not acting like yourself.”
“Oh? Then who am I acting like?”
“Never mind.”

 

She turned and stepped outside, into the fresh air. There was something off about him, but she wasn’t complaining, she had managed to avoid his grins and chuckles, so that was something. She wouldn’t have imagined that they would drive her mad, before they started dating she had loved them. She shouldered the backpack and started walking. She had a few stops to make now, portion off everything for sale and get a good meal into her. She hadn’t gotten as much work done in the past few days as she would have liked, now she had to play a bit of catch up. She yawned luxuriously, enjoying how wide she could open her mouth, then she started to whistle.

 

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About Alan James Keogh

I am a 26 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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