The Daughter’s Curse (From the Archives)

Fenla hummed as she stitched the new symbol into the cloth on the table. This one was a simple order, a quick piece of magic to ward off spirits from the mashlands. 

Not that the owners would be aware the spirits were attracted to anything that she touched. No one was aware, they thought it was their whole village that had been cursed, not just Fenla.

Fenla ignored the sounds around her whilst she worked. The gentle clatter of the window against the frame. The sound of feet where no footprints would be found. The spirits like to visit her and play with her, but they weren’t malicious. Fenla made sure of it, she left enough offerings to Treyng, the spirit goddess, who guided the spirits to their new home in the afterworld. 

Fenla hummed as she pulled tight the final stitch. Her fingers ached from holding the needle for so long. She still had another three of these two do, one for the farmer’s husband at the corner and the other for the young family who had just moved here.

She felt a little tug at her dress. Fenla looked down and saw a small figure, barely visible in the candlelight, sitting on the floor at her feet. Fenla knew who it was, it was the same person who visited every evening.

Fenla’s aunt, her grandmother’s lost daughter. The one who had cursed Fenla’s line for eternity to speak to the spirits.

“Hey Zuse,” Fenla said, waving at the figure.

Zuse’s form wobble a little, disappearing into thin air. She had always been a nervous child, according to Fenla’s grandmother. Even as a spirit, she still showed the same nervousness.

“I’ll leave this out for you,” Fenla said, pulling open her sewing drawer and pulling out a small doll. No doubt, like the others, it would have disappeared by the morning, along with Zuse. 

Fenla carefully put the doll ontop of the symbols she had stitched today. That way, Zuse could see the new symbols before they went out to her clients. The first time that Fenla had not had Zuse check her work before it went out…well that hadn’t ended well for anyone.

“Night Zuse,” Fenla said, blowing out the candle and navigating out of her small sewing room by the dim moonlight from the window. 

Zuse didn’t reply, she couldn’t. But Fenla like to think that the sound of the window frame clanging louder against the frame was Zuse’s way of saying goodnight too.

First Posted in 2019

Featured Image by Alice Hampson on Unsplash

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