I was eleven years old when my mother took her life.
I think it was an attempt to regain some sort of control over her life. She had never really had any control over anything, and I think she wanted to be in charge of her death, at least.
But it’s not for me to say. She didn’t make her intentions clear to me, and she didn’t leave a note. I don’t wish to make assumptions, so if you don’t mind, I’ll move on.
My name is Cara, I’m twenty-three years old, and I’m pregnant. Unless I stop this curse, my baby will suffer under it, too, and I’m not willing to let that happen.
As far as my predecessors go, I’m not terribly exciting. I’m not a high-class whore, I’m not an invincible criminal, and I’m not a little vulnerable girl who finally managed to break free from her prison. I’m me. The curse has seen to it that I never had any friends. I don’t know if most people can’t see me or if they don’t want to know me, but for most of my life I’ve been ignored. School was impossible, so I was home-schooled. Not terribly well, as you can imagine.
Some people can see me, of course. You’re here, aren’t you? I’m not sure why the curse allows some people in my life, but I expect it’s because sooner or later I needed to get pregnant. That would have been difficult if no one was able to see me, right? My other idea is that, after all these years, the curse has grown week. I’m the seventh generation since all this started. The number seven is a powerful thing – although, it could have empowered the curse, too.
The short answer is, I don’t know why. I don’t know if there’s anyone alive now who fully understands what was done to us. I don’t think even Geraldine May herself truly understood all depths of it.
But I’m wasting time again. Let me explain why we’re all gathered here, in a small room in my small house, surrounded by dusty tomes and a circle of candles.
Magic has, for better or for worse, been a part of my life. About a year after my Mum took her own life I knew everything my grandfather had known about the curse. But I was young, and an idiot. I thought, if I just didn’t have a child myself, I’d be fine.
You know by now that the curse would never allow it. Sooner or later, I’d have been raped and all methods of abortion would have failed. But fortunately it never came to that.
Unlike my mother, I loved magic. But I knew that, unless I found a teacher, there’d only be so much I could teach myself. My grandfather’s notes and research were fascinating, and I hope I don’t sound too vain if I say that I’m very talented when it comes to magic.
But let’s go back a bit. I had no intentions of getting pregnant, but I had no intentions of dying, either. I was an idiot for thinking I could escape a fate that has haunted my family for generations, but I was a clever idiot. I did want to end the curse, but I didn’t want to repeat my grandfather’s mistakes. I apologise if none of this makes sense to you. It’s always harder to explain your life than someone else’s, and I can’t say I prepared a speech.
I looked for a tutor, and eventually I found one I got along with. Gabriel. I don’t want to talk much about him. I’m sure you’re curious, but it hurts to talk about him.
I fell in love with him. I knew what it would get me, but I was stupid enough to get too close to him. He was loving, and caring, and he made me feel special. Yes, I know. I’m being incredibly cheesy, but if you don’t understand what I’m talking about then perhaps you’ve never been in love.
When I found out that I was pregnant with his baby I cut all contact. I lied, and told him that I didn’t love him any more, that there was someone else, and that I needed him to let me go. I was rather cruel. I told him that, if he really loved me, he’d leave me be.
I haven’t heard from him since. It’s silly to play the part so well, yet hope for a different result anyway. I need him to stay away. It’s better like this, but a part of me hopes that he’ll come walking in, with all the answers, and we’ll live happily ever after.
I’ve been here ever since. I’ve barely left the house, and I’ve focused every waking minute on Ashton’s research. I’ve denied it for a while, but I finally know beyond a doubt where he went wrong. I know how to end this curse.
Thank you for answering my advert. I really did need to tell our story. On the off-chance this goes wrong, I want someone to know what we’ve been through. If it goes well, I wouldn’t want you to-
I thought this would be easier. It won’t mean much now, but I appreciate the time we have spent together. I appreciate you listening. It’s painful for me to talk about it, but the curse manifested in me by making me invisible to everyone else. Not literally, of course, but I’ve never had any friends. Gabriel was an exception, and you are as well. I was always prepared to die alone. You couldn’t possibly know how much I appreciate this.
I’m sorry. I lied. There is another reason you are here.
For the spell I’m about to perform to work, I need a sacrifice. I’d be happy to sacrifice myself, but I’m still pregnant and I don’t want to take the chance. If I die in childbirth, all my preparations will have been for nothing and I be damned if my child goes through everything we’ve gone through.
That’s the true reason you’re here. You’re my sacrifice.