The Cursed One (Chapter 7 + Epilogue)
So, I’ve finally posted the finale and epilogue from this story. It ended up being much longer than I anticipated: 43 pages of text and 70 images.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed it for what it was. Also, I want to announce that I have something truly special prepared for the first days of 2018. It’s not what you would expect from me at all (it’s not even a story), and I hope you appreciate it, since it took some amount of effort.
I hope you had nice holidays and I wish you a happy new year!
THE CURSED ONES
Jenny hadn’t slept all night. Indeed, she had left the bungalow with Daniela and Barbara early the previous day, and together they strolled around the hill, looking for anything that could possibly be the mark which Mr. Laverne had indicated. When the sun started to set down, her companions had already given up, but Jenny told them that she would keep looking for a while as they returned to their hiding house.
In the end, morning was almost breaking and Jenny was still wandering around the place, shivering a bit in the cold air, but hope giving her drive. And then, she saw it.
Laverne hadn’t described the mark, but this had to be it: some kind of stone bas-relief sculpted on a circular piece on the ground. It was very small; about the diameter of an orange, and indeed Jenny wouldn’t have recognized it if it hadn’t been glowing faintly in the dark.
She ran in its direction when she heard someone yelling her name behind her.
She turned around and she saw a handsome man running towards her, worry in his face. He was tall and strapping, and he was wearing a leather jacket that looked a bit small in his beefy body, but she could recognize the now bearded face.
“Kenneth? She got you too?”
Her brother nodded.
“Where were you? I’ve been trying to call you all night. I was so worried…”
Jenny checked her phone. The battery was dead.
“I’m sorry, I was so absorbed! I didn’t realize you were calling. But I’ve found the seal, I think! Come on, we must hurry.”
But he was shaking his head negatively, with sadness.
“It’s too late now. I wasn’t calling just to tell you what happened to me. Sabrina was aged too. It’s over.”
Jenny’s face fell. She had been so close!
“Yes, and that’s not all. She’s pregnant. Agatha gave her child to Sabrina. And… I think I’m the father too.”
It barely made any sense, so Jenny just turned and examined the sculpted stone. The bas-relief featured a human rib-cage, a symbol she had seen on the medallion the Crone had been wearing when she had attacked her.
Jenny’s eyes teared up and Kenneth hugged his sister. He was again taller than her, and both found a bit of comfort on each other’s adult arms.
“Don’t cry, Jen. We’ll make the most of this situation.”
“That you will.”
Those words had been spoken by a voice in front of them. They looked up to see the pearly-white apparition of a gorgeous woman standing over the stone mark. Unlike Agatha, though, this Specter’s beauty wasn’t menacing, but rather warm and benevolent.
“Who… who are you?” asked Jenny after gasping. “Are you a ghost too?”
The Woman in White smiled tenderly.
“In a manner. I’ve come because you’ve been looking for me.”
Kenneth was transfixed at her beauty. There was something unfathomably familiar about her. Meanwhile, Jenny explained the situation.
“Mr. Andy Laverne said I should look for you. He said you could protect us from the curse, but now it’s too late… it has already affected us all. But maybe… you still can help?”
“I’m sorry, there’s nothing I can do about your plight. You’ve paid with a decade of your lives and none of you deserved it, but I’m afraid Mr. Laverne was wrong about what I could do. I could have never helped you, not even if you had found me on time.”
Jenny’s face fell.
“But… then why did we need to look for you?”
“Our encounter was necessary so that you can understand your role in all of this. I wanted to assure you that your suffering wasn’t in vain. Great goodness will come from it.”
“How?” this time it was Kenneth who made the question
“Through your daughter,” she said, looking at his eyes. “The one who is now in Sabrina’s womb.”
“But…” Kenneth was confused. “Is she really our daughter? I thought she was Agatha’s and Mr. Laverne’s.”
“She’s both theirs and yours. But seeing as her original parents are now gone, it falls on you… and your friends… to raise the girl properly.”
“Raise her?” Jenny’s lip trembled. “But she’s that crone’s descendant… Will she…? Can she be a normal girl?”
The Woman in White chuckled.
“No, she will never be normal. She isn’t even truly human. She has inherited all of Agatha’s powers, and more. She’ll grow into a tremendous force. But, on the other hand, she didn’t inherit her mother’s connection to Evil. Which means she has the potential to become a tremendous force… for goodness.”
Kenneth looked at his sister, suddenly feeling the weight of a new responsibility.
“In the end, something truly special can come from all of this. From your sacrifice and from Agatha’s darkness. As evil as she was, she understood this, and that’s why she set this thing in motion. Her wicked childhood turned her into a soulless one, but she didn’t want the same for her child. And through you, she will know kindness and love. And those will be the forces that will govern her magic.”
“But if we fail…?”
She looked at Kenneth again.
“If you fail, her darkness will be greater than Agatha’s. That’s why you can’t let it happen.”
Jenny swallowed hard. She loved her brother, but she wasn’t sure he could become the model father-type. And as for Sabrina… Well, Jenny doubted that even with their friends help, they could be ready to bear such a responsibility.
“Is there… any real chance we can succeed?” asked Jenny.
“There is a very real chance. Believe me, I’ve seen it,” smiled the Woman in White.
“You’ve seen it? What, the future?” asked a surprised Kenneth.
“Yes, Father,” answered the apparition.
The siblings froze.
“Are you…? Are you saying… you’re my daughter?”
She nodded blissfully.
“But… I thought she wasn’t born… I thought she was in Sabrina’s…”
“I am. But I am here too. One day, I’ll be so powerful that time won’t mean much to me. That’s what allowed me to have this conversation… and even protect Andy Laverne so many years ago…”
“Wow,” said Kenneth, sitting on the grass. It was a lot to digest. But Jenny was happier than ever.
“So, if you’re here, that means we succeed! We made you into a force for good!”
“As I’ve said, you have a real chance. I’ve seen your ability to love personally. But you can still fail if you’re not careful, and this future you’re seeing will vanish in the sea of infinite possibilities that is time.”
“We won’t fail,” promised her father.
“They won’t,” agreed Jenny. “I’ll be watchful!”
“I know you will, Aunt Jennifer. Now, before I go, I have a present for you.”
Her hands started to glow.
“Your existences were affected forever, but you’ll be able to go on. Everyone who knew you, will remember you were always ten years older, even your parents. You’ll be able to resume your lives as young adults instead of children. There will be no memory of your “disappearances”, and nobody will find anything strange about you.”
Her hands stopped glowing and Jenny and her brother felt something different in the air.
“If you can even alter reality why can you turn us back to normal?” asked Kenneth.
“Oh, Dad, you were always bad at understanding paradoxes,” said the Woman in White turning around and smiling at him with affection. “Your curses are the reason I exist. If I remove them, I would fade into no-existence, which means I couldn’t be here and remove the curses in the first place. Can you see it?”
“Now I have to go. But we’ll see each other again. I love you.”
After Kenneth and Jenny explained to the others what the Woman in White had said, there was an unexpected relief among most of them. Some were a bit disappointed that their childhoods were lost for good, but most of them had already become accepting of their new ages. Others were even enjoying them, like Isabel, who always had anticipated adulthood, and Melissa, who after her initial shock, had become taken with her pretty teenaged body.
What everyone shared was the happiness about being able to rejoin their families again. Sure, things would be a lot different for them, but at least they could be with their loved ones instead of hiding for the rest of their lives, with no identities of their own.
Jenny’s return home was a bit awkward. She was containing tears of happiness, but when her parents saw her, they showed no signs of worry about her recent disappearance, or the fact that she had been suddenly progressed into adulthood. Instead, they just greeted her casually, as if she had just gotten home after a perfectly ordinary day.
“How are you, dear?” asked her mother giving her a quick hug, and Jennifer saw they were just the same height now. “Have you seen your brother? We need him to help us with some repairs.”
Usually, her Dad took care of that kind of chore, but having a stronger and younger man around had obviously changed things.
“He’ll be back soon,” said Jenny. “He’s taking Sabrina home.”
“Oh, I told those two that they should have married ages ago. Now they’re having the baby and they still haven’t even moved together,” complained her mother.
It was weird hearing her parents talking so informally about their transformed states, so Jenny excused herself to explore her new room and life.
Just a week later, she was in front of a vanity mirror, getting ready for a photoshoot, still unused to her new role in life, but doing her makeup as instinctively as any trained expert.
“Not bad, I guess,” she thought. “I just went from the most awkward girl in class to a professional model.”
It turned out that in this reality, Jennifer had followed her mother’s steps and pursued a modelling career. She admired herself, transfixed by her own attractive face and her toned arms and back. She hardly could believe this, or that she was now in college instead of middle school, but she was slowly adapting. Their brains were gradually catching up to match their physical ages, which allowed the cursed children to perform in their new roles.
Isabel, for instance, was now leading an independent life as a schoolteacher –imparting Spanish. It had been strange for her to educate high schoolers who were older than she really was, but she was adapting and now they seemed immature and childish to her. They looked up to her, for she was a good and fun teacher, and it didn’t hurt that half the class had a major crush on her.
It was awkward, but she welcomed the attention. Indeed, out of the classroom, she had become quite the party girl. That weekend, she Skyped her best friend Daniela, who had been weirdly distant since their changes.
“¿Dónde estás, Mamacita?” asked Isabel when her friend answered. “I haven’t seen you all week.”
“I was just coming out of the gym,” Daniela said. “Sorry, but I’ve been very busy. I wish I had a steady job like you do, but I only have this gig as a trainer and I have to work as often as I can to afford college.”
“Sí, but it’s almost nighttime now. No more people to train, I guess. I’m going to the disco. Do you want to join me?”
“Uhm… sorry I can’t today.”
“I already told Clementine I was going out with her.”
“Cool, she can come too!” shrugged Isabel.
“I think we pass. She wanted to watch a movie.”
“Uh, okay… By the way, you’ve been with Clementine a lot lately. Don’t tell me you’re changing best friends!”
Daniela blushed visibly, despite her tan skin and the small size of Isabel’s screen.
“What?” her blonde, Colombian friend asked. “Wait…”
“It happened that first night on the clubhouse. Clementine was the only one who had changed and she was scared, and I was left to take care of her. Then I also transformed and we started comforting each other. Maybe it just was our matured hormones, but after a while we kissed. We’ve been together since. I think we are in love.”
Isabel fell silent for a while and then she laughed.
“Daniela, that’s great! ¡Estoy muy feliz por ustedes! I’m so glad you found each other!”
On the other end of the conversation, Daniela sighed in relief. She was worried Isabel would take the news badly. Instead, she saw her best friend blowing her a kiss.
The transition to adulthood had been taxing for all, but Melissa was taking it with the most ease. Maybe it was because she was the only one who was still at school –she was a senior at high-school instead of a college student or a professional- and thus she had less responsibilities than her friends.
At 19, she still liked to consider herself as a teenager, and she loved being one. Her experiences at school and at home were vastly different from when she had been 9, but she managed to have a lot of fun. Her sweet demeanor was intact, which made her very likeable among everyone. Being very pretty hadn’t hurt either.
As fearful as she had been when she had first discovered her developed body, Melissa had always been very taken with her new appearance, which had relieved the transition. Ironically, nowadays, she felt more comfortable with her progressed form than her older sister.
It wasn’t that Barbara wasn’t pleased with her voluptuous body. She was actually relieved that if she had to lose a decade of her life, at least she had grown to be attractive. It was just that, for some reason, she still wasn’t able to control it properly. Everything felt so goddamn big, and her movements were off.
Her similarly built friends had assured her that she would adapt soon, but it still hadn’t happened to her. She was just anxious, she guessed, mostly because she didn’t feel ready to lead a demanding adult life.
Speaking of demanding, Sabrina and Kenneth were about to become parents. Her pregnancy wasn’t a normal one. She was progressing faster than expected, and less than two weeks after her transformation, she was already on the hospital, delivering a healthy baby girl without complications.
By next morning, she proudly shared a picture of her flat abdomen. There was no trace that she had ever been pregnant. The baby herself looked a bit bigger than a newborn should have.
They called the little girl Andie, after her original father, Mr. Laverne, though she didn’t share many physical traits with either him or Agatha. Instead, she really looked like she was Sabrina and Kenneth’s child, with the wavy blonde hair and beautiful smile she already sported by the second day.
After that, Andie just kept growing. After a month, she looked like a 10-years-old girl. Luckily, her intelligence grew exponentially too, and she was able to talk and think like the middle-schooler she appeared to be. After that significant spurt, her development seemed to halt, or at least slow radically.
Nobody else except for the Cursed Ones, not even their close family, seemed to think it strange that Sabrina already had a 10-years-old daughter after merely a month of giving birth. It seemed that the reality-altering hex that Andie would cast in the future was really powerful.
So far, despite a few alarming episodes, mostly very minor magic had started to manifest on the child. She already understood how important it was to keep it secret from the rest of the world, but she really enjoyed moving things around the air when she was with her parents or her many godmothers, particularly her aunt Jennifer, who seemed very interested in pushing her powers further and in teaching her how to be an honest, upright person.
It was a hard job to do, since they were all still figuring out how to be proper adults themselves, but they all did fine. After all, all they needed to give her was love.
Agatha, now a 10-years-old herself, watched her from afar for a while. Gone were her powers, but also her cursed life. She regretted not being there for her child, but it was for the best. She could see how well she was doing, and after a few months, she decided to move on.
After one last tender look at Andie, she left the town for good. She would try to start a new life and stay away from evil this time.
She ended up arriving to a distant orphanage, hope restored in her heart. Maybe, just maybe, she would get better parents this time.
Jennifer took her large purse and strode quickly towards the parking lot. Driving was an adult skill that she hadn’t mastered instantly after her reality shift, as she had with many others, but in the two years that had passed since then, she had learned to do it properly.
Indeed, she was picking up her niece Andie, since she had become her favorite driver. Jennifer wasn’t an internationally famous model, or anything like that, but she was successful enough that Andie loved showing off her aunt in front of her classmates. The girl also loved ridding Jenny’s car, a beautiful convertible. Also, both had similar personalities and had a great time together.
Andie had matured a lot in a couple of years. Despite technically being two, she looked twelve (her physical development was still normal since she had hit ten), but she was thoughtful and responsible even beyond her apparent age.
By now, she knew the truth about her origins and her destiny, and she was determined to become the best version of herself that she could. Her powers had grown greater every day, and she had been tempted more than once to use them for selfish reasons. But that was what Agatha had done, and Andie was very sure that she didn’t want to end like her original mother, so she never allowed her passions to triumph over rightfulness.
“Are we still going to beach this weekend?” the young girl asked from the passenger’s seat.
“That’s the plan, yes,” her aunt Jennifer answered. “Barbara is returning from a trip, so the gang will be all together.”
“It’s been a while since you’ve been all in one place.”
“Yeah, since your parent’s wedding.”
Kenneth had finally married Sabrina about a year earlier. Though they shared a daughter and had a crush on each other from their childhood days, they hadn’t been instantly sure they were right for each other. That’s why they didn’t become a couple right away, even if the curse had paired them, because they wanted to explore their true feelings. Luckily, they realized they were very much in love. Jenny was happy for her brother, and the horrific experiences they had lived had helped Sabrina grow a lot as a person. She no longer had complains about her new sister in law. Motherhood had improved her in many ways.
Jennifer was driving in the middle of a not very transited road when her niece started to voice discomfort.
“I– I feel weird,” Andie said carefully.
Jenny slowed down a bit and looked at the child with worry.
“What is it, dearie?”
“I don’t know… It’s… WHAT THE HECK!”
Jennifer’s car braked along the scream. For Andie had suddenly grown about two inches taller, not to mention her shoulders had gotten a lot wider, all in just a second.
“I think I’m growing again, Aunt Jenny!” said the scared young girl. “Just like when I was little!”
“Oh, I’m so sorry, sweetie, we weren’t expecting this to happen anymore! We thought you would be growing ordinarily from now on!”
“It seems like…. Ah!” her arms had started to elongate. “It seems I’m not very ordinary after all!”
“Are you in pain, my dear?” asked Jenny in concern. “I remember how awful that curse felt when it happened to me.”
“No, it’s not… not painful for me. Just…“ Andie said as her nose enlarged in the center of her face. “Just very weird! This is not the curse affecting me. I think this is… just a normal part of… whatever I am.”
Jenny nodded, remembering she had been warned that the baby wouldn’t be completely human. She got out of the car, and opened Andie’s door, giving her more air.
At 12, Andie had been a pretty but very slim girl, and now she was gaining a bit more mass. Her hips snapped the waist of her skirt and her chest started to expand under her blouse. At this moment, she was still moaning, but Jennifer could see that indeed it wasn’t out of pain. At least she wouldn’t have to endure that discomfort, as she had, and she was glad that her niece could enjoy the changes.
“Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa—aaahhhhh!” cried Andie with an already deepening voice as it kept shifting into that of a teenager. Jenny could start to recognize the features of the Woman in White they had seen on the hill… the specter who had claimed to be Andie from the future.
“Everything is okay, dear,” said Jennifer touching her niece’s hair lovingly. “You’re beginning to look like a woman now, so it must be almost over. And I’m sure you’ll love being older.”
Andie’s newly acquired breasts swelled once again as her body and face matured a bit more. The transformation seemed to stop completely then, and she now looked to be in her early twenties. She remained on her seat for a while, shivering, while her aunt comforted her by rubbing her arms.
Then Andie seemed completely recovered and she stepped out of the car, surprised at her new full height now that she was standing up. She took off her painfully tight pants and jacket, stealing glances at the now shapely body beneath her undershirt. Her training bra, previously almost useless, was packing much more than it was meant to.
“Are you all right?”
“Yes,” Andie said, her adult voice full of certainty. “I just need to get used to my new balance.”
“Yes, I remember that part.”
“But this is quite comfortable, actually” commented Andie, surprised about how good she felt in her new skin. “I believe this is the final stage of my development. I don’t think I’ll ever age again, not even in the normal way.”
“So you’re going to be a young woman forever? Sounds like a bargain,” conceded Jennifer, glad that the girl was taking the change so well.
“I’m a bit cold, though.”
“Oh!” Jenny unbuttoned her denim blouse and gave it to her niece, who accepted it with a smile.
“You’re welcome. I’ll manage for a while.”
“Wow, Aunt Jennifer, I can’t believe I actually fit in your top!”
“We’re about the same height.”
“And about the same age too! This is freaky…” said the girl, looking at her matured face in the rearview mirror. “Can you believe this is me? I barely can recognize myself anymore.”
“I can. Plus, remember, I had already seen your adult self once. Come on. I guess I should drive you to your parents’ now.”
“Can we still go to your place first, Aunt Jennifer? It’s much closer, and I really want to try and absorb this, and maybe have some privacy. Besides, you know my Mom. She’ll freak out if we tell her this out of the blue. We have to think this through.”
Jenny agreed. For about a year and a half or so, she had been living on her own on an apartment she was affording independently, thanks to her paying jobs. It was weird leaving her mother and father, but since adulthood had been imposed upon her, she guessed she had to act like a real grown-up.
Andie spent the whole journey shifting uncomfortably on her seat, poking her body and apparently making a big effort not to explore more then and there.
So it was a welcome moment when they arrived to Jennifer’s place and she offered the privacy of her room.
“You can also put on some of my clothes, you know, so that you feel better.”
“Thanks!” said Andie in a hurry, closing the door.
The ill-fitting clothes she was wearing were off almost instantly, as she looked at her adult reflection on a full mirror for the first time.
“Oh, wow… I’m… I’m beautiful,” she whispered. She turned red, looking at her fully developed body. Maybe she still wasn’t ready for complete nakedness.
She opened Jennifer’s drawers, knowing that her aunt had lots of nice things. She found gorgeous lacy and white undergarments and put them on, the action thrilling her vastly.
The stockings were a bit too much, she thought, but she was still delighted.
The cups of the brassiere were also a bit tight on her, so she looked for another one with less wire. It was a better fit, but still too smug. Though Aunt Jennifer had an amazing figure, she wasn’t very busty, like Barbara or Clementine were. Andie was in the middle ground, with her perky C-cups.
She concentrated and the brassiere grew a bit, allowing her more breathing room. She was amazed at how easy the engorgement magic had come to her; she usually had some difficulty with that particular kind. She silently wondered if her powers had become greater along with her physical development, and she decided not to use them until she was sure she could control them in a non-dangerous way.
Andie spent a few more minutes just sitting there, trying to get used to her new looks and feelings. Everything, even breathing, felt so different. After growing up listening to her parents and friends telling their stories about their own transformations, she could hardly believe she was going through a similar situation.
Sabrina and Kenneth were also dumbfounded when Jennifer called them with news of their daughter’s big change. Sabrina, who had become much more sensitive and considerate after her experience with motherhood, but also much more apprehensive, made a bit of a fuss until she was convinced that Andie would be fine.
She was still shocked when her daughter came out of the room, looking like a woman of about her same age, not to mention taller and curvier. Kenneth, like Jennifer, was shocked by the fact that his little girl was now the spitting image of the beautiful apparition they had seen in the hill two years earlier. Things were coming to full circle, much faster than they had though.
The following days were, again, a learning experience for the family, especially for young Andie. She was going through an identity crisis of sorts. She was technically just 2-years-old, yet she had always mentally felt like she was 12. Now, she looked like she was in her twenties, and that was the age the world would expect her to act.
She thought it would be much harder than it ended up being. Just as it had happened on her early infancy, Andie’s mind started to mature at a fast rate and caught with her body. After a few days, she didn’t feel like an exceptionally intelligent child any more, but rather like a very smart woman.
The same thing had happened with her powers. They had indeed expanded exponentially, and at first she was scared of them, but then she was pleased by how easy it was to control them now.
In all, come weekend, she announced she was prepared to go to the beach with her parents’ friends.
“We’ll go on normally with life. Nothing has changed. This is who I always was going to be. I’m sorry if I scared you.”
But her family had long accepted the particularities of raising a magical being. Their child now looked like she could be her parent’s sibling, but so what? She had been able to crawl on her room’s walls ever since she was born. This wasn’t half as scary as that, or the time she had managed to become invisible and her parents had to look for her for over two agonizing hours.
It was still quite a sight when she arrived in her bikini, her good looks rivaling, and even surpassing, her beautiful mother’s.
“Oh, my God! Dear, we look like sisters!” said Sabrina.
Andie smiled pleased, already comfortable with her body. She was gorgeous and she knew it, but she wasn’t one to gloat aloud. Humility was one of the first teachings she had received. She always knew she was special –probably one of the most special beings in the world-, yet vanity had never besieged her.
The rest of the gang was also quite impressed with little Andie’s change. This girl, now woman, was the reason why they had been cursed, and so far she had been worth it. They were convinced that her powers would one day change the world for the best, and now with her sudden metamorphosis, that moment seemed imminent.
Yet Andie felt no pressure. There was a reassuring light inside of her, fed by the love of those around her. And, unlike Agatha’s, there was no darkness to overcome it.
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Well, I had a feeling they wouldn’t be able to stop the curse. But the ending turned out better than I would have expected for something that was initially darker. Andie’s development, both physically and as a witch, was a very interesting addition. I can’t wait to see your next story, particularly if it’s your 3D comic.
Yes, I wanted them to lose their years irreversibly, but I also wanted to end the story in a hopeful note. So this part isn’t horror inspired, but more of a chosen-one narrative.
And yes, the next one will be the comic.
Honestly I’m hoping you eventually complete Class Project. I feel like that one was left hanging.
I like this story but is it possible to add a photo for every girl and for the boy before the transformation? Thank you for taking my message into consideration