Curse of the Crystal Ball
Intricate patterns of ice drifted down, glistening in the bright rays of morning sunshine, each flake swirling and dancing, as an icy wind carried it toward a row of 20th century cottages. The naked winter trees line the avenue, while each breath rises in visible puffs join the clouded morning sky. There was a freezing chill in the air that brings crispness to the leaves, bejeweled with frost, that crunch underfoot. There were 3 more hours until the flea market closed for the day and Mrs. Sullivan was desperate to visit the annual market even. Knowing how intolerable the weather is, she waited until the last few hours before the flea market closed, then when the time came, she dragged her husband out of bed and insisted on taking him to the market. The poor man was dreading this moment like a child dreading the monthly dentist visits, but he had absolutely no choice but to obey his wife’s orders.
The couple dressed in thick layers of clothing, including a fur coat which will hopefully shield them from the harsh and biting snow. Mr. Sullivan wiggled uncomfortably in his thick outfit, and a drop of sweat rolled down by the side of his head. Nearly none of his clothing looked right on him for his height screams a giant 6ft 8’. On the other hand, Mrs. Sullivan was a rather petite woman, her legs looked like two pencils sticking out of her torsos and her head had the potential to fall off at any moment. Most of the townspeople wondered how exactly did they end up together, but they were still able to maintain a somewhat happy marriage for 10 years by now.
Through the sea of people, the couple soon lost sight of each other. Mrs. Sullivan was in deep anxiety for not knowing where her husband is. However, Mr. Sullivan has already wandered into the crowds, focusing his attention on the market itself. The exquisite ornaments displayed on each side of the street greatly interested the man. The unbearable heat did not seem to bother Mr. Sullivan anymore, and after almost an hour, he finally found the perfect item to buy. A sparkle of glitter caught the corner of the man’s eye and lured his head to turn around. This spherical ornament rested on a wooden base, and its crystalline surface dazzled under the rays of sunshine. Mr. Sullivan walked over to the seller and calmly asked for the price of the crystal ball in front of him.
“How much for this globe?” questioned the gentlemen, careful not to put too much passion in his voice, hoping to get the cheapest deal possible.
“10 dollars, and it will be all yours” replied the merchant. Mr. Sullivan was tempted, the price wasn’t very high, considering how well crafted the crystal was.
“I’ll take it!” said Mr. Sullivan as he handed a brand new check to the seller, and received the wrapped crystal ball.
Carrying the carefully wrapped ornament, Mr. Sullivan started to make his way home. The weather was beating on his back, the man’s only wish was for the weather to warm up, his shirt would easily get soaked by snow on his way home. Just at that moment, a violent blast of sunlight shined at the streets and roared at the people like some wild dark grove deep in a forgotten land. Mr. Sullivan walked swiftly towards the direction of his house, and left the sounds of reshuffling in the flea market behind.
“Where were you? I simply turned around and you were nowhere to be seen!” questioned Mrs. Sullivan. She has been worried sick for the past hour, after realizing their separation, Mrs. Sullivan immediately returned home, causing her to miss the flea market entirely.
“It’s nothing important, I just simply wandered the market myself. After all, it’s not required for us to always be accompanying each other” replied Mr. Sullivan in an impassive tone.
“Perhaps you could have at least notified me before you left so I wouldn’t have to worry all evening!” badgered his wife. But Mr. Sullivan wasn’t even paying attention to her words anymore, he turned to head into his bedroom and motioned to shut the door. “Were you even listening to me?” continued Mrs. Sullivan. She was almost certain that her husband tuned out again but just as always, she wouldn’t let a single worthless issue go. “So how was your tour around the market? Did you find anything worth buying?” questioned Mrs. Sullivan with a casual smile, trying to ignore the tense atmosphere flowing in the house.
“Nothing special, just a small crystal ball which happened to catch my eye” replied Mr. Sullivan as he reached into his pocket and pulled out a dazzling object. Mrs. Sullivan eyes sparkled for a second as she reached out to feel the globe’s shining magic.
“Darling, that’s truly beautiful! I was just talking about the lack of quality in the flea market this year with Mrs. Smith, would you mind if I take the crystal ball to show her what a treasure we’ve found? Mrs. Sullivan tried to keep her voice sweet and soft while pleading her husband for a great favor. She simply thought that this ask would be immediately granted, which was why his response came to her as such a shocking surprise.
“Enough!” he shouted, “I’m sick and tired of your constant need for attention, do you care to be a bit more altruistic? I’m going out for a walk, don’t wait for me for dinner.” His face grew dark as he rebuked his egotistic wife. Burning rage hissed through his body like deathly poison, screeching a demanded release in the form of unwanted violence. It was like a volcano erupting; fury sweeping off him like ferocious waves. Never before has he dared to defy, but years of collected discontent finally built up beyond his limit.
Mr. Sullivan reached down for the crystal ball which was left sitting on the dining table. He couldn’t be bothered to examine is wife’s expression across the table, but he already guessed the fear and shock in her eyes. This feeling gave him satisfaction; he took great pleasure in his wife’s reaction. Following his trail of thoughts, a vicious idea suddenly flashed across his mind. Although it would take a miracle for that wish to come true, but just the thought of it was beyond gratifying. At that exact moment, the crystal ball sparkled a bright silver light, which neither one of them noticed. With a demonic smile plastered on his face, Mr. Sullivan hurried out the door.
The elevator door was just closing when a loud bang shook the small compartment. Through the thin crack, Mr. Sullivan saw a face full of twisted emotions. The sight of such an abstract vision frightened him to take a small step back. Slowly the door slid open and right in front of him stood a wild animal. It charged forcefully into the elevator in the beat of Mr. Sullivan’s heart. Suddenly, as if waking up from a dream, Mr. Sullivan finally identified the animal in front of him. The figure appeared to be none other than Mrs. Sullivan herself. She immediately pulled her husband outside the elevator and began to wave her arms frantically. It was quite obvious that her lips were moving, but somehow, no sound was heard. It was to the point where Mr. Sullivan was almost questioning his own deafness until his wife’s message was finally understood. His wife was aphonic. This tragic epiphany caused her husband to drop the shining crystal ball onto the carpet floor.
Mr. Sullivan was as conflicted as ever. This outcome completely granted his wills but his realization brought extreme terror to his mind. Could the cause of his wife’s disorder possibly be himself? The evidence matched up flawlessly: The wish that he made a few minutes ago, while holding the crystal ball must have come true! But such a thing was clearly unrealistic, and a grown man like him could not possibly be convinced.
He hid all the confusion and excitement away, and turned to comfort his wife. It would be a foolish thing to tell her about his wish, so naturally, he chose to keep it a secret. “Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll be fine in no time” assured Mr. Sullivan, even though he didn’t believe his own words one bit. A look of suspicion appeared on Mrs. Sullivan’s face, she tilted her head to one side and let herself sink into a series of deep thoughts. His wife’s actions were starting to worry Mr. Sullivan; it was his first time in their 10 years of marriage to see Mrs. Sullivan so calm and rational. The personalities which she was portraying just so happened to be Mr. Sullivan’s idea of an ideal wife. This atmosphere in the room was like a silent battlefield. No communications were made but deep in the minds of both Mr. and Mrs. Sullivan, a war was just beginning.
*CURE ME* wrote Mrs. Sullivan on a piece of blank white paper. A long period of silence filled the room, until the squeaky sound of that black marker continued, written below was the words: *I KNOW YOU CAN*. Mrs. Sullivan turned the sheet of paper around and slid it across the table until the page was right under her husband’s nose. The black ink was overflowing due to the muggy weather, making each word appear maliciously dark. The words jumped out of the page, carrying weapons of all kinds, and slowly surrounded Mr. Sullivan. It was his move, but he only had two possible choices, both leading to death.
A ray of sunlight emerged between the slight crack of curtains. It aimed directly at the exquisite crystal ball, creating a dance of sparkles. This peculiar sight occurred at such a coincidental timing that it gave Mrs. Sullivan a brilliant idea. She slowly walked over to her husband’s side of table and once again, began to write on the piece of paper. *IT’S NOW OR NEVER*. Her threatening words were meant to give her husband one last chance, whether he takes it or not… *IT’S YOU’RE CHOICE*. She drew a period at the end of that last sentence, indicating her husband’s time is up. Her fingers crawled towards the crystal ball, and snatched it from the table. A swirling storm of screaming silver appeared inside of the crystal ball, and the white dusks of snow bleed into the world. She glanced at Mr. Sullivan who backed away to the far wall. The icicles sparkled as she made one final soundless smirk.