A Cursed Life
By Lisa McCourt Hollar
Morgan Scott sat around the camp fire with her boyfriend, Trevor Richter and wondered how she had gotten herself into this mess. They were to be married in less than a week, but now she was beginning to wonder if they should call it off. It seemed everywhere they turned, some catastrophe or another would befall them. Years before, her grandmother had told her she was cursed and would never know happiness as long as she lived. Her mother had been horrified when she found out; sending the old woman to live with another family member, but the words had never left Morgan. Now, sitting in the middle of a frozen wasteland, feeling a tad bit lucky to have survived the plane crash, she was beginning to wonder how much truth her grandmother had spoken.
“Don’t worry; I am sure someone will find us soon.” Trevor had been saying that for a better part of the day, repeating it like a mantra, “Don’t worry, I am sure someone will find us soon, don’t worry, I am sure someone will find s soon, don’t worry…” even though no one would realize they were missing for another day.
“My wedding dress was on the plane,” Morgan said, repeating her own personal mantra.
“I’m sorry,” Trevor said, his voice reflecting his misery. Every time Morgan reminded him of the loss, he could hear the blame that she tried to hide. She denied blaming him of course, but he knew…it had been his idea to take the two man plane a day early, instead of waiting for a commercial aircraft. He had thought it would be an adventure. Then of course, Morgan was the one that had insisted on keeping the dress with her, instead of sending it ahead with the rest of their luggage.
Morgan was in the process of repeating her mantra, despair setting in as the sun fell when a low bellow sounded down the mountainside.
“What was that?”
“A wolf…maybe?” Trevor looked in the direction of the sound, his voice shaking.
“A wolf? They’re scared of fire, right?”
“Yes. Yes, of course they are.”
Another roar, this one louder and closer, brought the two closer, their eyes searching the Himalayan peeks for the source of the cry.
“That doesn’t sound like a wolf,” Morgan said.
“Not even close.”
Trevor considered suggesting a bear, but another howl sounded, followed by the thud of heavy feet.
“What is that?” Morgan was covering her nose, trying not to throw up. A smell that reminded her of dirty and mold wafted towards them and she gagged, swallowing bile and chunks of the lunch they had thrown together. And then the creature stepped into site.
“Ye…ye…YETI!” Those were the last words Trevor spoke. The yeti picked Trevor up, its large hands wrapping around his neck and shaking him like a ragdoll. Trevor’s spine snapped, making him look more like a ragdoll, and then the monster flung Trevor, cracking his head open against a nearby tree.
Screaming, Morgan hesitated only briefly as her fiancé’s brains leaked out onto the snow. Turning, she ran, but she wondered where she would go. There was nothing around her but open land surrounded by trees and an intimidating mountain range. Then she fell flat on her face, her nose buried in the snow. When huge hands lifted her from the ground, she was sure she would die.
Instead, she found her nose buried in the creatures armpits. Finding the smell overwhelming, Morgan wished for death while she struggled to free herself, so she could breathe. The yeti clutched her even tighter, burying her head further. When he finally dropped her on the ground, after what seemed an eternity, Morgan was on the brink of suffocation and coughing up fur balls.
“Not the most convenient way to travel. Please accept my apologies for Herman’s rudeness.”
“I’m sorry, no. This is very much real. I saw your plane crash and thought since you would probably be dead by morning, you might appreciate a warmer place to stay.”
Morgan stared at the pale man that was sitting on a lavish couch in the middle of what could only be a cave. The ground she had found herself deposited on was covered by a Persian rug and candles were scattered about the cavern, as well as more expensive looking furniture.
“I see you are at a loss for words. Are you hungry?” The man snapped his fingers and another man moved into sight, carrying a large tray of pies.
“Who are you,” Morgan asked, finally finding the words that eluded her. In the corner the yeti sat on the ground, picking up a large bone and biting it in half. Morgan was sure the bone looked human.
“Roan. You of course are the lovely Morgan Scott.”
“How did you know that?”
“Your mind is wide open. I could hear you all the way up here in my mountain retreat. At first I thought to let you die, your whining over your wedding dress was so pathetic, especially since the crash saved you from having to wear it. You didn’t really want to marry that pathetic creature.”
“I loved Trevor,” Morgan protested.
“You didn’t. You did what you always do; drift through life, grasping at whatever you think will bring you happiness, thus hoping to prove your grandmother wrong. It never works. But I find you interesting Morgan Scott and I think fate brought us together for a reason.”
“Who are you,” Morgan asked again.
“I already answered that, but I don’t think that’s what you really want to know. The more accurate question is, WHAT am I?” His eyes grew black as he spoke, drawing her into his gaze. Her heart threatened to burst as she fell into their depths, hammering against her chest with a frightening rhythm. Morgan wanted to stay there, caught in his gaze, and learn all that he had to offer. Behind her the yeti mulled, gnawing on another bone.
“The villagers call me Mogui. They leave offerings outside their homes, hoping I will leave them in peace, but hunger always drives me to feed and thus, kill one of theirs. They hunt me, but I am safe here in my retreat. Herman is good for company, as is Boris, my servant. He is the reason I don’t need to feed every night, but his blood only satisfies for so long.”
“You are a vampire.”
“I am and a lonely one at that. But if you would grace me with your company…”
“Your…your creature killed Trevor!”
“You are welcome.”
Morgan stared at Roan, horrified. “You don’t really expect me to stay with you?”
“You can choose to leave, but you will freeze by morning. Or you can stay and live in luxury.”
“As a vampire?”
“If you would like.”
His eyes were drawing her in again and as Morgan stared into their depths, she thought she very much would like to. Her grandmother’s words came back to her. Her actual words had been, “You will never find happiness in this life. You are cursed Morgan Scott, your true destiny lying with the dead. Only then will you know your true calling.”
“It seems you must die, in order to know happiness,” Roan said, reading her thoughts. His eyes compelling her, Morgan stepped towards the vampire, falling into his arms and accepting her new life.