Pablo Chapter 6 | Strange things happen

Translation to English: Theofilos Tourzaridis
Editing and Proofreading: Cleopatra Strati
Illustration: ancalove2001

The Mayor and the village council are upset. Lately, animals have died under strange circumstances, a small child’s grave has been opened, and some omens indicate that in three days, which is the lunar eclipse, something really bad will happen. The members of the council are religious people who want the best for their community, but they cannot deny that the old curse of the mountain Witch is coming true so far.

“When the animals remain bloodless when someone takes a child’s bone, don’t look for it, don’t wait for the moon to fade, run as far away as you can…”

This old curse has been passed down from Mayor to Mayor for generations. The council made sure to keep this curse alive in the villagers’ memory by noticing anything strange or unusual. The Witch had made sure to leave her mark; a living one. She had carved the sigil curse into a villager’s chest; the one that had trespassed on her borders, or so the legend goes.

Most of the council fear the curse of Isabel, the Witch. The discussions have only one subject: to send the strongest men to find her and take advice from her. The Mayor is more scared than anyone else, although he tries to look sober so as not to arouse any suspicion against him.

“I have nothing to fear”, says the Doctor, “I am a scientist and these superstitions do not touch me”. 

The Priest looks a little paler than usual. He hasn’t told anyone but the one on whose chest the sigil curse was carved was his ancestor and he knows the truth. He claims that it is God’s work to find the Witch and ask for her help. The Mayor agrees as long as God is with them. Tomorrow at dawn the 8 strongest men in the village will go to the forest to look for her.


The next morning the strongest men of the village start their journey up to the mountain. No one has seen the Witch for ten years. Some people used to say that she is dead; some others that she is sleeping and she will wake up for one single night to harm them. Her cave is deep in the forest on the other side of the mountain. The 8 men need about ten hours of climbing to reach the top of the Witch’s mountain, and another ten hours to return. None of them speak. The plan is to surprise her. As soon as they find her they will ask her to reveal what she knows.

Hours after hours the 8 men are a kilometer away from the mine high up in the mountain. After speaking in low tones, they search with their eyes for the entrance to the mine. One of the younger ones shows them an opening about 200 meters above them. Smoke came out of its opening. With gestures, they agree on the plan. They climb slowly and reach the entrance of the cave. Six of them entered the cave; one is holding a gun, the other one is grabbing a shovel, the third one an ax, and another a carbine. The other two stayed outside to keep an eye. 

Going deeper into the cave, they hear whispers. None of them can understand the language; witch’s language. 

A large space opens before them. The only light comes from a torch hanging on the cave wall. Herbs piled around the walls. The smell could kill a rat. Next to the herbs, the men saw some human skulls, forgotten there for years; there were also some animal furs. In the middle of the cave, there is a small cast iron with a black liquid simmered on the fire that seemed to fade out at any second. The whisper sounds louder now. Isabella is in a corner kneeling hiding her face. Her black hair tangled for many years.

“Witch, show us your face!!” shouts the first man.

“Leave me alone, go away! I want my baby back. Go away…” they hear Isabella’s cry.

“Stand up and show us your face, Witch…!!!” shouts the first one again.

Isabella breathless stands up, grasping the cave walls and she turns her face towards them crying. She looks at them. They are stunned. She is the most beautiful woman they have ever seen. Her eyes look straight into men’s souls and her lips call out their names. The men lower their weapons and look at her ecstatically. Her unintelligible words are nothing more than spells. The first man managed to escape from her spells; he begins to curse the Witch and her cheap tricks.

“Show us your real face!” he shouts at Isabella.

“Is that you want, poor villager?” the Beast’s voice is heard from her mouth.

“You want to see the true shape of my demonical figure, is that what do you want?” the Beast continues to speak shaking the walls of the cave. The torch goes out. It remains only the shine of the cast iron. Rocks fall into the cave entrance killing the two men outside of it and imprisoning the others inside. The men search to find each other while the Beast screams through Isabella, calling out invocations, spells, and curses of the men’s ancestors who had banished her to the mountain. Now, their descendants were coming to learn about the curse.

“The curse is real! Criminals will die. They will pay for their crimes in the most painful way. Their descendants will die, with His blessings. The Great Plan must be followed. No one, no one escapes the hand of justice and it will be…” he shouts making the walls of the cave shake in unison. The men inside the cave are screaming. Their voices are drowned out by the hum created by the Witch’s curses. They try to beat her in blindness, some shots are also heard.

The whole mountain is roaring, and the landslide is unstoppable, changing the landscape. When it’s quiet, no one is saved. No one is alive to tell the villagers what happened; no need; the silence is more deafening than ever.


The next morning Pablo wakes up and looks east towards the mountain. Today the sunrise is red. He knows that blood was shed last night. He knows that the eight men are dead and Isabella in her madness laughs and frolics among the dead bodies. She got her revenge. Finally!

Pablo knows firsthand that one of the 8 men was a descendant of the man who had abandoned Isabella pregnant; allowed her to be tortured and banished to the forest to die. But Isabella succeeded and gave birth to her baby. A baby who lived to be 8 years old and died of unexplained causes. Pablo knew that the oldest and most abandoned grave was of her child; now missing a thigh bone. Isabella, having sold her soul to the Beast in one breath, she asked for only one favor; the opportunity to take her revenge, at any time. The Master gave her his word as long as she showed him that she was capable of waiting until the right time comes. Isabella was patient and the moment of her revenge arrived. Isabella, the Witch, has taken her revenge. A revenge full in blood.

Pablo comes down to eat breakfast with Martha. Arriving at the reception desk he hears the noise of the television coming from her living room.

“Martha?” he shouts, getting no response.

He approaches the door and enters her space. Martha was sitting in her armchair looking at the burning fireplace. The TV screen was emitting the characteristic noise of hell. Screams and cries of innocents being tortured by the apparitions of hell.

Martha stands up and turns to him. Her eyes are blackened and her mouth forms a sardonic smile.

“Master…” says Pablo and falls to his knees in fear.

“Pablo, everything is going the right way,” the Beast says and Pablo’s mouth twitches in pain.

“The East is red today…” comments Pablo.

“Thank Isabella for that. She saved you from a lot of trouble…” the Beast says while licking his lips with his tongue.

Pablo remains silent and waits for the Beast to give orders. The day after tomorrow is the eclipse and the work has been initiated by those stronger than him. Pablo is simply the execution tool in an agreement in that both sides made many concessions.

“Nothing is going to stop the completion of this sad story. Everything must be done perfectly. Until then, be strong and make sure no one gets in your way. Do you understand, Pablo?” the Beast asks him with his snake tongue.

“Yes, Master, everything is ready, don’t worry about anything. Everything is going to be according His predictions and your plan…” replies Pablo and respectfully bows his head towards the Beast.

The Master laughs in satisfaction and disappears into the shadows. The fire goes out in the fireplace as the TV is turned off. Martha is alive, she’s passed out. Pablo goes to the kitchen to prepare his breakfast.

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