User avatar 1455555951 Carlos Frederico Rosenwald

4 mins.

The Unwritten Curse


The Unwritten Curse

Rupert was a curious teenager. At age 14, words like "don't" or "can't" seemed to only further instigate his curiosity about what he should or could do. One day, as a bored Rupert wondered around his house's attic he was strongly reprimanded by his father when found.

"This is my stuff, you have no business being here and snooping around," his father told him while strongly grabbing to his shoulder.

Rupert had never seen such a reaction from his dad. And as much as he tried to, he could not stop his mind from wondering about what could possibly exist within the boundaries of that attic to cause his father to get so mad.

The next day Rupert waited until his parents left the house for dinner with their friends and, without a shadow of a doubt, again made his way into the attic. His younger sister, Kathy, tried to protest, saying she would tell dad about his disobeying his father's explicit orders. A master sweet-talker however, Rupert was quickly able to not only convince his sister not to say anything, but also got her to join his "adventurous exploration into the realm of the unknown."

Rupert and Kathy had already spent a good 20 minutes wondering around the attic but nothing unusual was found. Surely there were some old pictures of his father with what must have been some old girlfriend of his and a few private family letters, but nothing which Rupert thought could have justified his father's reaction.

"Hey Rup, look, an old story book," said Kathy, interrupting Rupert's thought process.

Rupert turned to his sister and quickly took the old book off of his sister's hand, in the way that only older brothers can do.

"Let me see this..." said Rupert more to himself than to Kathy.

Rupert started glancing at the first few pages of that strange book. To his amusement the first chapter described the tragic story of one Philip Taylor - in fact the name of the chapter was Philip.

"Hey, look sis, the main character has our last name!" said Rupert, hearing a "cool" back from Kathy.

The first few pages had nothing interesting in them - they just described Philip's life from the time he first arrived to America, how he had met his wife, his children, bla bla bla. Boring stuff, thought Rupert. But on page 5, the main character, Philip, discovered an ancient book which he instantly became intrigued by. According to the book, what Philip had found was a cursed book which drove the lives of those who read it into tragedy and misery. Surely enough, soon after Philip found the book, his life was never the same. His wife had died a few months later from a mysterious disease, and believing the book had been the root of such incident, Philip tried, in vain, to destroy it.

Philip's failure to destroy the book had led him into madness: believing his family had been cursed by God, Philip tried to kill all of his family, and himself, by setting fire to their house. Philip and four of his five children perished that day, but his eldest, John, was able to survive.

"What a horrible story," said Kathy. "I don't think we should read anymore."

Rupert glanced at Kathy while still holding the book, and though he was not easily impressed by horror stories, something within him told him he should do as his sister said. Nevertheless he kept turning the pages.

The next chapter told about John's life, which also had seemed to end in tragedy. The next chapter told of John's only daughter, who had suffered a similar tragic fate as the rest of her family had so many years before her. And the book always seemed to play a pivotal role. It was unclear how the same book kept appearing in these people's lives, but it did.

Rupert could now feel his heart racing, the voice in his head telling him to close that book immediately. But he couldn't help but keep turning the pages, even if now he was just quickly glancing over the pages. Until finally he reached a chapter about one Lloyd Taylor - the same name as the grandfather he never got to know.

According to the book, Lloyd had been a prestigious college professor at a local university, where he led the Department of Religion. In fact Lloyd seem to be somewhat of an expert in ancient cults and witchery, and had discovered that the best way to deal with the book that had brought upon so much tragedy to his ancestors was not to try to get rid of it or destroy it, but to keep it and control the impulse to read it. And that seemed to have been working until Lloyd's girlfriend, a former student of his some twenty years his junior, found the book and begun reading it. She was seven months pregnant when a bus hit her car and killed her instantly - though the unborn child she carried was apparently saved by doctors. Unable to cope with such tragedy, Lloyd turned to a couple he was close with to raise his child Robert, and was never seen again.

Robert was Rupert's father's name.

As Rupert turned the page to the next chapter, he saw the name Robert written on the top of a blank page. He turned one more page and saw the name Rupert, also on top of a blank page. He quickly went through the rest of the pages in the book, but they were all blank, without any further names written on them.

But when Rupert turned back to the page which had his name written on top, he could now see a detailed text of what his life had been until the day he adventured himself into that attic and found an ancient book hidden in the middle of his father's things.

Alarmed, he turned a few pages back to see that the chapter belonging to Robert had also been filled with text. And the text ended when Robert, arriving alone at his house after feeling ill at a dinner with friends, found his son Rupert and his daughter Kathy reading from an old book in the attic.

The pages beyond that remained blank.

But could anything be done to prevent history from repeating itself?

© Carlos Frederico Rosenwald, 2019. All rights reserved.

User avatar 1455555951

Carlos Frederico Rosenwald


Founder of Story Street Labs. Would love to hear from you!


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Barbara @barbaramartin
some proof reading would help
Fletcher @fletcherrhoden
There are echoes of the great 100 YEARS OF SOLITUDE here, but also echoes of plenty of other magical realism stories derived from the late Gabo's masterpiece. There's not much to thrill here based only on the pitch, but that doesn't mean the piece can't be great, or extract a lot of good material from this time-worn conceit. But hey, there are no new stories really, none of want to reinvent the wheel -- maybe think about an additional element that will give it an individual quality that makes it stand out? What if his dying grandmother is telling him this story from her death bed, and he thinks maybe if he kills her it'll stop the curse, but he'll lose his family fortune and his very life? I dunno...
Alkyone @Alkyone

That is a dark suggestion, dude, yet I would totally read that. But I think the plot is intriguin See more

Venus @SayameYuna
OMG What happened next! The last part was so thrilling! Nice work! Looking forward to the continuation of this story (if any). Gambatte kudasai!
tazia @Bonnie
I love your story. I could learn a thing or two from about writing.
Cynthia @cynthiaparella
This is such an interesting story that I would tottaly make a show and make more like episides
anonymous @anonymous----
your a very good author and I think you should write a part 2 or second book I think people would like it! continue writing your good! <3
Carlos @carlos


John @johnwohlwend
Outstanding! That was good and I'm not saying that just because this is the first actual story I've read on here either!
Carlos @carlos

Thanks John, I appreciate it!!!

Saiyan @saiyan
The story is a bit too fast paced. A description of the attic could add to the horror like "it was a dark room with dust all around", " Dull"," gloomy " etc. Still I really enjoyed reading this.
Carlos @carlos

Thanks for the tips!

Maliana @malianad.
I really love this story, I think you should add more to it. I think with maybe a bit more description and details, this could get a 9 star! And for the next one (if there is a next one) I think you should talk about Rupert's many near-death experiences and threats that are now all tumbling in, since he read the book. Great Story!
Alex @alexglock
Very nice story line. I am just not sure about people getting sick... If they got sick they have to undergo some sort of prolonged suffering until their death. Therefore, such suffering would have to be narrated in the next pages (no blank pages after reading the book)... Can't they just die somehow? Either way, it was fun to read.
THETOMBOY64 @sportslover64
good job dude that was an awesome story
Lillian @Lilly
Munish @munishkeswani
One of the few stories that made me curious about what will happen next. Awesome work! Keep Going!
lynn @LynnRose
This is awesome, it has that R.L Stine kind of feel.
Jennifer @Jenn
A cool story, I liked it alot but I would think a dangerous book would be harder to find.
H. @HSBrewer
Very nice work, intriguing! I'd like to see what happens next? does Rup find a way to break the curse?
Arin @Arin
I love this! A nice storyline that has people begging for more! WIsh I had this talent! ;)
Carlos @carlos

Thank you Arin! I'm sure you do have the talent - we all just need to keep on writing! :)

Rae-Anne @RGirl
omg this story is good
tazia @Bonnie
I love your story. I could learn a thing or two from you about writting
Hyunsun @hyunsunpark
I've heard different renditions of "the fortune-telling book" before, but this seems to be a new take. I especially like the idea of a young protagonist - after all, a 14 year old has even less authority than an adult. No one would believe him, or help him. I love that you added that angle within a storyline like this one.
Shekhar @shekharsuman
its quite a great idea, the presentation requires a bit of polish but otherwise its great. i would love to know what happens.
Conrad @conradekeke
Great story line Carlos but I think you had work more on your dialogs. In my opinion, when you have a new speaker in a conversation, you could go to the next line. I expected to have a little bit of suspense but otherwise, it is a wonderful story and I love the sequence description too.
Aimee @aimeewatson
It's a really engaging story that deals with the highly relatable theme of our destinies, and how much control we have over them. Please add more! :)
talaganda @talaganda
it sounds interesting. it seems a bit far fetched. but it is intriguing. i'd be wanting to know if history does repeat itself.