In Red (Chapter 7, page 1 of 3)


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CELESTE HAD NOT WOKEN HER UP. AND, AS NO ONE HAD OPENED the door since the girl in blue had closed it behind her, Roxanne stopped sleeping when her body decided she'd rested enough.

She saw her sister staring at her from a chair.

"Does it hurt a lot?"

Roxanne smiled and shook her head.

"There's something I must tell you before anybody else does."

"Tell me, then."

"It's not good, but I've given it a lot of thought and there's still a chance that it is not true."

"What is it?"

"The curse is real," said Celeste, letting go of each word as if they were heavy slabs able to crush them.

Roxanne closed her eyes for a moment, trying to think clearly amid the mist of analgesics.

"What?"

"I know. But Joseph told me. It's such a shame."

"No, Celeste. It's not a shame; it's a lie."

The young girl couldn't understand why her sister, faced for the first time with an outsider's testimony confirming it, disputed it even more categorically.

"But Joseph said so."

"That doesn't matter. We barely know him. But listen: there is no curse. And if that's what he said, we must get out of here as soon as possible."

Just at that moment, someone knocked on the door.

"Come in," said Roxanne. Her sister adjusted the pillow for her, so that she could sit up a bit.

"I heard you speak and I wanted to see how you are."

"Good. I'm feeling good, but it hurts," she explained to the man who, first of all, had won her respect as a doctor.

"Naturally. But in a couple of days you'll feel much better. It'll heal well, you'll see. Meanwhile, I'll take care of the pain and keep the discomforts to a minimum. In fact, I'm gonna bring you another pain reliever right now, and a little snack. How about that? Your meal," he now said to Celeste, "is in the kitchen. Or maybe you'd rather eat here with your sister."

The two girls exchanged a meaningful look.

"Joseph, Celeste says you know who we are."

"Forgive me, Celeste. I didn't mean to upset you. I was such a lout. I'm truly sorry."

"But, you know that the curse is real? You know?" The question was burning inside her and she couldn't hold it back, despite the fact that it would mean doubting Roxanne. She avoided her eyes, ashamed of herself.

The doctor didn't answer right away. He'd promised himself he wouldn't mess up again by speaking impulsively without first considering the potential consequences.

"I haven't said anything about a curse," he pointed out, looking from one girl to the other. "I said the legend was real."

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