a short story about a curiosity shop and the nature of curses

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A Curious Curse

a short story about a curiosity shop and the nature of curses

“What about this one?” I asked.

The owner of the curiosity shop glanced at the telescope I’d picked up.

“It sees the future, but only when it’s too late to change.”

I pointed to a pair of boots. “And these?”

“They double your footspeed, but only when you run toward the place you will die.”

“And this?”

“That’s a vase of flowers.”

“No curse? I thought everything was cursed.”

The shopkeeper sighed. “Only for those who expect it to be. Many curses are real, but every now and then, we make one up because we’re afraid to enjoy a good thing, even if we deserve it.”

“So how do you know if a curse is real?” I asked.

“You don’t. Sometimes you can guess through instinct or experience. Sometimes you can't. And sometimes”—she paused to hand me the vase—“if you're going to be cursed anyway, it's nice to have flowers.”

PS: This story was one of last year's Postcards From the Future! You can subscribe to have a postcard story printed, signed, and mailed to you every month. You can subscribe here!


Short story written by Peter Chiykowski

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Story prompt taken from a photo by Taylor Heery

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