The Curse of Gary (Part 7)

Victor stopped laughing. It seemed Dave was serious.

“Wait,” said Victor. “What are you saying?”

Dave looked about the store; no one else was there. He put his hands on the counter and leaned forward. “No one talks about it much anymore. It’s a big old mess that’s never gettin’ cleaned up. It’s just better to stay away from Clayton Street and pretend it isn’t there.”

“Clayton Street? That’s the one on the hill? With the mansion?”

“Yeah. It happened before I was born, but folks used to talk about it all the time when I was a kid. Huh. You know, I remember Pauline Viney went in there on my seventh birthday. Tryin’ to get her husband out.” Dave looked down, his eyes gazing somewhere distant. After a moment he looked back up at Victor. “Anyway, I’ll tell ya what I know, but keep it to yourself. All right?”

Victor nodded. “Of course.”

“Well… That house up on Clayton Street… it’s haunted. Back in sixty-eight it was cursed by a kid named Gary.”

Victor stared at Dave and shook his head. “No way. That’s impossible.”

Dave shrugged. “I know it sounds strange, but it makes sense when ya think about it. I mean, you’ve got all these grown men named Gary—they had to have been boys first, right? It’s unusual these days, but back in the sixties there would have been a lot of kids called Gary.”

“No, that’s not what I… I’m talking about the curse. A curse is… it’s not real. That’s fairy tale stuff.”

Dave shook his head. “Listen mate, a kid named Gary lived in that house. He was dyin’—had some kinda cancer. Doctors picked it up too late and there was nothin’ they could do, poor kid. So anyway, a doctor goes round one day and Gary’s in a world of pain, wastin’ away, so the doc goes to give him a shot of morphine—you know, ease the pain. Well, Gary’s terrified when he sees the bloody great syringe, thinks the doc’s tryin’ to kill him. The kid screams out a curse of revenge. Bloody awful.”

“So… what happened—with the curse?”

“Gary died two days later. After the funeral the parents disappeared—no one saw ’em again. Just vanished. Didn’t take a thing with ’em. The doc—the one who gave Gary the morphine—he went to the house tryin’ to contact Gary’s parents… never came back. So the curse is no fairy tale, mate. Forty-six people have gone into that house since Gary died, only two have come out. The last one was back in ninety-one. A guy came runnin’ down Clayton Street, pale as a ghost. Never said a word, just went to the pub and drank himself stupid. After he left the pub he went and slept in the park, screaming the whole night. We all heard it. Next morning they found him out at Don Rigby’s farm. The guy had broken into the shed and found Don’s shotgun. Poor fella blew his brains out.”

“Oh sh**.”

“Yeah. So do yourself a favour, mate—stay away from that house. Enjoy your time in Stork—see the sights, visit the sewing machine museum, try a sausage roll from Ken’s Bakery—then leave. Forget you ever came here. Gary’s curse has caused enough suffering already. Just let it be.”



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