I hope you enjoy this macabre tale. It is Friday the 13th After all 😉
Cave Tu Autem In Periculo
“No, I won’t do it. You know I’m not in the least superstitious but I tell you Suzie, that place gives me the creeps” Said Andy vehemently.
“Andy you’re behaving like a petulant child. I told my parents we’re going and that’s that.”
A lot of people didn’t want to spend time with the In-laws but in Andy’s case it had nothing to do with his Father or Mother-on-law, they were fine, upstanding folk. They didn’t have much sense of humour and were definitely not what you could call fun, but they were quiet, kind and considerate.
They never popped in to visit, which Andy took as being a kindness. No newlyweds wanted their parents or in-laws popping in all the time.
No, they never popped in, but occasionally they did want them to come and stay. He had been putting it off since the last time. He had never felt such fear in all his life.
The noises in the night, the messages on the mirror and the way the paintings looked at you, all convinced him that the place was haunted.
“I’ve just remembered Suzie, I can’t go that weekend, I’ve got” He struggled to come up with an excuse, anything. Come on brain.
“Andy, you haven’t got anything on. I know your diary better than you do, so stop acting like a stupid idiot. We’re going.”
Andy looked at his beautiful wife of just two months and nodded. She was the most beautiful woman he had ever met. She had jet black hair that hung down almost to her tiny waist. Her large eyes were a deep shade of blue with a hint of mauve. She wore a lot of make-up like all her set did, but he’d seen her without any and she was just as beautiful. He had loved her from the first moment he met her at that club. They had lived a rather strange existence with them both working nights. He worked as a security guard down at the docks and she was a waitress at the goth bar near the abandoned church. He popped in there for a drink after his shift. It was the only place open. She gave it to him on the house and they’d talked until the sun came up. She let him sleep in her room, above the bar. That had been how they had gone on until the wedding. Sleeping during the day, working through the night.
He felt that his life had entered a dream. One that he couldn’t wake up from. He didn’t want to.
He remembered the first time he had gone to meet Suzannah’s parents. The house was an old mansion in the posh part of town. He hadn’t known that Suzannah was an heiress, her parents were the wealthy and cultured sort. Their house was like a crossed between a museum and a library. There were books and items of art everywhere. They hadn’t been married then, so they were given separate rooms. Just as he was settling down to sleep the noises had started. The Scritch-scratch of something in the walls, under the bed, beside his head. He got up to go to the bathroom and he saw words written on the mirror that hadn’t been there before. They were written in Latin,
Cave. Tu autem in periculo.
He didn’t understand Latin, but the appearance of the words made him run back into his room and pray. He had a small cross that his Mum had given him. He wasn’t a devout Christian but once in a while he would say a prayer. He gripped that cross and prayed for morning.
The next day everything seemed to go back to normal but he vowed never to stay the night in that house again.
As he went over that dreadful night in his head, the words written on that mirror came back to him. He grabbed a pen and wrote them down.
“Hey, Suzie, you’re educated. Can you tell me what this means?” Andy handed the piece of paper over.
Suzie read it and smiled. “It’s Latin. I could tell you, but I’m not going to. I believe in the heuristic approach.” She walked over to her bookcase and pulled out an old book. “Here you go, you’ve got to learn something for yourself.”
He looked at the book. It was a Latin dictionary. So, he had to learn Latin now did he? Andy was a bit annoyed at Suzie and her superior manner. He opened the book but soon got bored with it.
Time flew past and it was time to pack for the weekend trip that he was dreading so much.
He couldn’t find his crucifix anywhere. For some reason he’d felt more comfortable with it, particularly after what had happened last time.
“Suzie, have you see my cross? I took it off last night and I can’t find it.”
“What do you want with that thing anyway? It’s just stupid superstition. It’s probably fallen down that crack between the floorboards. We don’t have time now to get it out. You always leave packing to the last minute, it’s time to go.”
It was a gloomy day when they drove up the sweeping drive to the large house. They were greeted by Suzie’s loving parents. I say greeted but there were no smiles. Suzie explained that they weren’t the smiling kind. Come to think of it, I don’t remember seeing Suzie smile much either. She looked amused quite often. At some joke that had come into her head, or at something stupid I had done. Not what you call a big smile though.
We talked pleasantly at dinner. Archie, Suzie’s dad, asked me what I had been reading recently
“Oh, Andy’s been studying Latin, Dad.” Suzie answered for me.
“Really” Archie leaned towards me, looking impressed. “Tell me, what have you learned?”
I repeated the words I had seen in the mirror, the only Latin I could remember.
“Cave. Tu autem in Periculo.” I said as impressively as I could.
Suzie’s Mother dropped her Knife and it made a loud noise at it hit the plate.
Her Father raised his eyebrows at me and just said “I See. Interesting.”
Nothing more was said at the table. Only Suzie seemed amused by the whole thing.
We had been given a large room with a four-poster bed. Now that we were married, it was deemed appropriate that now Suzie and I could share.
Despite my apprehension about the place, I didn’t seem to have any problem going to sleep.
I awoke suddenly at a sharp pain in my neck. I was in that large bed and Suzie was sitting astride me, her mouth upon my neck. I must have shouted then because Suzie lifted up her head. She was so beautiful, her face glowing with ecstasy and she was smiling for once. Her long fangs dripped with blood. My Blood.
“What’s happening” I asked rather pathetically. I felt strangely woozy. The pain had been replaced by feelings of calm bliss. “Those words, in the Mirror. Cave. Tu autem in Periculo. What did they mean?”
Suzie laughed. “It means, Beware, you are in Danger. There’s no need to fear, you aren’t in danger any more. You are one of us now.”
Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 13/July/2018
Inspired by the Words:
Today’s things are: haunted, pen, superstition