Jack died first. He was three and the youngest of the four siblings. Of course, they’d mourned, no one, not even the doctors knew what had happened. It was horrible, of course and so painful.
Then Sam had died. He was the oldest, twenty and a rugby player. How could he have fallen so ill, his skin turning blue within hours, sweat steaming from his forehead?
It’s a terrible thing, to feel so helpless as a parent, to lose two children. But they still cooked dinner with them, helped their two remaining children with their homework and kissed them goodnight. But in the night while staring into the darkness they knew, deep down, their suffering wasn’t over.
When Tom caught a fever, they knew what was to come. They held their breath because the doctors had said again and again, it was just a coincidence. He couldn’t die. They’d taken him to the hospital, the best doctors with round the clock care if anything went wrong
They buried their third son the following week.
Ben seemed to know what was coming, he was the last one left and even if he was only eight he cried and sobbed all day and night. Three torturous days past. But Ben was wrong.
His father died first. They had both been stressed and traumatised with the ordeal, he had been allowed to feel under the weather. So, his wife had woken, hugging a cold and stiff body.
When Ben finally fell ill, they didn’t call the doctors, instead his mother had curled around him in her bed and the two stayed together, defeated by this curse until Ben went limp in her arms. She realised she no longer had tears to cry for her last child, putting him in the bed as she grew numb. The end would come for her soon as well. She took comfort in that.
But after a week she realised, her own curse was to live.