Sense & Nonsensibility (IX) The Tale Of The Cross-Eyed Twins
Episode IX: The Tale Of The Cross-Eyed Twins
Once upon a time, on the grassy rolling plains of the Danubian basin there was a powerful noble house, the house of the barony of DeCliche. The baron of DeCliche was fair and loved by his serfs who held him in such esteem that worked his lands without daring to ask for a salary. The harvest was always good and the state was prosperous. Riding those lands you could see chubby peasants with healthy rosy cheeks smiling and waving at you, if you are the kind of person who can tolerate such a cheesy spectacle without puking.
The family residence was a tastefully decorated castle painted in gold and festooned with the most extravagant decorations that Rococo can devise, and that is very extravagant. But in spite of all that wealth and prosperity in the baron’s soul there was a sorrow as harrowing as poor people like to think it should afflict those who are that wealthy. The baron lived in despair for he couldn’t have an heir for his prosperous state and to carry their name to the future. The countess was arousing and eager to please but the count seemed unable to perform to the great despair of the countess who took the custom of purchasing cucumbers with no intention to eat them. Her fiery vulva began to steal her nights of sleep populating her dreams with orgiastic scenes that drove her into nightmares of ecstasy. She wanted a child and wanted even more to make one but she loved her husband and wouldn’t be unfaithful to him with another man, a cucumber though, was another story.
The young and ardent baroness visited then a gipsy woman of who was said she was a witch that could heal the sick and who had a sale of potions that enlivened sexual activity. The gipsy woman sold the baroness an overpriced flask containing a greenish potion that she promised would invigorate the baron in such a scale the he probably would be promoted to duke. The prospect of such magnificence put wings on the baroness back and her labia began to applaud. She tried the potion that same night and put some drops in her husband’s wine. He got sick and spent one week vomiting constantly although eventually he got better. The outraged countess went back to the gipsy sorceress to ask for her money back and threatened her to sue. The gipsy woman had to explain that the content of the flask was an ointment to be applied over the penis before intercourse. She admonished the countess for not reading the instructions and sent her back to try again because she had a lot cursing to do that day.
The second time around the results were prodigious and suffice to say that the prosperous trade of cucumbers in the region suffered a serious downturn. She was impregnated that same night, but she didn’t stop there. She had to be dragged out of the bedroom from the top of the exhausted baron nine months later because she was giving birth. In spite of her blatant disregard of the physician’s advice of abstaining from sex after the sixth month she gave birth to two healthy twins.
They were named Lazslo and Janos. They were identical but for the fact that Janos was significantly larger then Lazslo. They were barely a month old when the countess noticed something truly odd in the eyes of her babies: they were always staring at each other. First she thought that it was very cute thing to do but when she removed little Janos from the crib the baby eyeball’s turned around and the eyes went white. She realized that wherever she moved Janos his eyeballs would follow Lazlo as if they were linked by an invisible string connecting their pupils. They were cross-eyed twins.
She went to see the gipsy woman who after the astonishing results of the potion had replaced the family physician. When the baroness arrived to the gipsy wagon she saw a board hanging from the locked door, it said:
We apologize for the inconveniences
Apparently the gipsy witch had got herself in a professional dispute with another sorceress who was jealous of her better divinatory skills and her bigger crystal ball. The envious rival had put a deadly spell on her and she had died eaten by seagulls that mistook her for a rag. The baroness purchased then an amateur’s manual of black arts called Spelling For Dummies that turned out to be about a completely unrelated matter. She went back to the bookstore and exchanged the book for Curses And Spells For Fools where she learned what was the affliction of her children. They were victims of what was known in witchcraft as collateral damage. The deadly curse had been put in the old gipsy woman and in her business, although not in her wagon because that was already mortgaged and that was curse enough. The formula went like this:
” For the power of Mammon and Beelzebub I curse ……………….*.
For the power of this curse you shall die.
For its power your flesh shall be torn to pieces.
For its power calamity and despair shall befall upon those that trade with you.
For its power your products shall be defective and of inferior quality.
For its power those who buy them will endure calamity and despair and shall get no tax return “
* Fill the dotted line with the name and surname of the person you wish to curse. Use clear capital letters and avoid orthographical mistakes. Remember this is deadly curse and you don’t want to curse a total stranger.
In the alphabetical index of curse symptomatology he found the description of the supernatural pathology called Cross Eyed Twins:
CROSS-EYED TWINS OF HELL
This curious pathology that manifests since births in twins that had been exposed to a curse during pregnancy is relatively uncommon and benign but certainly fatal for one of the subjects. Cross-eyed twins are known to have killed each other in the wound and if they are kept together they unleash all short of calamities around them. The larger twin whose eyes are perpetually trained to the second twin, who is always the shorter, is bound to kill him at the first opportunity because he is a minion of hell and never should be left alone near sharp objects, specially if his brother is around.
The treatmen of this condition is fairly easy. The evil twin must be drowned in vinegar that has to be blessed first for three to five minutes, seven if you like it very holy. While the baby is drowned an incantation must be intoned and if none is known some popular tune would suffice. The drowned baby must then be minced with a blessed silver ax and his remains thrown into a pyre. If the twins are girls it is enough to throw the evil twin through the window provided it is high enough and the garbage service daily. Parents reluctant to kill the evil twin have the option of separate them. In such a case the evil twin should be taken away not less than three days riding from the place of residence of his brother and abandoned or sold if a good offer is made.
The desperate countess felt that those were not good news. She ran home and found Janos trying to choke Lazslo with his pacifier. She saved little Lazslo but realized that the separation of the twins was a good idea. She spoke to her husband who was devastated by the story and told her that children care was women’s business and that she could do as she pleased because he had to other things to do. He only needed one son to pass his surname and wealth and was concerned that two heirs should have to share the heirloom and make do with half surname. The baroness could not muster neither the will nor enough vinegar to carry out the first ceremony and departed to the South in search for an gentle family desperate enough to take a murderous baby.
She travelled for three days in her carriage watching into the white pupils of her baby that remained trained to the point of their departure until the fourth day. She traveled one day more just to make sure and arrived to the little barren region of Pauperavia, one of the most isolated and poor parts of the country. She attended an auction of land that offered free minor nobility titles to the first fifty customers who purchased a plot. She purchased one of the smallest plots and went to the village where it was located searching for a suitable adoptive mother for her evil baby.
She chose a young peasant woman and her mother to raise her baby on the only basis that the woman was childless and they smelled better than the other villagers. She had already spent five days with that business and missed her harp lesson. Her wig was dirty with not a single decent hairdresser was at sight in the village. The young woman was unmarried but she was healthy but for a wart on the nose. The mother hadn’t been able to marry her daughter because they were destitute and lived on hole in the ground. Of the mother it was said she was a witch that had made a pact with Satan, although nobody understood what she had got in return unless a daughter with a wart in her nose had any value whatsoever. Superstitious townsfolk suspected she had eaten the heart of a serf just because she had been surprised with her face buried in the open chest of a dead peasant. No man would marry her daughter for no man in the village wanted to have a witch for mother-in-law, although all married men in the village complained precisely of that.
The two women were reluctant. The daughter who had never owned a doll was rather enthralled with the idea of having a real baby but her more experienced mother was suspicious. Her suspicions vanished when the baroness added to her offer the land plot with a real albeit small house and the nobility title. They kept the baby with them and the baroness departed never to go back and without having revealed her identity or left a tip.
The young woman and her mother moved to their plot and were happy to leave behind their good old hole. The title and the arable land very soon changed the perception of the poorest villagers regarding the young woman’s appealing as wife. Very soon one daring young landless peasant, who had nothing to lose and was not afraid of warts, managed to get her pregnant and they married. He moved to the house and the man took care of the land while his wife plowed the fields and nine moths later Vladimir was born. The parents always kept the secret of the mysterious origins of the older brother and they grown up together as normal brothers pestering each other every day of their lives.
To be continued…
Well, this at least clarify some really weird things that have been happening so far, but how Lazslo has ended up mingled in this narration? Why has him captured young Charlotte who is for third time at the mercy of a stranger? And why did he write a letter to the adoptive brother of his real twin? How did he found his address anyway? Answers to these and more riddles in the new episodes of Sense & Unsensiblity.