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It all started with a kiss. Well, that and a curse, but the curse part comes later.
Five some years ago, when I was twelve, I attended the Victoria Intermediate School. It was a dark, mystical castle on the face of the hill overlooking the small town of Burnston. All of the town's residents were frightened by it, but, with nowhere else for their children to go to school(aside from homeschool, which was, at the time, a dangerous sin), we all went there.
The second week of school I met Eric Barnes. He was the quiet, mysterious boy that seemed to float from class to class. Shorter than me by a head, with a blonde bowl and blue eyes. I don't know why he intrigued me, but my eyes never ceased to trail after him.
To tell the truth, I was quite surprised when he came and asked me to marry him. Of course, marriages happened at young ages, but I believed there were a few more years before it would be expected of either of us, so instead, he settled on me being his girlfriend. I hadn't known he had even noticed me, but it was a reeling thrill to have him hold my hand as we walked down the hall.
All too soon came February 5th. It would have been a normal day: Eric and I would eat lunch together in the Dining Hall and then go outdoors for the small recess we had before our next class. And, at first, it was exactly like that: we ate the lunch served to us in the Dining Hall and then walked the field out on the mesa where the kids played and fooled around during their break.
Eric and I went over and sat by this tree over near the building. The sky was dark with thick, inky clouds that threatened heavy rains, and all of us knew it. For the sake of keeping our school clothes clean and dry, we went to the only sheltered area that was in the outdoors.
“What's that over there?” Eric asked suddenly.
I turned and looked around in all directions, and he took me by surprise when he kissed me on the cheek. It might have been enjoyable had it not been rough, forceful and sloppy, leaving a glob of saliva on my face.
It also might have been enjoyable had some other boys, friends of his, not ran up to him and gave him high-fives and head-locks.
“But-” I didn't know what to say. I didn't know exactly what it all was until a really tall boy in blue pants handed Eric an amount of money and he burst out in a grin.
“See,” he taunted. “None of you thought I would kiss her. And I swear I'll never do it again!”
So they had all been bargaining on who would be the first to kiss the most repulsive girl in the seventh grade. Fury rose and bubbled in my stomach, threatening to rise up my throat. I stood up, hands curled into fists at my sides, arms shaking in my anger.
I don't know how I did it, how I possibly managed something like that, but I threw myself at him and bit into his arm, watching the blood trickle and slide down.
When I had recomposed myself, I realized there was a writhing snake in the place of where Eric had been. Out of regular superstition, I took a few cautious steps backward. But I secretly knew that I had been the cause.
“The lowest of animals,” I said. “Just like the Garden of Eden. Now you see how it feels,” I spat. “See how it feels.”
I turned and ran off, away from the disbelieving stares of Eric's friends, away from the Eric who I had turned into a snake, who had used be as a bargaining token in one of his stupid games.
Maybe he wouldn't know it, but that curse would haunt him for life.