In the big villa of the Hazard family, Diana and her husband Orion were living their 30s. Orion was coming from a family where every man for the last 10 generations was a hunter. Hunting made them one of the richest and most respectable families in their town, and now it was Orion’s turn to carry the legacy, by having an heir.
Diana was also a rich woman, coming from the family that made the best wine in town, The Pinot family, who was always in a close friendship with the Hazards, that’s why Diana and Orion got married.
Their current problem was that they couldn’t have a child, as Diana always said “Nature doesn’t want to water our seeds.”, and that was one of the reasons the two of them always fought.
“You should’ve told you can’t have a child. You knew it was my responsibility to keep the family going.”
“My darling Orion, how could I know? For what I’m concerned, you could be the problem.”
That was the end of their conversation that morning, Diana went into the garden, and Orion went hunting.
He came home after many hours, with his bag full of animals heads. He takes a deer’s head out of the bag and throws it on the table.
“This is my favorite. I want you to clean it because I want to put it on the wall in our room.”
Diana cleaned the head, crying and whispering.
“You poor poor thing…”
She tried convincing Orion once that he could do something else, that “the animals in those woods need to rest, they’ve been hunted by your family forever,” but Orion closed her mouth with a slap.
After she cleaned it, Orion mounted it, and hung it over their bed, even if Diana asked him not to.
“I don’t want to have to look at his sparkling dead eyes and his bloodless head before I go to sleep.” She said looking at the head.
“Don’t look at it dear, close your eyes before you come into the room, so you don’t have to see it at all.”
The night was strange, kept them both awake, they could hear animal sounds from outside, steps in the house and the head above them seemed to breathe. They didn’t move or make a sound, they were more scared than they wanted to admit so they waited for the morning quietly. When the first rays of the sun entered the bedroom, Orion jumped out of bed and looked at the deer’s head.
“See? The deer head did not harm you, you have no reason to be scared.”
“I never said I was scared.” Answered Diana looking up.
“I felt you were awake all night, you kept me up.”
“Why are you lying? You heard the animals outside, you heard it breathe.” She said pointing to the head.
Orion went outside without saying anything else. Diana remained standing on the bed, looking at the head, and then she heard it breathe again.
She kept looking at it, she was trying to realize if it was just her imagination or reality, the head started bleeding all over the dusty-white wall, his nose was moving like it was trying to recognize a familiar scent, to figure out where he is.
She ran out of the room and closed the door, but when she took a look around her, she saw that every animal’s head on the hallway’s walls was bleeding.
Her first instinct was to scream, but she kept it inside, she got dressed quickly and went into the woods.
The one thing she knew her mom did, was go to the town’s witch whenever she had a question she couldn’t find the answer to.
She knocked on the door and waited for a few seconds, she didn’t know if the lady was dead, or if she was a real witch. The old woman opened the door slowly, she was short, with her grey hair tied up in the back.
“Hi, I’m Diana, I need your help.”
“I can’t help you, child.”
“Don’t say that, I just want an answer. My mom always came to you, you helped her.”
“I take my powers and answers from the forest, and the forest hates your husband and his family.”
The woman shuts the door and walks away slowly from the dark wooden door, Diana puts her face on the door and shouts.
“Why does the forest hates him?”
“How do you feel when nature doesn’t let you have a child?” Answers the woman from the other side of the door.
“What does that have to do with this? I feel bad, of course.”
“That’s exactly how the forest feels when your husband kills its children…The deer he killed yesterday, also had a family, newborn baby deers. Now go away.”
That’s the moment that clicked for Diana, her not being able to get pregnant, the breathing deer, the bleeding heads. It was the forest’s curse. She knew she had to do something, something about her husband.
She went back home, waited for her husband with lunch, prepared the most romantic lunch ever, and waited for him, quietly on her chair. The moment he steps into the room he throws her a sarcastic laugh.
“You realized you were wrong darling?”
“Yes husband, please, sit down.”
He takes a seat and looks at all the good meals on the table, looks at his wife, and regrets his behavior, or at least for the moment.
“Listen, I’m sorry for how I treated you this morning.”
“You know, I was thinking you could clean the bloody walls upstairs.” Said Diana cutting a slice of stake.
“What bloody walls? I haven’t been upstairs since the morning.”
“Ohh, you should go, all the animal’s heads bleed, the walls are dirty, it stinks.”
“I thought that was your job, cleaning the house.”
“I didn’t kill those animals, Orion, you did, your father did, I’m not cleaning their blood.”
She cleaned the knife with her green dress and went closer to Orion.
“I’m only cleaning your blood.”
Diana stabs Orion in the neck, his blood pours slowly on his dark blue blouse, his breath faded away slowly, he didn’t move at all, almost like he agreed that he deserved to die.
Diana cleaned him, cut his head, mounted it, put it in a bag along with the deer’s head above their bed, and went back to the old witch.
“I came back, I want to bring an offering to the forest, I’ll just leave it in front of your door.”
“What do you want me to do with it?” Asked the woman, not even opening the door this time.
“Tell the forest I’m sorry maybe, I made sure Orion is not going to kill any of its children anymore.”