Translated from an old Romanian folk story and as dark as the darkest night. You have been warned.
Once upon a time there were twin girls, Stela and Sorina. They were brave little girls, and had no fear of the dark, nor of spiders and other crawling things. Where other young ladies and even young boys would cower, Stela and Sorina would walk with their heads held high. They were good girls, obedient to their mother and father and to the word of God. They were the best children a mother could ask for, and this was their undoing.
I woke up groaning, a drum beating painfully inside my head. Tongue thick and dry, body drained – not unusual for a Saturday morning.
I wanted to return to my dreams, but imagined I smelt coffee. Thirst winning; I dragged myself out of bed, donned my threadbare maroon toweling robe, pushed my feet into my old-flapping carpet slippers and set off to investigate the unexpected aroma.