A Cautionary Tale

Matt and George were driving through town, talking about the fishing trip they had been planning for the past month.  They were so busy talking that they almost didn’t notice the old woman that was crossing the street ahead of them.

Holy…” Matt shouted as he slammed on the brakes.

The truck screeched to a halt, just barely stopping in time to avoid hitting the old woman.

Hey lady!  Watch where you…” George shouted.

“Shut up, you moron!  Don’t you know who that is?”  Matt asked.

“Yeah, she’s an old woman that should know better than to walk in the middle of the road.”  George replied.

“That’s Madam Katia!”  Matt said.

“And I should care because…?”  George asked.

“Don’t tell me you haven’t heard of Madam Katia!  Everyone around here knows that you never cross her!”  Matt said.

“Why?  What’s she going to do, throw her teeth at me?  Shake her walker at me?”  George said.

“No!  She’ll put a curse on you!”  Matt said.

“Oh, come on.”  George said.

“No, it’s true!  This one time, these four guys from the city came through town on their way to the lake.  They decided to enter Madam Katia’s shop out of curiosity, and immediately started making fun of everything in the store.  They even called Madam Katia a ‘crazy old gypsy woman’.”  Matt said.

“And that’s when she cursed them, right?”  George asked, rolling his eyes.

“That’s right.  She said that the four men were now each doomed to die; one by water, one by fire, one by earth, and one by air.  Of course, they just laughed in her face and continued on to the lake.”  Matt said.

“You know, we could have been at the lake by now…”  George said.

Matt ignored his friend and continued.  “The four men spent a couple of days out at that old cabin on the lake.  One day, they went out on the lake to do some fishing, when one of the men fell out of the boat.  He hit his head on one of those big rocks in the lake and drowned.”

“Oh really?  How exactly did he just ‘happen’ to fall out of the boat?”  George asked.

“Apparently, city folks can’t hold their liquor.  Anyway, the other three guys started panicking and, when they got back to shore, one of them decided to drive back to town to get the sheriff.  When he tried to start his car, the engine caught on fire.  He tried to get out, but he was trapped in the car and got burned alive before his friends could get him out.”  Matt said.

“Oh, come on!  How does someone get trapped in a burning car?”  George asked.

“What part of ‘they were cursed‘ do you not understand?  Anyway, the two surviving men decided to try walking back to town, along that old mountain road.  They got pretty far when one of them got his foot stuck in a crevice.  He made so much noise trying to free himself that he caused a landslide and was buried under a ton of rock.”  Matt said.

“Uh huh.  This is all bullshit, you now that right?”  George asked.

“I’m telling you, this all really happened!”  Matt said.

“Yeah, sure.  So how did the fourth guy die?”  George asked.

“Madam Katia blew his head off with her shotgun.”  Matt said.

“A shotgun?”  George asked.

Matt shrugged and said  “What can I say?  She couldn’t figure out how to kill someone ‘by air’.”



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