The Beast of Montenegro

“Does it hurt?” Mina asked her.

“Death?” Alena asked.

“Yes,” Mina said.

“No, it doesn’t hurt,” Alena said.

“Will it happen to me?” Mina asked.

“No, darling,” Alena assured her.  “You will live a long life. Longer than I did… It’s not good to dwell on sad thoughts. I don’t want you to be sad.”

“Will I ever be happy?” Mina asked.

“Of course you will be,” Alena smiled. “Everybody finds happiness. This will pass, I promise, nothing is forever.”

“I want to believe it,” Mina said, “that nothing is forever.”

“Mina, you need to stop coming to the cemetery,” Alena said. “It’s not good to be here.”

“I like being here,” Mina said.

“Why?”

“Because nobody stares at me differently,” Mina said. “Nobody knows who I am here. They leave me alone. They don’t look at me with those eyes.”

“I know, darling,” Alena said. “But, it’s sad here. You should go someplace more cheerful, like the lake.”

“Then I can’t talk to you there,” Mina said, “everybody would think I was talking to myself.”

“I know, darling,” Alena said. “No more tombstones. Let’s go look for Natalia. She’s disappeared on us again.”