The Beast of Montenegro

They walked back to where they came from when they spotted Natalia a few feet away. She seemed discontented and angry at a headstone.

“How could he?” Natalia muttered indignantly, as she kicked at the stone. “How could he?”

Mina looked down to see what it read.

Natalia Borb. Born 1896; died; Unknown.

“I wasn’t meant to die young,” Natalia raged. “I was too young and he took it away!”

“I’m sorry, Natalia,” Mina felt sad for her.

Natalia sniffled.

“It’s not your fault,” Natalia ceased her kicking. “It was his…”

Natalia failed to always mention his name. Whoever this man was, Natalia resented him. Mina wondered if he was buried in the cemetery somewhere. Perhaps, he was still alive. No matter, Natalia only mentioned him when something elicit her memory. Natalia couldn’t recall her death, and whatever bits and pieces surfaced she ranted to herself.

“It’s best if we leave,” Alena finally suggested. “It’s not good to be here.”

Natalia agreed and they all left.

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.


“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.”