Mr. V. Jarsdel

“Did she know what was happening to her?” Stan asked.

“She had no clue,” Mr. Jarsdel turn to face them. “She was trapped in the never endless loop. She had no way of knowing what happened to her before and after she came back to life… by happenchance some one was able to put the pieces together. A stranger who had crossed paths with Athanasia. He saw everything.”

“What did he see?” Stan was intrigued.

“This particular stranger had coincidental met her more than once,” Mr. Jarsdel said. “The first time he was eight, his grandfather had owned various creatures and kept them as his personal servants. The grandfather was also known to abuse them.”

“Creatures?” Stan was lost.

“Humans,” Mr. Jarsdel explained, “that’s what the Wendigos called them, as they saw them inferior to their own kind. Wendigos were prideful beasts, especially those more prosperous. The stranger’s grandfather was egotistical and he was cruel to anyone inferior to him. Among his collection of humans was Athanasia, a young girl who never spoke. The stranger remembers her very well because he watched his grandfather slaughter her in front of him. Afterwards, as it was customary, her remains were cremated.”

“They cremated the bodies?” Stan was perplexed.

“Did you assume they threw the bodies in a pit?” Mr. Jarsdel grinned. “Wendigos might have been savages but they were not uncivil. If they left remnants of bodies laying around scavengers, mostly other Wendigos would have been a problem… The best way to be rid of the bodies was to cremate them. Ashes to ashes, Athanasia returned to dust. The stranger had witnessed all this, not long after she had been cremated, someone had noticed foot prints leading away from the oven, as if someone had climbed out of it. It was presumed that a scavenger was in the midst. Years later, the stranger was fifteen when he saw a familiar face. He wasn’t sure it was her, and soon after she was annihilated. Nevertheless, he saw her a few more times, in flesh in blood she would stand in his presence.”

“It could have been a coincidence,” Stan asserted. “We all have a Doppelganger. I have been confused a few times to being someone they recognize.””

“It could have been a coincidence,” Mr. Jarsdel said. “But, Athanasia wore a necklace baring her name and when the stranger called it out she answered to it. Every time he came close to knowing the truth she was killed and her ashes strewn among the other ashes. But perseverance paid off when he waited in an alley one night. He had watched her ashes being strewn outside the back door among a pile of white dust. He had looked away for a moment and almost had missed it when he heard something rustling. From among the cinders, she emerged, reincarnated from her own ashes, seeing is believing… She stumbled from the dust, naked and trembling with cold. He watched her as she wobbled down the deserted street. She found a purple petticoat lying around and covered her flesh with it, not far were a few trash bins were she scouted for food. She was ravaged by hunger that she couldn’t quite explain. Before she could finish, the stranger grabbed her and pulled her in the alley, telling her to be still, that there were other Wendigos approaching. If they found her, they would tear her apart. That’s where that story ends.”

“It ends?” Stan was bewildered. “What do you mean it ends? What happened next? You got to know.”

“The stranger lost her,” Mr. Jarsdel said.

“How did he lose her?” Stan raised his voice.

“The stranger, though a Wendigo, was well meaning,” Mr. Jarsdel said. “He took her home where he thought she might be safe, but someone had broken into his home and abducted Athanasia. He followed the trial of blood and lost track of her. He never stopped searching.”





Mr. V. Jarsdel

“Wendigos?” Stan was finding hard to believe it. “Is there such things as Wendigos? I mean, people believe vampires exist, don’t they?”

“They believed Wendigos were vampires at one point,” Mr. Jarsdel smiled. “They did crave the blood of humans, but they also ate their flesh…”

“That is just insane,” Stan said bewildered.

“Perhaps,” Mr. Jarsdel said.

“How many times did she die?” Stan asked.

“Many more times,” Mr. Jarsdel said.

Athanasia did not have luck on her side as she was trapped in this casual loop over and over…  or at least it appeared that way. She wasn’t aware of anything, and only remembers the last memory before her death. In an subsequent death, she was back at the hospital were a pack of Wendigos surrounded her. She couldn’t escape them and before she could even back away they attacked her, slaughtering her for their greedy appetite. She could only scream as the pain engulfed her. That was always the last memory, her death at the hands of the Wendigos.

The loop seem to perdure as if it ensnared her, and she was unable to escape it. She died always the same, the memory of pain seared into her, but it played in her mind like a dream.  As years passed, change had taken its toll on everything even her. She still looked the same she did when she first died, but she had lost the ability to speak. The world she new was different and she wasn’t aware how different it had become. There were only a few humans left, but she didn’t know it just yet.

After falling into another loop, Athanasia was back at the hospital with two Wendigo nurses looking down on her as she crawled away from them, knowing what they eventually would do to her. They seem familiar, but she can’t say from where. One of the nurses, a thin middle age brunette displayed her teeth to Athanasia and stepped closer to her.

“Wait,” the older of the two nurses, a rather plump blond stops her. “We are not supposed to consume her. We were told not to.”

“But, I crave her flesh,” the brunette says impatiently. “I can smell her sweet blood. I can sense her heart beating. Why can’t we have her?”

“We were told not to touch her,” the blond responded. “We must follow orders. We can’t disobey again.”

The brunette fixated her stare at Athanasia, not wavering for a moment.

The blond glances at the closed doors and says, “they are coming.”

The blond, though menacing appeared frightened at whoever was about to come through the door, and then the memory blackens. One can only assume, Athanasia died and then the loop began.

“How did it began?” Stan asked.

“How indeed,” Mr. Jarsdel turns to his back to them. “She could never recall her birth, but the memory of her death staid with her. It was assumed the casual loop erased her memory and rewinded her life only to be played out differently each time. How frustrating it must have been for her, but it was her kismet.”