Although Julius, after having worked at the Susquehanna Hat Company for more than fifteen years, was already accustomed to their annual business trips in Wilkes Barre, they were still always quite an annoying chore for him. Early on Saturday morning he got up so he could have the easiest possible time making the three hour long drive through Routes 80, 115 and 81. Having gotten to his hotel room on Route 315 a bit early, he thought he’d take a joy ride through River Road and enjoy the local scenery. When he got to the small borough of Hilldale, he couldn’t help noticing an inexplicably enchanting small candy store on one of the side streets. Once he went inside he met Lydia and Delfina, the two eccentric old sisters who ran the establishment. At first they just struck him as nothing more than a couple of entirely harmless spinsters, perhaps relics of a bygone era. Somehow, though, the pair ended up having quite an enduring impact upon him. Their speech, mannerisms, and attire were like nothing he’d ever before seen or heard of. The atmosphere of the store was evocative of some long-ago, faraway land. Eventually he went home to Lindenhurst. Thursday, his first day home, found him significantly more tired and moody than anyone could have possibly predicted. There was something very different about him after the long business trip. Ethel, his girlfriend, and Ralph, his best friend, tried to talk to him but neither could figure him out. He explained that the work-related meetings he was supposed to attend went exactly as normally and typically as he could have expected. There was simply something unbelievable about those oddball sisters though. Since his having arrived home, he couldn’t stop thinking of them day and night, often staring helplessly at some faraway fixed point in space. He would often break out in an icy cold sweat for no known reason. “Hey Ethel,” asked Ralph, “You don’t believe in any such a thing as a gypsy curse, do you?” She just rolled her eyes, unable to figure anything out. It took them quite a few weeks to help him recuperate from his traumatic experience. Since then they’ve all been understandably terrified even to presume to talk about it.