Friday, July 18, 2014

First Word: Ellen Hawkins: Curse

You curse, calling down the devil on the head of some poor soul who has no idea what’s got into you.  Perhaps your behavior has a natural cause: a mere blast of electricity that irritates the brain. It sizzles like fat in a hot pan and sends bizarre messages to the tongue. Words explode on the page in a rush of #%$$#— all of which may only mean ‘bloody hell’.
            Sending curses into the future is another matter; its practice lends malice to evil. As the intended victim, the curse hangs over you or circles your aura looking for a point of penetration. Suddenly you’re caught in its web, unable to understand what’s gone wrong. In this zombie-like state you write or drink coffee or puzzle over a jigsaw but nothing emerges that can lift you above your loneliness.
            Yet even that may be a fairly mild curse.  More diabolical is the one that knocks you on the head at sixteen, and from which you never recover. Call it schizophrenia, depression or any of its other names, but those connected to the spirit world know it’s a curse. Who is responsible? Was Joey whacked about as a child? Or did his mother smoke something volatile and live on garbage and stale onions during the early months of her pregnancy? What nonsense! Science tells us that the package, its genetic code intact, is there from conception, including the presence or absence of a curse.
It might be benign, of course, like blonde hair or webbed feet...
            Webbed feet?  It’s no use.  Goosy, the fictional character in a children’s book I’m writing, insists on lighting her lamp in my brain and it’s she who is controlling my thoughts.

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