To Break a Curse

By Brent King On May 9, 2015 Under Lessons in Fantasy

My soon-to-be-released novel, The Fiercest Fight, harbors a curse. Consequently, I have a few things to say about curses:

Fhangmanrom the ancient bane of Cain to the Egyptian curse of Tutankhamen, men have been under a dark spell. It haunts their days and their dreams. It is such a part of their lives that they can’t imagine living in a world without it.

The curse has passed from father to child ever since it fell on the earth. Its plague darkens each eye—and every town square—with shadow. In that shadow, none can see any other but themself. Every one, in turn, becomes a parasite, feeding on the lives of those around them to sustain their own fortune. Yet this cursed course sustains no one, for when the host dies, the parasite dies too.

This is man’s lot. This is his nature. It is woven into the fabric of his world—into the framework of his being. How can such a curse broken?

There are many theories, but only one can actually break the spell.

At the heart of the curse is “I.” It’s an “I” that is so precious that it will sacrifice all others to protect itself. The Hangman illustrates this well.

“You tricked me. Hangman!,” I shouted then.
“That your scaffold was built for other men …
And I no henchman of yours,” I cried,
“You lied to me. Hangman. foully lied!”

Then a twinkle grew in the buckshot eye,
“Lied to you? Tricked you?” he said. “Not I.
For I answered straight and I told you true”
The scaffold was raised for none but you.

For who has served me more faithfully
Then you with your coward’s hope?” said he,
“And where are the others that might have stood
Side by your side in the common good?,”

“Dead,” I whispered, and sadly
“Murdered,” the Hangman corrected me:
“First the alien, then the Jew …
I did no more than you let me do.”

Beneath the beam that blocked the sky.
None had stood so alone as I
And the Hangman strapped me, and no voice there
Cried “Stay!” for me in the empty square

To break the curse, “I” must die. It must not cherish its own neck above the necks of others. If “I” dies, then others can live. And if others live, then there is someone left to breath life back into “I.”

This is much better than the parasite scenario.

This is why only the cross can break the ancient curse. Men are crucified with Christ, so that they no longer live, but yet they do. This is confusing to a secular world. Pantheism says that “I” is an illusion. Secularism says that “I” is normal. Only Christianity says that “I” lives by dying.

Dying isn’t fun, but the curse is worse. It darkens all eyes and squares in the world of men, and only one course can stop it.

Have you broken your curse?


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