Posted By: Susan Rooke
Posted on: September 12, 2019 10:49 AM
There have been times when I have loathed someone so thoroughly that simply wishing them in Hell seems too good for them. Typically this applies to people I loathe in a more impersonal fashion, people I haven’t actually met, like various politicians I won’t name. Having the leisure to consider their detestable qualities at arm’s length means my temper is cooler and I’m levelheaded enough to think of more unusual fates to wish upon them. A few years ago I came up with some Fortean curses that seemed just the ticket and wrote them down in the form of a sort of hybrid poem.
First, though, a bit of explanation. For those who may not know, the term Fortean comes from Charles Fort (1874-1932), an American writer who spent much of his life tirelessly researching, cataloguing and writing about anomalous phenomena, also known as Fortean phenomena or Forteana. I’ve slurped up Forteana all my life with a big spoon: anything from poltergeist activity to Alien Big Cats, falls of raw flesh from the sky, cattle mutilations and the folkloric aspects of Slender Man. I love it all. For that reason, my favorite periodical has long been the delicious Fortean Times. Since the magazine is known for its sense of humor, I’d like to think that they would enjoy the following fates (ranging in severity from pain and/or major inconvenience up through complete eradication) that I have wished upon the detestable:
A Brief Compendium of Fortean Curses for Loathsome People
May you wake in the small hours of the night to the buzzing
of a thousand bees inside your skull and all of your electronic devices
firing off at once as an eerie blue light floats near your bedroom ceiling.
May your exsanguinated form found by mushroom gatherers
deep in a Romanian forest lend credence to fearful rumors that
the Vampir still roams in darkness and is not mere folktale after all.
May your vehicle go dead in the middle of a desert highway at 2 a.m.,
and may you suffer unexplained missing time and hair loss
after a ball of bright plasma descends upon you from the starry sky.
May your vacation plans go awry when magnetic anomalies
cause your private plane’s instruments to fluctuate and cease
functioning as you are flying solo through the Bermuda Triangle.
May your eyes be wide with horror when you are found unresponsive
in your bed by the hotel chambermaid who comes to clean the notorious
haunted suite you foolishly paid a vast sum to occupy for one night.
May the greasy ashes of your corpse be discovered soiling
the cushions of your uncharred armchair by the puzzled firefighters
who have just extinguished your spontaneous combustion.
May you be subjected to anal probes and other painful
medical procedures after being abducted into the strange
glowing object hovering above your backyard fence.
May only splintered wreckage wash up on the shores of Loch Ness
after witnesses report seeing a large, many-humped creature
emerge from the frothing waves and swamp your sight-seeing vessel.
May you be brained while enjoying your espresso
at an open-air café when live toads rain from a clear sky.
May your cries for help be heard receding ever higher into the night,
accompanied by the flap of enormous, leathery wings.
May an earwig creep through the waxy passage of your ear canal
as you are sleeping and lay her fifty pearly, glistening eggs.
May thine eye offend thee, and may I be the one to pluck it out.
May you live long in interesting times. And then . . .
May you stop.