Another Gerstler

A Blessing and A Curse


Spoken by a twelve year old girl wearing a paper crown. She addresses her younger brother: So far in this life, you’ve done me no harm. But in past incarnations your crimes against me were numerous and abominable. As punishment, you must spend a goodly portion of this existence making it up to me, or be reincarnated as a Beaded Gecko in the Gobi Desert next time around. I expect the first in a series of well-thought-out presents to begin arriving the day after tomorrow. I’ll tell you when you can stop. And they better be nicely wrapped, too. You know what colors I like. Woe unto you if your offerings do not delight me to the wellsprings of my being. We shall both be exhausted before your forced worship of me runs its ferocious course. No one understands my rituals. You will study them and explain my winter injuries to our childlike followers, whose guileless, manic antics I alone was born to atone for. You’ll trace ancient diagrams in the sand so they’ll understand why my breath smells mostly like ammonia, why my halo of curls undulates like balletic water-worms at play, and why my future melon-like (but at this point in time still theoretical) breasts may be drunk from only on feast days or after a total eclipse. Don’t make faces at me! Hold perfectly still while I anoint your sweaty, freckled forehead with this stripe of sacred paste, made from candle wax, gutter mud and catbox gravel. Kneel down right now and let me smear it on, before mother calls us in to wash our hands for lunch.

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