If you’ve even been on the receiving end of a curse, it’s like you’re constantly being followed. Like, by a stray dog trotting behind you as you walk down the sidewalk, a little lost kid at a carnival who appears whenever you round the corner, or a relentless wasp determined to land on your patterned shirt. Or, it’s like having a cough so wet, wracking, and persistent that it makes you more than a little nervous. Or, it’s like worrying—all the time—that you’ve left the stove on or that the small clicking sound coming from your shoulder joint is indicative of a much larger, more sinister problem. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you can find someone who can help you remove your curse, but those remedy-prayers don’t always work or can serve as just temporary fixes.
Curses are about power, and they’re about fear. You lose power when cursed, and you gain fear. The smallest things make you wonder, “Was that because of the curse?” Why can’t you stop losing weight despite stuffing your face? Why is your hair clumping more than normal in the bristles of your hairbrush? Why did your loving cat recoil from your gentle touch and bite your wrist? Like the most terrible type of fear, the fear of being cursed is not always huge and obvious. It can take the form of a slow, cold trickle in the back of your throat or a small, hard pebble in your depths of your stomach. You wonder, “What did I do to deserve this?” Sometimes the answer is just, “You were born.”