The narrator looks on as her mother and her aunts debate what to do after her twelve-year-old cousin, left alone for just a moment, has picked up a cursed sword. The family will never live down the disgrace if they can’t lift the curse off the sword. They even talk about raising their mother from the dead. She would know what to do.
Unfortunately, the youngest aunt has used up all her necromancy for a year in bringing back a certain king, so the chances she could bring anyone else back now are nil.
No one, however, is asking the cousin how he feels about the curse or the sword.
The author gives the reader some un-subtle allusions to Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and the Lord of the Rings, but there is something else going on here. Just the same, the ending is not a surprise.
It was fun listening in on the great aunt debate. They take themselves oh–so seriously. It’s nice to hear a well-known story told from another angle. The narrator offers little opinion, other than to acknowledge her mother’s suggestions are no more helpful than anyone else’s.
This is an enjoyable little read.
According to her blurb, author Marissa Lingen is a science fiction and fantasy writer living in the Minneapolis suburbs. Her work has appeared in Tor.com, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Strange Horizons, Uncanny, and other places.
The story can be read here.
Title: “The Curse”
Author: Marissa Lingen
First published: Daily Science Fiction, May 4, 2020