‘Anathema’ is one of those words I’m convinced is pronounced differently than it is. Both uh-NATH-uh-muh and ANNA-theme-uh sound equally nice to me, to the point that I’m never entirely certain which is which. Thankfully, it’s not a word I use in conversation much.
The concept is something I think about, though. When I was a kid, I used to think I was cursed (and since we played around at witchcraft, the idea made far too much sense to me). If enough bad things happened to me, a curse was the most logical explanation. It was too much to ask of a nine- and ten-year-old Melissa to conceive of a world that is randomly cruel, so magic and curses made more sense.
I’m not cursed. I don’t think I am. Strange things tend to happen to me, but they’re not all bad. Not a curse, just life.
Anyway, here’s a drabble.
(n.) From Greek ἀνατίθημι, for “I set upon, offer as a votive gift”
An accursed thing; someone who has been excommunicated.
Ellie has long known that the elders of her congregation are full of shit. She knows because the god they reference with such fiery passion whispers in her ear each night, his tongue long and forked as a snake’s. And when she tells them without mercy that the god they claim to love so much thinks they’re a bunch of shit-eating, swamp-scented charlatans, they drag her out by her bony wrists. It is a curse to have a god’s words in your ears, she thinks, but not such a curse as listening to the words of a liar.