On Friday night, I was involved in a spoken word gig revolving around the Friday 13th franchise.
I’ve never watched one of those films, and horror is one cinematic genre which leaves me totally cold.
So, after some research about the plot of these movies (using the term “plot” loosely!), I contemplated what I would write.
Chatting to an equally bemused friend about this, he asked the right question: “What is the foundation of this story?”. I responded remarkably quickly with “revenge”. It is about revenge got out of hand. And this naturally lead me to think of The Oresteia. The only, surviving, tragic trilogy from the Ancient Greek period, also deals with the issue of mortal revenge gone rampant.
In the final play, the eumenides have to come in and wrest control of the justice-system, out of the hands of silly mortals.
So, here is Friday the 13th, as written by Aeschylus.
Friday the 13th
Harken ye! Harken ye all
To this tragic tale
Of untimely death of youths
Too soon brought low
And drowned in sacred waters of Crystal Lake
In times long past, children of Athens
Sought to make camp in forest dark
There to frolic, in hopes of catching a glimpse of Artemis,
Or any virgin-mortal.
O gods forgive the counsellors, who
Undone by Dionysian revels
And libations numerous
Let Jason slip into the sacred waters
There to drown
And from this cursed moment
for many long years
The thirsty dust has echoed not with
Sounds of youths at play
Yet rather with the plashing steady stream
Of bloodly gore,
flung from axes sharp and arrows swift
Hail ye, all hail!
The Furies cry out for wrathful Pamela
Who pledged to seek earthly recompense
For loss of beauteous Jason
Rides in upon the back of a she-wolf, crying vengeance
Her mother-heart lead her down
To the waters crystal clear
Whereupon she set bold to slake maternal blood-thirst
Slaughtered she many
On the shore of that wretched lake.
Hail ye all hail Alice Hardy
Spurred on by Zeus, who
Taking up hallowed axe
Makes sacrifice of Pamela
Sending her, unceremonious
To earth below
Oh wise Fates!
How your people cry out for help
This retribution soon will route the land of Athena
If you do not intervene.
Yet hail ye, all hail to Jessica
Goddess-maid, with reverence and mystical dagger
See her set upon Jason
Snatching his mortal life once again
From behind the hockey mask of Apollo
And leading him down to Hades
Hearken now to the footsteps of Ginny
In guise of Pamela, there to confuse Jason
And feed the fires of this wondrous trope
Yet even final girl cannot outrun the molten lava
Of righteous retribution
Oh will this curse never lift? Will the home of Pan
Never be rid of foul vengeance?
Will this dark, primeval lair ever-more ring out
With cries for mercy?
Come Eumenides, you who watch over mortal man
Come and appease the restless souls of Camp Crystal
And make for this franchise
A final chamber of rest