The Ladies of Horror
by Mary Ann Peden-Coviello
“Honestly, Margo, how can you let her eat so much candy? She’s becoming quite the little porker.” My model-slim, bitter-tongued Aunt Patricia never bothered to hide her disdain for me.
“She sneaks it. She locks herself in her room with all those books and reads and eats all day. I’m at my wits’ end.”
I ignored Aunt Patricia and Mama, just as I ignored my cousins who thundered through the house, yelling, “Hey, it’s Bookworm Bessie!” But that night, when Aunt Patricia and all the cousins began calling, “Oh, Piggy, Piggy!” every time I moved, my heart pinged, and everything changed.
I stopped eating. Not entirely, of course. Late at night, when the house was snoring, I’d creep downstairs and eat a bite of cereal or a piece of toast. Something no one would miss. Something I could hide.
And I devoured all the books. I’d curl up in my bed and live as a princess in a high tower or a knight slaying a dragon. Sometimes I was the dragon who slew the knight.
Oddly enough, no one noticed when I began losing weight. I just faded away. July had come with its swim meets, and my older brother was a competitive swimmer. He sucked up all the attention. In my family of bright, loud people, no one missed my shadow.
One morning, I lay on my bed and read a story about a shepherd girl and her loving family. My bedroom drifted away. I never noticed when I lost my grip on the real world and slid into the sunlit meadows of the novel.
The open book fell onto the bed, right through the space where my heart used to be.
In the flowery meadows, I trail behind the lambs. And no one calls me Piggy.
Fiction © Copyright Mary Ann Peden-Coviello
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
About Author Mary Ann Peden-Coviello:
Mary Ann has been writing, or at least making up stories, since she was a little girl. Marriage put a halt to that for a while. She began writing seriously again in the late 1990s. She writes horror, paranormal, and humor. She lives in North Carolina with her husband of over 40 years, her oldest son, an assortment of pets, and sometimes a visiting son or two. Her only daughter-in-law is the Best Daughter-in-Law ever.
Find out more about Mary Ann at Skewed Notions! http://www.skewednotions.com