The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Suzanne Madron
There’s a ringing mantra always in the back of her mind, pounding the insides of her skull. Some days she wonders if it has finally grown loud enough for others to hear it. Can they hear that damnable clock ticking down the seconds until her youth expires? Can they tell that she would already be considered ‘advanced maternal age’? Can they tell she can’t have children?
Do they know she’s over thirty? Can they tell?
She pretends she doesn’t care, but every morning the fine lines become less afterthoughts of a light-handed artist’s brush and a little more etched in the glass of her forced smile. Every morning the silver flecks in her hair become more pronounced in the harsh light of the bathroom. Every morning she curses her reflection, every night she scrubs the smile from her face hard enough to leave her cheeks an angry pink.
When she sleeps she dreams of being a man. Her voice is too low to be considered ‘feminine’, her shoulders too broad for dresses and blouses. She tries to wear them and only the sound of tearing fabric accompanies her laughter. Her feet are crushed into her heeled dream shoes so that every step is an agony until she sends them flying in two swift kicks.
She puts on the three-piece suit in her dreams and the gathered faces smile approval as they tell her to ‘man-up’. She wakes up crying and starts the process all over again, covering the soul-sucking sadness with pancake makeup and a smile that deepens the lines in her face.
Fiction © Copyright Suzanne Madron
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Suzanne Madron:
The house across the street seems to go on the market every few months, but this time nothing about the sale is normal, including the new owners. No sooner has the for sale sign come down and the neighborhood is thrown into a Lovecraftian nightmare and the only way to find out is to attend the house warming party.