The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Elaine Pascale
“Be pretty,” my mother had whispered over the open drawer that had served as my crib.
“Be pretty,” she had nestled an avocado seed into my bedding, which was several t-shirts stitched together. One may have belonged to my father, one belonged to my mother’s long-term lover, and one belonged to her cousin who had died young.
“Be pretty,” she told me on my sixth birthday as I gorged myself on fluffy white cake stuffed with rose petals.
She had thought that being pretty would give me the upper hand in relationships.
After three failed marriages and only enough possessions to fill a small box, I was finished with pretty.
I had no time or interest in avocado seeds or rose petals.
Pretty had not brought me love; I would fabricate my own love.
I wanted to create a monstrosity as beastly as I felt inside. I thought of the minotaur: a sweaty, odorous creature, horrifying to behold. I thought of harpies with sharp talons as dastardly as their faces. I conjured these images as I said my spells.
“Be hideous,” I whispered over my concoction.
Peering into my woven nest, I was surprised to find that when I looked at the product of my labor, I thought it was pretty. That was the curse of motherhood.
My creature whimpered and cried. Its tiny, skeletal hands reached for something to hold, for something to caress.
The avocado seed was the perfect size to serve as a crib accompaniment.
My creature instinctively knew what to do. It nuzzled the seed, comforting itself.
“Be hideous,” I whispered over the nest before leaving to find it something to eat.
Fiction © Copyright Elaine Pascale
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Elaine Pascale:
The Blood Lights
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Jezzie Mitchell is in anguish; with her brother’s murder still on her mind, she’s noticed strange behavior among the girls in the residential treatment center where she works. Is there a connection between the contagion on Cape Cod and the deadly Bahamas vacation that changed her life?
Jezzie reaches out to former lover Lou Collins, a scholar who has chased proof of the lights for decades. Will he be able to solve the mystery of the lights in time?
Intensely competitive, reporter Bridgette Collins knows the lights are a way to secure fame in her career. And while it’ll put the final nail into the coffin of her ex-husband’s career, she vows to know the secrets of the lights. Even if it means unleashing a world-wide epidemic…
Cool story, I love it.