The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
The Far Shore
by Marge Simon
When I was going on nine, I realized Mother was batshit crazy. I should say bat guano crazy, because she is very strict about proper language usage. Anyway, Mother is a whor –no, a prostitu – ah, she calls it a Boudoir Technician. Sometimes she slipped, and that explained my two full grown brothers, Big Samson and Little Samson (she liked the name). But she once told me secretly that she did it on purpose in my case, because she wanted a girl. Said girls were easier to train than boys. I wondered how she knew I’d be a female. Well, she couldn’t have. She was just crazy, like I say.
On a dark night, when the moon was shrouded in fog, Mother announced we were taking a trip to the Far Shore. It’s a jetty, known to be a wretched place, a home of monsters. Citizens were not welcome there. Deaf to our protests, Mother lead us to a spot past the docks where a rowboat was tied. The boys took up the oars, rowing until dawn came warmly pink on the horizon. Soon after, we banked and hauled the boat up the beach.
I stopped for a moment, looking back from where we came. The sun was now full upon the water, spreading like a golden counterpane. So peaceful. I could see the skyline of the city far off. Despite the placid scene, I had a bad feeling about this trip.
“Why are we here, Mother?” I asked on our behalf, not mine alone. She would have ignored the boys, we all knew that. “Because it is dinnertime,” said Mother.
“What will we eat? We brought no food.” “Hush,” said Mother. “It won’t be long. Boys, sit yourselves down in front of me. Rose, you stand behind them.” A moment later, she pointed excitedly, “There he is, see the water rippling off shore?” Sure enough, there appeared a ripple spreading out as if a big fish were heading toward the beach. But what we saw was no fish. Indeed, he was huge – man-like in build, with webbed claws for fingers. He rose from the water and bounded up to Mother.
He swept her up in a wet, yet passionate embrace. Then hand-in-claws they dashed off and disappeared behind some bushes. The leaves shook as if a hurricane was passing. Strange, moist noises. Giggles. Heavy breathing. They were doing you-know-what, even I knew that. In due time, they emerged. Mother’s clothes were rumpled and he was wearing a huge grin.
After kissing her goodbye, he grabbed Big Samson in his right claws and Little Samson in his left, and took off into the water. Heart-wrenching screams ensued and I felt very sorry for them.
Mother laughed. “I never said whose dinnertime, did I?”
“Mother! What’s going on?”
She sighed. “I may as well tell you, since I’m planning on keeping you. When we met, knew were meant for each other, but of course we couldn’t co-habit. Different lifestyles, food preferences, etc. Still, our passions must be sated as often as possible. I had to convince my clients to rent a motor boat and bring me here, promising special favors. I’d take the boat back alone after our passion – and his appetite — were sated.
“But why did you let him eat the boys?” (I had to ask, right?)
Mother raised an eyebrow. “I certainly couldn’t afford to keep feeding Stupid and Stupider any longer. They both were overly large, smelly, and lazy, you know. Besides, they’d gotten too old to claim as dependents. I suppose I could, but it’s embarrassing.”
I told you she was crazy. She made me row all the way back.
Fiction © Copyright Marge Simon
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Marge Simon:
The Demeter Diaries
‘The Demeter Diaries’ is a record of love and longing and the inevitable horror that arises between the minds of Mina Harker and Vlad Dracula as they court one another in waking dreams. The dialogue, written in both poetry and prose, imagines a psychic connection that develops between the two even before Dracula arrives in England. As Dracula makes his way from Transylvania to Whitby on the doomed ship Demeter, the two would-be lovers transmit their thoughts across the waves and lands that separate them, alternately wooing and terrifying one another with the idea of love eternal and all the dark delicacies necessary to ensure it. Front cover art by Wendy Saber Core, interior illustrations by Luke Spooner.