The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi
She hid herself, tucked away.
She hid herself, completely in time,
Or maybe it was from time.
She hid herself away, deeply,
Then one day, cameras came,
And the reporters fumbled,
Trying to make sense of a pretty,
Nice girl being lost to
Such blood and abandon.
Her mother screamed.
Of course, she screamed
When death arrived, but
Didn’t care about emotions
Before, and the girl laughed
At the irony and wept at the
Pain all the same.
Her eyes were still open, a
Seeing hand, a third eye in
Life watching out, a fourth
Eye in Death, looking in and
Out and around. She wondered
If she was hidden well enough
Now or if her organs continually
Pulsed as they were ripped out…
And trashed. She was trash.
She could walk the strange,
Funhouse corridor, into light
And into shadows without notice.
She peeked around corners
With her one eye, her two eyes,
All the eyes, mostly trying to be
Able to see out of her self-inflicted
Prison. She looked hesitantly for a
Hand of connection at every corner.
In the crevices of the mirrors,
She saw reality and the sirens
And the morgue and the cemetery.
And she didn’t feel any more loved
Or needed as she did in life, only as if
Taking up some sort of molecule
Space, and she wasn’t more scared
Either as the loneliness was, and
Emptiness was, palpably similar.
They’d all evaluate on social media,
Be sad at circumstances, wish they
Could have done more, but if they
Cared maybe they’d have been less
Bitter, less competitive, less distracted.
And maybe they’d have connected
Their blossoming souls that
Harbored underneath waiting for
Nourishment but being shriveled by
The news in the evil world, by the lack
Of caring in human beings around them.
Maybe they’d see from all their eyes too,
And know that there was more to life.
She watched the glass of the mirrors
Around her shatter as she finally cried
Out, not missing her life, or anyone in life,
But life itself, or lack of one, the ability to
Live one full of humor, and love, and beauty.
Her third eye protected her,
her fourth eye covered her in dirt and regrets,
her two eyes made her wishful and wistful,
but now none of her eyes could save her
from the journey that could have been…
so instead they exploded, and she became stars
Hidden among the vastness and nothingness,
But finally, seeing fully.
Fiction © Copyright Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi
Fiction Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi:
Breathe. Breathe. is a collection of dark poetry and short fiction exploring the surreal depths of humanity. It’s a representation of how life breaks us apart and words put us back together. Purged onto the pages, dark emotions flow, urging readers into murky seas and grim forests, to the fine line between breathing and death.In Act One, readers are presented with a serial killer in Victorian London, a lighthouse keeper with an eerie legacy, a murderous spouse that seems to have walked right out of a mystery novel, and a treacherous Japanese lady who wants to stay immortal. The heightened fears in the twilight of your minds will seep into the blackest of your nights, where you have to breathe in rhythm to stay alive.
In Act Two, the poetry turns more internal and pierces through the wall of denial and pain, bringing visceral emotions to the surface unleashing traumas such as domestic abuse, violence, and illness.
In the short stories, you’ll meet residents of Valhalla Lane whose lives are on a violent parallel track to collision, a man who is driven mad by the sound of a woodpecker, a teenage girl who wakes up on the beach and can’t find another soul in sight, a woman caught in a time shift pitting her against the Egyptian goddess Anuket, and a little girl whose whole world changes when her favorite dandelion yellow crayon is discontinued.
Amid these pages the haunting themes of oppression, isolation, revenge, and madness unfold through folklore, nightmares, and often times, raw, impulsive passion crafted to sear from the inside out.
With a touching foreword by the Bram Stoker nominated author Brian Kirk, Breathe. Breathe. will at times unsettle you, and at times embrace you. Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi, a veteran writer and editor of the written word, offers up a mixed set of pieces, identifying her as a strong, new voice in dark fiction that will tear the heart from your chest, all the while reminding you to breathe.
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Women in Horror Month 12