The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Sheikha A.
for Saad Ali
Kitchen Witches are real.
– Amateur Sage
She understands past lives –
dark matter of time – sludge
of afterlife. She has travelled
the ages of death in variants
but has returned with the skill
of inseparation – the way to be
herself. She cooks them food
brimming with enticing aromas
of promised finalities; they come
famished of illusions, deprived
of the blissful kind of fiction
that travels miles of suspension,
that webs thick strings of reality –
the present tense of possibilities.
She feeds them flavours of calm
flowing through their embossing
veins; their bodies slipping into
paralytic pleasures of limp sleep
from potions of notions; she arrays
buffets offering forbidden gateways.
Her house is an image of paradise,
psychedelic trance-waves of euphoria
nobody escapes her food –
nobody leaves once eaten.
They believe what they imagine
walking into a groomed kitchen,
lured into what cannot be resisted;
she cooks their essence on slow heat,
their souls reducing to congealing broth,
and by their scents she vials their worth.
Nothing she makes ever goes to waste
every part used, every breath infused;
every body served, every soul preserved.
The room shivers in miasmic silence
as she stacks the new bottled flavours;
her shelves tremble under their weight.
They come broken by manipulation;
she tells them she is maker of miracles –
an alchemist of potions.
She calls herself a fair trader.
She doesn’t tell them
she targets only soulmates.
She doesn’t tell she has many;
never tells she’s never lonely.
Fiction © Copyright Sheikha A.
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com.
More from author Sheikha A.:
Poems by Sheikha A. and Suvojit Banerjee
“The night is cold enough to inspire poetry,” says Sheikha A. in her poem, “Reading My Bones.” This is the basis of Nyctophiliac Confessions – poems that are introspective and luminal, poems that require a certain amount of silence and space to be fully formed and appreciated. Reading these poems, I imagined that they were the kind of poems that assert themselves unbidden during a bout of insomnia. (A nyctophiliac being someone who loves the night or loves darkness).
Nyctophiliac Confessions is the 17th installment of Praxis’ chapbook series and contains twenty-six poems written by two poets, Sheikha A. and Suvojit Banerjee, interspersed with abstract paintings by Robert Rhodes.