The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Marge Simon
Out here in the dark, my god what was I thinking? It’s chilly, I pull my shawl closer around my shoulders, warm against my skin. Grandmother made it, it’s all I have to remember her by. I love my shawl.
Yarn catches on thorns underbrush as I rush on, as if the shawl is trying to hold me back. But wait. it’s just like your arms holding me so I couldn’t reach my child, my sweet little baby who never cries. Never, ever cries. No crying because she’s dead, you scream, but you lie. It can’t be so. I know she’s out here. Out safe inside the Moontree, where I hid her from you. My hair blows into my eyes, I’m sure I hear my baby crying now, crying in the wind.
A fierce wind rips away Grandmother’s shawl. I start trying to free it from the brush, but it unravels as fast as I pull. I’m crying now, remembering you, seeing your face stricken in pain. Pain from the skinning knife I jammed into your stomach. Once, twice and twist upward, that’s how to do it, deer or man alike. You fall to your knees and I turn away. I’m free!
A few more steps, I see it now, what I came out to find on this darkest of nights. The glowing light, all misty-round ahead, framing the silhouette of a bent and leafless tree. And snug within its hollow, wrapped against the chill will be my wee babe. I remember – was it weeks ago or yesterday? – I remember grabbing my newborn from your arms, running deep into the forest where stands the Moontree.
I plunge my hand inside the hole, groping around, sure to find her tiny head and then to draw her out and hug her to my aching breast. Sweet Moontree miracle, my daughter, my own! But all within is moldy leaves. The Moontree must have swallowed her.
Out here in the dark, my god what was I thinking? It’s chilly, I pull my shawl closer around my shoulders…
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.