The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
About My Mum
by Marge Simon
When I was a wee baby, Mum left me on a railroad track because my crying hurt her head.
I was quieted by the vibrations of the trestles until far off came the train horn, a tiny light in the morning mist, drawing closer. Mum went off in a bad mood and swung an axe at several neighbors, but they were used to her weird behavior. When the train wheels came in a thunderation of passage, my wails were not a part of it. A man had pulled me off in time. Not realizing what she’d done, he found my Mum and gave me back into her arms. She never tried that again, but there were other things.
She would have me brush her amber hair that grew down past her shoulders. It was like a live thing, like a Medusa of stubborn coils. If the brush caught in a snag, quick as a viper, her fist would lay me flat. I dared not stand up to her.
She was a jealous wife. When she thought she saw lipstick on Daddy’s shirt, she stabbed him many times. Then she removed his skin and hung it up to dry in the laundry room. Later, she chopped up his buttocks and cooked them as steak in a pot with carrots, onions, thyme and cabbage. His head was found boiled in a lidded pot and still warm, according to officials. After serving dinner, she took some pills and slept, doubtless a tower of former lovers in her dreams, their bloodless bodies pale as bone.
While Mum slept, I started cleaning up and happened to see what was in the lidded pot. I called the cops and was already gone by the time they arrived. Now I’m riding the rails in a boxcar, maybe the very same train that almost sealed my fate so long ago. Yeah, I know she wasn’t much of a Mum. But what really pisses me off is I can’t get the taste of Daddy’s keester out of my mouth.
Fiction © Copyright Marge Simon
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Marge Simon:
The title of this collection sets you up for the surprise of lyrical stories of victimizations with unexpected endings for the villains. Be ready to have your heart opened and cheer for perceived victims, human (made and unmade) and other life forms, victorious in the hands of these two award-winning poets. —Linda D. Addison, award-winning author, HWA Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and SFPA Grand Master.
Across histories and cultures and from Auschwitz to Babylon this book leaves you questioning who are the victims, and regardless of your conclusion you’re likely to get throat-punched. This is horror where everyone has a knife, and is ready to deliver this message: “Remember, you are always guilty. —Herb Kauderer, author of Fragments from the Book of the After-Dead.
Simon and Turzillo have only gone and startled me again. What a collection! Brutal. Beautiful. This quiver of poems strikes with the unflinching truth of persecution and oppression as seen through the lens of feminism. Prepare to come away bruised and yet strangely bolstered by Victims, a symphony of sadness orchestrated by two masters of dark poetry. —Lee Murray, Bram Stoker and Shirley Jackson Award-winner.
This is one of the braver dark poetry collections I’ve seen in a while. Horror poets generally employ victims in their work, but the focus is generally on the Evil. Turning the camera the other way is unusual, unsettling, emotionally risky, and surprisingly effective. From their stark opening take on Pygmalion, to the ending poem about the wasted life of Stateira of Persia, this powerful collection teases apart an impressive number of the threads of victimhood. Some are the usual cases, but quite a few are surprises, or reversals, or cases with unexpected layers. There is nothing repetitive about this collection. —Timons Esaias, winner of the Asimov’s Readers’ Award and the Winter Anthology Contest