The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
The Birthday Boy
by Marge Simon
My days have been numbered ever since that horrid book, IT, was such a success. The little brats are either hostile or afraid of my costume. Still, I need to make a living, however meager. I must face them again today for little Johnny’s birthday. He opens the door. I cringe, awaiting his scream, surely to be joined by the other little bastards. But something is wrong. Johnny is smiling. He hands me a fistful of fancy lollypops. “Come in, Mr. Pennywise,” and then, “Okay, Mom, Dad! He’s here!” Mom arrives with a kitchen knife. Dad grabs me and ties me up. “Okay, kids, line up. Everyone gets a chance, but try not to damage him too much the first time around,” says Mom. She hands the knife to Johnny first, since he’s the birthday boy.
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