Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Sheikha A. @Darc_Nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!


Hansel Loses Gretel 
by Sheikha A. 

It begins like a whisper –
provocative fluttering –
dime-sized hole parting
its lips in a slow yawn.
The smell of burning flesh
intoxicating like garlands
of decoy-arum. Turgid
heat enveloping his mind.
A blue halo flickers
like an Arabian dancer,
hips widening in girth –
vortex of escape.
There is an energy prying
from beyond – familiar
past, smelling of burning
future. Flakes of dry fire
swirl as graceful atoms –
bonding to his skin – divine
like quick silver; he looks
like their mother’s magic
that saved their father
that night. This could be
his chance to rotate the past –
hold it stagnant – the spells
he slept with under his dreams.
Gretel nourished on poison –
little girl on a bed of candies –
some things had to be changed;
she has been plucking cakes
from walls that no longer exist.
A fire hearth brews wild caramel
while she sleeps. He must leave
to find her again – discover
the path to their never-home –
where father drew them deep.
The vortex before him pulses.
Visions of their voyaging –
forest to forest – Gretel’s body
famished and foraging – her eyes
hunting; never ceasing.
Fire billows inside her
like moon’s silver rain.
He steps one foot into the vortex,
in a flash, he’s back home –
before the hunt –
before the fire.
He finds mother farming
tomatoes – red plasma cells –
thick and coagulant; ripe as liver.
Gretel eating and eating – ravenous.
And then, fire. Arms of wild gold
embracing their mother’s veins.
The plunge of the stake is abrupt
like confusion when pain isn’t felt
only seen. Their mother’s eyes
turn lifeless. Father’s hand stabs
into his arm. Gretel in cue.
The vortex unzips its chest;
brother and sister thrown
into future – into never –
only he lands on the other side.
He watches Gretel from a mirror;
she stares at the throbbing eye
she thinks she knows. Mother
urging from beyond – plying
hand reaching for hers.
Gretel will never be found,
his mind blurring as she resists.
The vortex narrows its lips –
all that was will be what is.
She doesn’t stir from addiction,
teeth cherry-grimed, ravishing
the moon shadowing in liquorice.
Tonight’s rain will be black honey.
Fiction © Copyright Sheikha A.
Image courtesy of Rie Sheridan Rose.

More from author Sheikha A.:

Screen Shot 2019-12-17 at 10.57.17 AM.pngNyctophiliac Confessions:
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.

Available Here!


This entry was posted in Authors, Dark Fiction, flash fiction, FREE, Horror, Ladies of Horror, Writing Project and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Sheikha A. @Darc_Nina #LoH #fiction

  1. afstewart says:

    A fantastic poem.

  2. Marge Simon says:

    Dualities, wonderment and tragedy all woven brilliantly together as only Sheika A. can do. Thank you for this treat, Sheika!

  3. Wow! Stunning, visceral… I could almost taste parts of this and smell the flames.

  4. Such alluring imagery – love it.

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