The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Marge Simon
Thanks for the light, lover. Come close, I shall tell you a secret about me and my sisters. Tonight, you may call me Carmilla. Born of landed gentry, a life of leisure lay ahead until I was courted by a certain Count. You might say he gave my death – er, life, new meaning. By mutual consent, we enjoy an open union.
My closest sister, sweet Aimee, traveled from Paris to the Colonies in 1868. She settled in postbellum New Orleans and became a respectable mistress, and later, an elite Madam. Adventurous Delphine took off for the Libyan Desert, hoping to sample Rommel’s blood in ’41. Sometimes we see her face depicted outside bars in Cairo where various pleasures may be procured. Miriam left for Bangladesh in ’63. She was the religious one, though meditation didn’t work for her. Still, she likes that filthy place, perhaps for its music, but more likely for the ease of sanguine samples. Ling is the oldest of us all, certainly the most talented as well. She pens songs for rock stars, assists in their success or failure depending on her inscrutable mood.
Many years have passed since we were turned, yet our faces are ageless. Though the wine is better quality, the blood is thinner. Manhattan’s neon lights form irreal colors, incredible as our own undead lives. New Year’s Eve we gather to watch traffic from my flat, dots moving along the horizon like a zircon necklace. We toast the new year, for tomorrow promises passions we have yet to know.
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
Very sultry and dark.
Evocative of smooth jazz and lazy smoke. Love it.
Such atmosphere! Now I want to wear pearls and go sip gin in a smoky dive bar.
This is so clever – an immortal life well lived