The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
The Art of Buying Voodoo Dolls
by Marge Simon
She crosses the street to the dark side of town, where terrible things are bartered or sold. It’s a dangerous place as twilight descends, but her purpose spurs her on. At a Caribbean shop she spies just what she needs. An old Haitian lady helps her select, with a handbag to carry them home.
The big one’s for former lover William. He keeps begging her for another chance, and won’t let her be. He thinks she needs more of his company, but she’s fed up with his looks, not to mention his smell, reeking of cheap cigars and beer. As for the others, one is for the bothersome nosey neighbor, a third for her lying little sister, and a fourth for the bully who threw rocks at her dog. She smiles, knowing her pins will make them all squirm.
But she lingers to purchase a fifth one, made of the finest quality burlap. The Haitian saleslady throws in a new set of pins when she confides that it’s for her new beau. You know, just in case.
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
Excellent. And it pays to be prepared.
Such a clever story – a perfect little package of wickedness.