A SMILE, REFLECTING
By ~ Lily Childs
She’s seeing as though through a mask, its hugging surface woven of fine leather and peeking with thorns. Woe betide the kissing man who will surely die from her spikes.
Counting down the seconds with bites of her blackened nails she begins to worry her lovers won’t come. They must! She is tearing at the skin now, ripping sore shreds away. Saliva slips into the wounds, puffing the flesh.
At last their car pulls into the driveway. He gets out first, does a comedy run around to her side to open the door. She’s looking beautiful tonight – he’s probably telling her that as he lifts her hair and speaks softly into her ear, his hand slipping down that long, slender neck.
It’s strange to see them together. She is used to having each of them to herself. Is this wrong? Can I do this, can I share? The plan doesn’t seem as solid as it did yesterday, when she’d whispered the invitation.
They’d each acquiesced with a flush of the cheek; he in the morning, she - just minutes before midnight.
But they must have told.
It changes everything.
They let themselves in, as instructed. She hears them utter meaningless words in low voices as they pour themselves drinks from the bar. Hers will be green gin and his, a dash of single malt. Their giggles entice; the ice in their glasses chimes louder than bells in the expansive hallway. She hears the clatter of heels and soft shuffle of Brogues on parquet. Her breath rises a notch in the dark, keeping time with every step of their feet as they mount the creaking staircase.
She will greet them as never before.
Her look is of love as she opens the bedroom door - naked as the rose petals that cover the floor, the windowsill, the bed. Her hands drip with blood as red as the rose petals that cover the floor, the windowsill, the bed. The daggers are sticky in her hand – one for each neck, one for each heart.
She can share after all.
As they stand - adulterous eyes taking in her body - she opens her arms. They cannot help themselves, and move towards her. His fingers reach for her waist. He slips them into the open holes she has slit beneath her ribs. His wife drops to her knees; her kisses will sting.
The descent is all she has dreamed of. Slow, an emptying of life-force, a giddying plummet towards the fabled little death. She smiles as they carry her to the bed; she has been waiting to offer herself up to them this way for so long.
They are clumsy. Surely they share the desire to drink her dry? Light flares in her memory and she swallows a missed beat of the heart. Who are these people? How did she get here?
The lovers fall and fall again, sobbing with tears of seduction, eyes wide open, throats wide open – giving themselves to her in a rush. The game is no longer hers to command, she tells herself, slipping over wet skin. She wonders if she ever really told them the game was theirs all along. Their faces reveal a different truth and she wonders then, if they even know she is.
She twists her head this way and that. Her lovers lay on either side, throats glistening. His still has the stiletto blade standing erect, though the flow has ebbed. Her dagger has toppled to join the one at her heart making a crucifix between her small breasts.
A man creates a shadow on the wall. She watches him lift his phone to his mouth.
“Emmerson? We’re too late. They’re dead.”
She hears him talking to Emmerson and the others that now crowd the room, of stalkers and escapees and mental health and danger and delusion. Of Mr and Mrs Radford, newly-wed.
Her mask is lifting, taking with it the cobweb barbs and the cord that has tightened itself around her thoughts for so very long. In the rush of release she observes the scene in all its stark reality, seeing clearly for the first time in years – and understands what she has done.
“Stop her! Somebody, stop...”
She reclaims the knives, studies them for a lucid moment, then remembers. Her little lovers; glistening steel and sharp as the razors with which her mother cut her own wrists. When was that?
All is well. All is well. She plunges the daggers into her neck, welcomes the warmth that sprays over the sheets and onto her skin.
The growing crowd makes the oddest of sounds. She watches them spill their insides; opens her mouth to tell them she is sorry but all that comes out is red.
It feels better now, this darkening, wet place. She doesn’t know the man and woman beside her, though she’s been in their house for a while. At least they will always be together. The thought makes her happy and she is filled with joy at having learned to truly share – their home, their love, their lives – whoever they were.
People blur in and out.
Someone leans over her to press her scarlet fountains, leaving the blades in situ.
Lightning, is it lightning? It flashes over and over, turning the world into negative and negative and negative and so maybe, just maybe - it’s a camera and...
...why would they want photos of me?
Perhaps we’re a work of art.
“Smile for the camera”, someone should say.
‘We’ve lost her.’
She grins. Her smile reflects back from the stilling steel.
© Author Lily Childs
~ Another stunning Debut ~ AT THE BIJOU
Now I've seen everything. 'Stilling steel' and 'blades in situ'. Me ~ a man of evocative suspense and mystery. Imagine that.
Absolutely*Kate has cajoled the one, the only, the wilds we know as Lily Childs to debut AT THE BIJOU ~
Our Ms Kate tried to tell me the projectionist was running "THE SHADOWS OF OUR NOIR" show, but I told her shadows were but mere pinpricks of undeterred light once she let Lily in AT THE BIJOU. She's put all the staff into such a fright.
Absolutely*Kate: Oh Al, come on, it's not that terrifying. Lily Childs is the epitome of suspense, gut leveling as it may be. We're lucky to have her here. So the jujubes got shook up and the Snickers bars quit laughing. Lily's going places, star to the firmaments, that kind of lofty launch. The gal has stage presence, I tell ya.
Absolutely*Kate: Mr H ~ But you're a hero, cinematically speaking. You give pleasure to millions of movie'goers.
AH: "Give them pleasure - the same pleasure they have when they wake up from a nightmare."
Lily is a writer of horror, twisted crime, dark fiction and poetry who sees beauty in everything. She is the author of the Magenta Shaman urban fantasy short novella series and has recently released the first volume of her extreme horror short stories Cabaret of Dread through Ganglion Press. Her ebooks are available to download from all Amazon platforms.
Lily is Horror Editor at award-winning ezine Thrillers Killers ‘n’ Chillers, alongside Crime Editor/writer Col Bury, and Thriller Editor/best-selling author of the Joe Hunter series, Matt Hilton. She blogs regularly at Lily Childs Feardom and you can follow her on Twitter @LilyChilds and facebook.com/lilychildsfeardom
|CURIOUSITY OF THE KATE sails on . . .|
|LILY CHILDS ~ Feardom's|
Voice intuiting Time itself
You ask for Manifesting?
Hmm, Lily is currently working on various supernatural mystery novels in a lighter than usual literary style. Her third Magenta Shaman novella is taking shape and Lily is considering a related non-fiction book on shamanic journeying. She continues to write extreme horror short stories and already has enough dark tales to fill Cabaret of Dread Vol. 2.
I’d write about invisible dancers in the grass and bluebell-capped, winged faeries; I rewrote biblical tales to meet myth and other diverse religions. No-one approved so I gave up – on and off. Now I write for myself, because I can’t help it. But the spirits are still there, oh yes.
I’m a forest rather than a mountain girl, so would be happier running with a boar than flying with an eagle; though that’s not to say I haven’t ruffled feathers in a meditation or ten. Currently I’ve been walking with man-sized herons; they’ve not got a lot to say for themselves but they walk tall – with grace. I think that’s all about dignity. It’s something I need to learn.
|I'm in Lily's spell ~ You?|
Bohemian Kate, it is my belief that we exist on many levels and layers, and whilst we might not perform True Blood-like shape-shifts in the physical realm, I know we can do it on the spiritual – and of course, in fiction.
I have no doubt; you – my jewel-gathering friend are a Magpie, neither earth-bound nor sky-trapped. I would set you free on shamanic flight to dip in and out of psyches and souls, discovering and rescuing and – why not, occasionally stealing something pretty for pleasure.
My father has always affectionately called me Maggot (sounds lovely, doesn’t it) from the original country name for this curious bird Maggot-Pie – a nod to my child-like obsession of all thinks twinkly. This is heightened in you, me thinks. You seek out the sparkling on this earthly plane, soaring high and gathering your finds with an astute beak and welcoming wings/arms. You appear here, there and everywhere – a single bird but seemingly in flock, and like in the English tradition, we writers all nod a greeting to you, with no pecking order.
You’ll perhaps appreciate that this warm evening – after answering your question this morning - I sat in my parents’ lush garden in the late sun watching a pair of magpies that have nested in a fir tree. They flew round and about us whilst my father waxed lyrical on their habits, with no prompt from me, until the female climbed - no danced - up the trunk of the tree as though it were a ladder. An allegorical ascent perhaps.
Finally, the great beauty of this bird is that the unimaginative simply see black and white, but anyone that cares to look closely will experience every shade of blue and green in its feathers, contrasting with pale and pure crystal translucence. That’s what you are, Absolutely*Kate, never simply pie – and you don’t need me to turn you.
|Wish your Greater Truths, Lily . . .|
HAPPIEST CELEBRATING ALL YOUR LIVES, LOVELY LINGERING-ON-THE-MIND, LILY CHILDS. Our thanks for greater truths sparking spots, kliegs and yes, magick moonlight you've morphed through mahoghany double doors AT THE BIJOU.
xx Lily Childs
Pleasure is truly Ours
~ *AT THE BIJOU* ~
"Where Writers' Raves are Readers' Faves"