8. Goblin Love Song
I want to suck the marrow from your bones.
A short, sexy, violent poem. I would probably have sent this to Twisted Moon if it’d been around then. Instead it ended up in a horror zine called The Literary Hatchet.
10. Lady Blue and the Lampreys
The lamprey stomps to the bar and orders a Jim Beam, Bloody Tom’s favorite. Benny’s the kind of bartender who doesn’t say anything. Just slides the glass across and takes his money.
Back in 2013 or so, I kept toying with the idea of writing a gender-flipped Bluebeard. Eventually, I wrote a gender-flipped Bluebeard villanelle, called “Bluebells”.
My beta readers agreed that “Bluebells” was pretty, but it lacked something; villanelles are lousy for depicting a sequence of events, and so, for what the villanelle did manage to describe, context was missing.
Shortly after that, A. Merc Rustad and I were talking to each other about how horror stories have both an “inner story” and an “outer story”. I realized suddenly why the fix to “Bluebells” was eluding me. “Gender-flipped Bluebeard” sounded like a full story prompt, but it was only the inner part of the story. And that meant that the outer part of the story could be… anything I wanted.
I’m not sure anymore how I got from “anything I wanted” to “INVASION OF SOUL-EATING LAMPREY PEOPLE”, but Merc liked the idea.
“Lady Blue and the Lampreys” ended up being a rather un-fairytale-like weird horror story with a femme-fatale protagonist and a noir feel. Appropriately, it was published in The Exile Book of New Canadian Noir.
Lady Blue appears again in the story “As Hollow as a Heart”, which is possibly a prequel but more likely a slight AU, and was published in Lamplight earlier this year. “As Hollow as a Heart” doesn’t appear in MONSTERS IN MY MIND, as its publication date is a little too recent. You can look for it, probably, in a future collection.
Song Pairing: Lady Blue spends an important scene in this story listening to various parts of Verdi’s Requiem. In my mind, the part that is linked most indelibly to her is the “Libera Me”.
That soprano, though! Those high, wailing notes! Those totally gratuitous reprises of other parts of the Requiem! That fugue! That ENDING! *dramatically swoons*