WELCOME TO FEBRUARY FEMMES FATALES 2012!
Over the next twenty-nine days the wonderful work of sixteen writers will be published on The Feardom in this year's February Femmes Fatales dark fiction and poetry showcase.
Visit us every day of the month to read the most wickedly gorgeous writing by some amazingly talented women.
This showcase opener this year is The Fog by Anna Harris. Anna and I have been rubbing virtual shoulders since I first got 'out there' in early 2009 - having met on Talkback, the UK's Writing Magazine online forum and then through Thrillers Killers 'n' Chillers.
She is not only a very talented writer, she is also a most supportive listener and reader.
Anna has a unique voice; she manages to touch your trembling skin in whispers to leave you chilled far further than the bone.
Please welcome Anna to February Femmes Fatales...
Bleak, ashen mist licks at my pasty skin like a snuff-dazed whore still mellow from her last hit. Cold, unearthly hands paw at this clammy skin drawn tightly across the hollows of my sunken jowls. I tug a woollen scarf closer over my clenched jaw and avoid the dim glow of gaslight in Buck’s Row, turning instead into the cover of a dank alleyway on Whitechapel.
A dripping sewer pipe under the bluestone arch rhythmically taps out a chilling monotone note that fails to keep time with my thudding heartbeat, its haunting echo disrupted only by a distant foghorn and a PC’s whistle.
The fog languidly strokes me, salivates. She swills her tongue seductively around my cloak, muffling cautious movement and deadening my deliberate footfall over the cobblestones. Then indolent, gluttonous, she whispers in my ear, “Paint her red, Jack, paint her red.”
She’s eager for me. Ravenous. Breathless.
A bony hand slides deeper into my pocket to encircle the cold shaft of steel. Steady now. It must be slow, measured; an intimate, unhurried tango of lust.
Fog’s wispy fingers beckon me deeper into the folds of her ethereal embrace and I take up her invitation, move further into the cloying, drab vapour.
Then she’s blowing again slowly, gently, “Paint her red, Jack, paint her red,” softly in my ear and stoking a long extinguished fire in my belly until I lose all reason.
She has me at her mercy. I allow her to seduce me, envelope me, engulf me.
I take up my blade, my artisan’s brush, poised to do my misty wraith’s bidding. I am her creator of colour, a master craftsman of design, daubing graphic slashes in vivid vermillion and sensual scarlet. Bloodied red streaks to paint the wan grey canvas of my lover’s kiss.
My portrait cries out a brief overture, a signal the opus has begun but then gurgles and bubbles and becomes as silent as the tempestuous haze lapping at my easel.
Ecstasy consumes me and I paint and I paint until my frenzied creation is complete.
Silence. I step back to capture the artwork, to etch the masterpiece into an indelible vision to savour later.
I breathe again. The smell of the mist, my mist, damp and thick caresses my nostrils. Sooths . I’m replete.
Far away voices intrude on our reverie. The tinkle of broken glass. A cat’s mewl. A foghorn.
Sated, my spectral mistress secretes me once more in the pallor of her comforting womb, sheaths me in her swirling, cosseting blanket to see me safely home until the moment she will entice me out again with the promise of another erotic dalliance in her voracious arms.