The old man decreed
we all need to get with the times
but since time immemorial it is us three sisters
who have been doing all the dirty work,
flying numbly through the brisk December air
our spangled cloaks and tennis skirts flapping
in the wind (what a downfall,
what a decadence).

When once we would have burst into the night
like a murder of crows, sharp mouths meant
to puncture the carotid of this world
and bring our master back his blood tribute,
now we are the dolled-up girls
one invites to their party for a guaranteed good time.

(What are humans but an amalgamation
of meat and electricity?)

Movie directors and music producers
everyone who wants to be someone cramped together
under smoke and strobe lights,
their hearts pushing blood much quieter
than the resounding rush of desperation
and shattered diamond dreams we now feed on.
This is the new currency, the new delicacy,
Hollywood born and bred.

We dance with them, feeling a little bit like flying
or falling, our old lives, our own aspirations,
merrily merrily fading down a stream of Bloody Mary
(virgin? Don’t make us laugh) and hallucinogenics.

Hours or earth rotations later we take the long way home
thrumming with stolen energy, high heels hung from hooked claws,
gleaming tarmac warm under the arches of our feet
pale faces blanched by streetlights.
We walk by what once was 10050 Cielo Drive,
site of the Sharon Tate murders,
and can’t help thinking of the Manson Girls who committed them.
They were a family like us
bound by blood, only not the red in our veins.
Their leader was a narcissist getting his harem, oh-so-carefully groomed,
to do his gory work.
(Now, where have we heard such a story before?)

Shall we go inside and feed? one of us asks
but the rest shake our heads something mournful,
something weary.
We fly to our hillside castle mansion,
back to our leader and director of every frame
of our silent-film lives.
Our nails grow sharper than usual,
our teeth aching to bite down and reclaim what’s ours.
What will the blood we spill across our front door
write for all the world to read?

Avra Margariti is a queer Social Work undergrad from Greece. She enjoys storytelling in all its forms and writes about diverse identities and experiences. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Flash Fiction Online, The Forge Literary, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, SmokeLong Quarterly, and other venues. Avra won the 2019 Bacopa Literary Review prize for fiction. You can find her on Twitter @avramargariti.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Would you like another?

Angela Sylvaine November 5, 2020

Mr. Chew

Cammie has grown up in foster care since the accident that took the lives of her parents, for which she blames herself. She was alone until recently, when her little brother Jason was returned by his adoptive family and joined her in a foster home. She tries to scare Jason by reciting a nursery rhyme about a monster called Mr. Chew, but she is the one who is scared. She sees Mr. Chew every day, staring at her and creeping closer and closer.

Caleb Stephens February 25, 2021

Shadow Puppets

Kyle has a new neighbor at Valley Acres Trailer Park—a strange, pale girl named Winter, who has an abusive father…and a rare allergy to the sun.

Jeff Ronan April 29, 2021

The Forever Friends

The Forever Friends is five-year-old Billy’s favorite show. He couldn’t imagine life without Lucy Goosey, Golly-Gee, the twins Tuck & Tick, and their leader, Hambone. If he’s lucky, he won’t have to imagine.

Kevin M. Folliard April 15, 2021

Chickenscratch

Forced to live with unfriendly relatives on an Arkansas farm, Cooper accepts strange chicken feed from a sinister salesman that impacts the chickens in unexpected ways.

Avra Margariti October 31, 2020

Honey Bear

“Come outside, dearest mine.
Come taste the spring honey
drip-drip-dripping from every hive.” Read this dark poem by Avra Margariti.

Nicole Givens Kurtz November 24, 2020

Sweet Tooth

Someone is killing kids in the projects. Bryce thinks Mama Shug, the neighborhood candy lady, might be responsible…but the truth is far more sinister than he realizes.

Buy a Book?

Stay informed