The Irresistible Woman: A Micro-Horror Collection, Part 1

Content note: fantasy/horror violence, and plenty of it. Also some references to sexism, misogyny, misogynist violence, and some sexual content.

I have seen many fascinating responses to sexist dating advice. I have seen feminists respond with humor, with rage, with snark, with dismissal, with carefully patient and even empathetic education, with sarcasm that could wither a Venus fly trap.

But until May 14, I had never before seen feminists respond to sexist dating advice with a impromptu collaborative outpouring of fantasy horror micro-fiction.

In response to this post on Facebook, from dating coach Jonathon Aslay:

How a Woman Becomes Irresistible To a Man… She chooses to set high standards for herself. She’s clear on what she wants. She knows the value of friendship before sex. She comes from a place of gratitude (not expectations). She is confident and willing to ask a man out on a date because she knows a relationship is a two way street. She demonstrates trust and respect by accepting him for who he is. She’s in no hurry to get to the destination. She can take of herself, she doesn’t need a man. She shows up interesting and interested. She comes from a place of compassion (not entitlement). Lastly, she knows how to inspire a man, because she leads by example. Did I miss anything?

Facebook feminists bring you: The Irresistible Woman. All micro-stories reprinted with permission of the authors, credited and linked to (or not) as they requested.

DISCLAIMER: References to violence, death, destruction, physical torment, psychological torment, supernatural torment, world domination, eternal nightmares, or the warping of the entire space-time continuum to exact revenge on one sexist jerk, are all intended as metaphor. These are fictional expressions of rage and mockery, aimed at the impossible, contradictory, ever-shifting standards of female desirability, and at the barrage of advice given to women about how to meet those standards. None of the authors actually want to do these things, or think they should happen. No, really.


She uses the sustentacular cells in her sinus cavities to manipulate local magnetic fields. –Yvonne Rathbone

She keeps watch in the night, in the shadows. Many-faceted eyes guard the tender sleep of innocent paramours. If she doesn’t hear that scratching sound, it must not be there. If she doesn’t hear that scratching sound, there is no one there. If she does not hear any scratching sound, there is no one anywhere. An irresistible woman never leaves crumbs in the bed. -Ashley Protagonist

She keeps her mandibles sharp and shiny. -Amy Lou Renner

She knows where her man left his keys, his coffee mug, his bones. Her chitinous endoskeleton will never be found. She uses Groupon to pay less for spa days. -Ashley Protagonist

She doesn’t worry about fine lines or wrinkles, because her skin is only a temporary raiment, a mass-produced bauble from a cheap conveyor belt manned only by sighs and deflated ambition. She doesn’t need night cream. She does not worry about her freckles. Her beauty is on the inside. -Ashley Protagonist

She turns herself inside out when the moon is dark. –Yvonne Rathbone

She doesn’t dwell on failed projects, on misplaced hopes. She starts fresh, shedding her old wishes along with her broken or dulled incisors. She always has what she needs, and she always uses what she has. -Ashley Protagonist

All beauty is on her inside. She devours beautiful things with hunger. Men, men are such pretty creatures, she says, tired of the way our culture’s idea of “beautiful” is firmly bound up with ideas of the feminine. More for me, she sighs, and spreads her mouthparts wide. –Amanda Gannon

She can communicate with restless spirits beyond the ether and command them to do her malevolent bidding. -Caspa Pouncey

She is spiritually in tune, connected with the powers which have gone before, and those horrors which have yet to pass through her into the world of men. She prays in times of crisis, secure in her personal relationship with her higher power. -Ashley Protagonist

She can correctly draw a pentagram blindfolded and recite Latin incantations from memory, she is never afraid when she gazes into T H E V O I D and doesn’t shy when T H E V O I D gazes back. -Caspa Pouncey

Her eyes are open to the beauty of fleeting coincidence, to the majesty of temporary blessings. When the wind blows north-northwest, she covers her eyes in the letters of her name, of her master’s name, of her favorite character on Friends. When the wind blows south, her eyes close. When the wind blows south, her heart opens. When the wind blows south, her voice is Theirs. When the wind blows south, Theirs will be the last voice we hear. She hides her receipts from Pier One. -Ashley Protagonist

Her master’s name? None who could be her master have names. -Kylen Knapp

Vexing shrines to her are built in curious locations, though no one has seen them being made. –Amy Alt

The chalk she uses to inscribe her summoning circles is more properly bone dust bound together with gum arabic. She always draws them blindfolded. She does everything blindfolded. She “sees” perfectly well through a mixture of sonar and some sort of electromagnetic sense we do not fully understand. When she has finished, she raises her many hands and mighty tentacles spring forth, rending asunder the fabric of the world we know. Stars rain down. She gathers them in a bowl. She eats them like popcorn as she sits at her computer, watching men be wrong on the internet. The tentacles sit patiently at her side. THEY know their place. THEY are content to serve. –Amanda Gannon

Sometimes, just for fun, she will have a staring contest with T H E V O I D. She’s never lost. -Peter Eng

She masters the feminine secrets of Tuva singing and uses subsonic registers that reach into men’s soul in casual conversation. –Yvonne Rathbone

She must be a skilled Appalachian clogger and be able to recite pi to the hundredth decimal point in Cantonese. -Caspa Pouncey

Let’s not forget the tatting skills and bricklaying abilities! –Amy Alt

She knows how to kill you without leaving a mark AND chemically dis-incorporate your body.

She doesn’t need a man to help her with these tasks. -Zazel

And the paper she wrote on her techniques to accomplish the aforementioned is published posthaste in a top, peer-reviewed journal. Professional and public accolades follow, though, being dead, you cannot appreciate her accomplishments, cuz life sucks like that sometimes. –Amy Alt

She is so beautiful nobody questions her when she buys tarps and hatchets and large amounts of acid. So beautiful, and yet nobody can remember her face. The man that sold her the cremulator on Craigslist said “She was attractive, the way that attractive women are attractive. She had nice hair, I guess. And eyes. She definitely had those. At least two, but possibly as many as eight. Very nice legs, cute stockings on all of them. Somewhere between 5’6 and 71′ tall. Her dress was red. Really, really red.” He could not be any more specific. Men do not recognize the subtle gradations of color that women do. –Amanda Gannon

She must be beautiful but not too beautiful so as to attract unwanted gazes from other men but beautiful enough so that if other men do gaze at her, they’re jealous, she must exist on this dimensional plain. -Caspa Pouncey

She must tweeze the small soft hairs from her venom sacs. She must pencil them back in a darker color than they were. -Ashley Protagonist

If the beauty she is currently using is not sufficiently beautiful-but-not-too-beautiful, she selects another from her cupboard and dispenses with the old. The soul of the person from whom this new beauty has been stolen will feel a menstrual cramp-like ping in their abdomen the moment the beauty is engaged, and the person from whom the old beauty was deriven will perish, as that beauty was clearly not up to snuff. –Amy Alt

She must exist on this dimensional plane to feed. She exists on several others simultaneously. This one, the plane of Hunger, the plane of Bleeding, the plane of Sacrificed and Unnamed Female Characters, the plane of Sharpening That Which Needs Sharpening, the plane of Shadow, liquid shadow, to which she retreats when she has fed. –Amanda Gannon

She must always remember clean the bath out after bathing in the blood of her enemies, she keeps her talons perfectly manicured and she never accidentally bites her tongue when she eats. -Caspa Pouncey

She forgives. She forgets. She erases. She recreates. She perfects. She consumes. -Ashley Protagonist

She has memorised every line of Mean Girls. -Caspa Pouncey

On Wednesday, we wear each other. -Ashley Protagonist

So, what day do we wear the blood of our enemies? – Zazel

Every day, it keeps our exoskeletons supple and clean. -Caspa Pouncey

Fantastic. I knew that stockpile would come in handy. I shall start tomorrow. -Zazel

Every day her enemies sit with her. Every day her enemies must sit with her. Every day her enemies are a part of her, wasting their eternity pleading backward through time, unheard, for her to allow Fetch to happen… to allow Fetch to have happened. Fetch will never happen and now neither will they. For her, butter is truly a carb. -Ashley Protagonist

They will sit with her and they will get none for Gretchen Wieners, for they are not Glen Coco, they do not get to go. -Caspa Pouncey

Glen Coco is gone. All others must stay. She keeps them, keeps them close. If with strange eons even death may die, she’d rather they do it in the house. -Ashley Protagonist

She knows in her heart of hearts that these weak mortal men don’t even go here. –Angie Jackson

They don’t go here. They go to . . . they go to that other place. The one none of them speak of. They are told about it. Once. One warning is all they are allowed to pass on to those who come after. Those who do not heed this single warning vanish. Sometimes days later, sometimes years. They are never heard from again. Although the wind that whistles from that canyon sometimes sounds like screaming. . . . –Amanda Gannon

She is never deceived by appearances, never absorbed by her own reflection. In the seventh minute of the seventh hour of every anniversary of her ascension she removes a layer hiding from the male gaze her true face, which cannot be seen. She never seems to be wearing makeup. She has never been seen to apply makeup. She is always wearing it. -Ashley Protagonist

Her hair is clean and glossy, and smells of the promise of spring. Her hair moves in an unseen wind, trailing after the scents of mingled admiration and envy. She trusts her hair to follow deception, to grasp it, to pull it apart from its bones. Her hairspray is never unpleasantly crunchy to the touch. -Ashley Protagonist

That’s why her hair is so big; it’s full of secrets. –Angie Jackson

When she passes another of her kind, their hair communes, almost instantaneously passing information via pheremones, ensuring that what one of her species knows, they all know. The mechanism by which this is possible is not entirely understood. What is understood is that to cross one of them is to cross them all. What is understood is that they are hungry. And very, very angry. –Amanda Gannon

In response to a citation of the song “Short Skirt, Long Jacket” by Cake:

Her skirt is short enough to be playful, but never short enough to hint at carnal possibility. Her jacket hides her arms, her thighs, her hollow yawning greed, her emptiness. Her fingernails shine like justice, and taste of carrion. Her voice slices hope like tinted glass. -Ashley Protagonist

What is she hiding with the long jacket? It is that the skirt . . . the skirt is made from human arms and legs. She brandishes her obsidian-toothed sword/club with glee. Wear longer skirts, the men say. She still only takes limbs from the knee or elbow down. She has mercy. She has such mercy. Amanda Gannon

In response to a comment about the Irresistible Woman living by the samurai code of conduct:

She is way too busy and tired to keep to the code. It’s really more of a suggestion anyway. -Patricia Rowell-Johnson

Some claim that she has studied the samurai code of conduct, pared away the frills and furbelows that were added on, and lives her life by the core concepts, while ignoring the dross. In this interpretation, she only says she is too busy and tired so she can have more time for important tasks, such as making fools suffer. -Peter Eng

If I want a man to know that I am interested, I secrete a purple substance that exudes pheromones. If that fails, then I use my mandibles to gently grasp them. I promise that I’ll be gentle, guys. -Gertrud

Gertrud is revered for her gentleness, on this plane of existence, and many others. -Amy Lou Renner

“Gertrud is revered for her gentleness…”

Except for that one time. But that was self-defense. – Peter Eng

We wait for them to approach. It’s called ambush predation, and it is very effective. –Amanda Gannon

She has stood at the crossroads at midnight, gris-gris bag in hand. Somewhere an owl hooted, and a warm, fetid, swampy wind tickled her nose. Suddenly, The Dark Man was there. The promise was made. Blood was drawn, a parchment signed. There was the stink of sulfur. And she knew….oh, she knew…she would never have to shave again. Duke Egbert

My velociraptor legs are smooth and hairless. They end in powerful toes and a disemboweling claw.

Line to pet them forms to the left. –Amanda Gannon


The Irresistible Woman: A Micro-Horror Collection, Part 1
The Irresistible Woman: A Micro-Horror Collection, Part 2
The Irresistible Woman: A Micro-Horror Collection, Part 3
The Irresistible Woman: A Micro-Horror Collection, Part 4
The Irresistible Woman: A Micro-Horror Collection, Part 5
The Irresistible Woman: A Micro-Horror Collection, Part 6
The Irresistible Woman: A Micro-Horror Collection, Part 7

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The Irresistible Woman: A Micro-Horror Collection, Part 1
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2 thoughts on “The Irresistible Woman: A Micro-Horror Collection, Part 1

  1. 1

    Wow! I love this so much! I hate idiotic “dating advice”, and have lampooned it myself on my old blog, but this stuff is masterful! Best thing I’ve read in a while!

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