Content note: fantasy/horror violence, and plenty of it. Also some references to sexism, misogyny, misogynist violence, and some sexual content.
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. Part 4 of a series. 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.
In response to the previous poem, and someone telling Amanda Gannon they wished they had an Internet to give her:
I already own the internet, Peter. My shadowy tentacles reach into 2.8 billion homes worldwide. I am always watching. Even when I am asleep. I have lost count of my eyes. –Amanda Gannon
She listens as only she can, hearing everything and collecting fragments of sound to weave together into her magnum opus, a song that nobody will ever be able to remember. It will be transcendent beauty so great that the strongest shall fall to their knees and weep, spanning every experience in human history from the sacred to the profane.
This will be the song that calls the cosmos back from its outward flight, collapsing it into a single proto-universe again, before releasing it to create a new universe. Perhaps this time it will be acceptable.
She does not remember how many times she has done this. -Peter Eng
Actually, she has a Puckish sense of humor. She took it from Robin Goodfellow, along with several other things he wouldn’t need any longer. -Peter Eng
She has Puck’s humor. She keeps it in a jar at the back of her fridge, which she keeps meaning to clean out. –Yvonne Rathbone
The irresistible woman has transformed her skin into a superconductive ceramic shell. The cold, the cold, you touch her skin and the cold feels like burning, like acid, like inconsolable grief. Her skin burns off your fingerprints. You are no longer yourself, you will never again be yourself. You can recognize the other men who have touched her, by the smooth scarring on their fingers, their faces, their hearts.
You do not leave a mark on her. None of you has ever left a mark on her. None of you ever will.
The irresistible woman has transformed her skin into a superconductive ceramic shell. The transformation on the cellular level was torture; her screams were the cries of the phoenix, the newly-born spider devouring the body of its mother, the Christ hanging himself on the cross and crying out in despair, “Why have I forsaken myself?” When it was over at last, she was left with one small piece of her human skin, her own index fingertip, set in a locket. She is saving it for her daughter. –Greta Christina
“The irresistible woman is clear on what she wants, but has no expectations and accepts men as they are. She has high standards, but has no sense of entitlement. She has no need for a man, but cares deeply about being irresistible to them.”
The irresistible woman hears the contradictions, and laughs — a harpy shriek she immediately muffles into her elbow, for fear of giving the ending away. They think the contradictions will baffle her, frighten her, weaken her, send her into despair. They have no idea.
The irresistible woman takes the stage, strips, scratches her face with her perfect nails. She writes the contradictions on parchment in her blood, wraps it around her naked body like a shroud. The parchment twists at her command, and she twists along with it, her body bending, stretching, contorting into a Moebius strip, slicing itself into twisted loops that interlock. Her audience looks on: entertained, then captivated, then gradually paralyzed as the realization sinks in.
The words she spoke to the parchment were spoken at the same time to their brains. Their neurons, axons, dendrites, have twisted inside their skulls. It happened bit by bit, like the heat under a pot of water gradually boiling the live frog. The knots inside their brains are bleeding.
They had no idea.
She unwraps her body with a snap, eases out of the parchment. She knows her way out. She slips into a terrycloth bathrobe stolen from a hotel. She exits through the gift shop. –Greta Christina
Let us tell the story of what happened in the hotel, when she stole the bathrobe.
It is a thin night full of scudding clouds and intermittent rain, and somewhere out in it as the trains roar and the sirens wail and the dogs on their chains bark mindlessly, she swoops through the night on fragrant wings to land on the iron balcony railing of the aging hotel.
Within the penthouse suite is the writer. The white man with his laptop — it would once have been a typewriter — and his expensive scarf and charmingly run-down accommodations. He has been here for two months, seeking his muse, he says. He deducts everything on his taxes. He is a successful enough author to get away with it. His novels are shared in schools and colleges throughout English-speaking countries, his keen insight into the human condition has made sure of that.
Women should inspire. They are there to be incredible, unbelievable, gorgeous, glorious, superior in every way, to provide a model to work from, something to strive for. They are the ultimate goal. One after another he has found and shed his muses. One in Tuscany, another in Dallas (of all places). A third in Lagos — or was it Abuja? What a horrorshow to discover that the country he had written about so invasively was actually fairly civilized with paved roads and tall buildings and cellular phones at every ear. But the women there were so beautiful. So inspiring in their level simplicity, their fierce independence not quite enough to trump their dedication to tradition. Those who were not like that, he ignored. They were not the real residents of the city.
Here he hoped to find another muse. And she has found him, claws clicking now at the glass, as they have done every night for over a week. This is the ninth night. It always goes the same — she comes inside, perches on the back of the couch, and listens as he expounds. Theories about the world, book ideas, recollections from his youth, things of such immeasurable importance, translated through his viewpoint. The ultimate viewpoint. Poised as he is at the pinnacle of objectivity, yes, his authority is absolute. And in her he has found a willing audience.
She always listens, head cocked, until he is done speaking, and when he leads her to the bedroom, she comes eagerly. The fucking is alarming, somewhat. She rides astride and beats her wings, knocking against the antique chandelier poised somewhat precariously over the bed. The motion gives her leverage, so the sex is good. She is undemanding. He assumes she climaxes. He certainly does. More than once, last Wednesday.
So he assumes that tonight it will be the same.
He opens the doors.
His arm lies sprawled across the floor, fingers limp, curled. In the flashes of lightning from the thickening storm, her shape can be seen, dark, wings swept in a circle around her as she feeds. It is a behavior called mantling, shown by many birds of prey. Without the light, it might be taken for the billowing of curtains, but the sounds and smell give it away. Rich crunching and meaty ripping sound. Sundered bowels and the crack of bone. She is not a clean feeder.
After, she showers, scrubs the blood away, leaves the shower drain clotted with feathers and scales. That is when she takes the robe. A lush terrycloth she likes immediately. There is an M embroidered over the breast, property of the Manor Hotel. She thinks it might stand for her next name. Madison, maybe. It has a hip, urban feel. Trendy, yes, but also expensive. She likes to sound expensive.
She walks like that to the elevator, and out the front doors of the hotel, onto the slick streets where styrofoam cups dance in the sudden wind. She raises one slim arm and hails a cab.
“Where to?” the Cabbie asks. He has a pleasant accent, and his skin is the color of polished cherrywood. She will not kill him. He seems a decent sort.
She touches up her lipstick with a drop of blood she draws from her own finger.
“Just drive.” –Amanda Gannon
The irresistible woman draws the sexist male to her bosom. Her prehensile tongue snakes into his ear and, one gobbet at a time, removes all his grey matter.
Afterwards, no-one can notice the change. -Stuart Van Onselen
The irresistible woman knows how to spell “Tuesday.” You can’t help respecting anybody who can spell “Tuesday,” even if she doesn’t spell it right. -Jon Berger
You respect her because you fear her. The parts of her brain responsible for olfaction are hyper-developed, they take up more room in her elongated, transparent skull, and you have always wondered if this is why she cannot spell, or why her tentacles, normally so delicate, hesitate clumsily over the scrawled words. If it’s because there is not as much room for language processing. You know it is why she can find you, always. And why she can tell that you are afraid, even when she cannot see your face, even though without external ears she can hear only through bone conduction. Sometimes you wonder what other senses might be at work, but you are afraid to ask. And sometimes you think it’s simply because she doesn’t care about human words or human language or humans at all. But, then, if that were the case, why carry on with you at all? Why keep you near if she doesn’t want you? Perhaps she needs you. Perhaps she *needs* a man. But when you try to think of *what* she might need you for, you shy away, like coming to the edge of a precipice, and you refuse to look over for fear of what you might find there. Whatever she is keeping you for, the captivity is pleasant. It is always Tuesday here, calm and pale, and the sheets are clean, and she cooks for you, such splendid meals, and straightens your tie with her primary hands and straightens your lapels with her secondhands, and sends you off to a job you don’t remember because it isn’t important. She is the only important thing. And whatever fate she has planned for you, that is important, too. She loves you. You are certain of it. Absolutely certain. She always spells your name correctly. Even if Brad isn’t your name. –Amanda Gannon
(Rats.) -Peter Eng
She can kill with a smile.
She can wound with her eyes.
She can ruin your faith with her casual lies.
She only reveals what she wants you to see…
…darn it, that’s “She’s Always a Woman” by Billy Joel. -Peter Eng
The irresistible woman lays egg in the brains of men, he then cannot resist anything, ever again. This is the secret to marital bliss for the man. -Amy Lou Renner
“Did I miss anything?
The irresistible woman is deaf to mad echoes from the Reptilian Caves. She might pity those who listen if her heart were capable of such bromidic flapdoodle.
Flames radiate from her cackling maw as she ascends. The ungrateful grow pale in her presence like turds in the light of the summer sun.
But she’s always a woman to me. Katie Kate
TO BE CONTINUED…
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