(Content note: sexism, some transantagonism, references to violence, all fictional)
The Irresistible Woman’s Curse
The irresistible woman is powerful this week. It’s her special time. She’s cursed.
She can destroy flowers with a touch. She can spoil food with a touch. She can turn herself into lava. If she marches around a field three times, the pests will die. Sharks follow her, tracking her movements; she makes them her pets. She’s thought about making them her minions, her personal shark army, but that seems unethical. The tools that help her manage the power will kill any man they touch. If she touches your face, her sweat will penetrate your skin, sink into your jaw, make your fillings fall out. Her sweat can be carried by steam, sucking power out of the air to feed her own. Do not touch her. Do not even be in a room with her.
There are prices for the power. She can’t immerse herself in water: it will drown her, infect her, infect the water, infect the world. She can’t even wash her hair. She can’t eat mustard, it will dry out her blood. The tools that help her manage the power might kill her. She can’t be considered pure: purity rituals are off-limits for the week, she’s just going to have to wait. She was cursed young, so her purity is already in doubt, there are rumors, she really can’t fuck with that right now. She can destroy life, but not create it. And yet her curse is the source of her womanhood. She knows cursed creatures who aren’t women, but everyone thinks they are, the curse sticks to them like a permanent mask.
Then there’s the pain, of course. Sometimes severe, sometimes crippling, but totally normal. Nobody she knows has pain this severe, but it’s still normal. The pain is integral to the power. The pain is justice, punishment for the power. The pain is her fault, for rejecting the power, for managing it wrong. The pain will last until she spawns. The pain is an illusion.
She’s starting to wonder. She goes on the Internet, carefully avoiding websites about flowers and sharks. She finally finds it: the message board, Cursed Women. At the top is a banner: “Newcomers Please Read The Damn FAQ First, We’re Not Kidding.”
When she opens the FAQ there’s a flash of light. It’s blinding, hot somehow: it seems like it should hurt, but it doesn’t. The light seemed white at first, but now she can see the colors it’s made of; bursting like fireworks, fragmenting and regrouping like a kaleidiscope, swirling like a stoner toy. As she sits, bathed in the radiation of her laptop, her old power drains away. A new one rises up like the tide.
The light recedes. A new message appears. “Welcome. There are lots of us. Let’s talk.”
Many thanks to my Facebook friends, for the fascinating conversation that inspired this story. To read more about The Irresistible Woman and her origins:
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