Monday, August 19, 2013

Death is a Woman

Yesterday, or maybe it was Saturday, a chance comment set me right in the midele of a story that was unreeling in my head. I had to start writing. So I wrote and wrote and wrote and the story consumes me. Consume my time, my thoughts, and the images are clear and colored in mourning.

I haven't been this excited about a story for a long time. This is the way I used to write, in a white heat with no conception of time or food or day. I often do my best writing when everything comes at me like a broken pitching machine at a batting cage, and I'm ready, bat poised to strike and catch each one at the right spot to send the horsehide hurtling over the wall and into the ether.

Finding an illustration for this short post is something else again. That took time. The art is called Death is a Woman and is by embraced1 available at That should give you an idea of the tone of this story. It's not horror, but it is definitely from the shadowy side of the mind and about a dark, cold-hearted murderer.

I thought about posted it in serial form here, but decided to wait until it was all written and edited and published to let people in on what I've been writing. This one needs to make an entrance like Red Death at Prospero's private ball or The Phantom at the masquerade. This story is not like anything I've written in years. You can be the judge of whether it is worth the wait and worth waiting for.

I've waited for a story to fire my imagination like this for a long time. I enjoy writing fictionalized versions of my life, like Among Women and the soon to be released sequel, Among Men, or even a bit of wish fulfillment like Past Imperfect, which began life as a plan for revenge and became something more. It's not even like the story of a woman who sees death as he takes someone close to her and she chases after him to beg him to take her, rather like stalking death. That's an interesting title, Stalking Death.

Other stories and books have languished because I can't get back into the world I created, like Whitechapel Hearts, although I do keep adding to it here and there, and it has some historical context since Jack the Ripper is central to the story, as is Robert Louis Stevenson and a woman. Isn't there always a woman?

No matter how men marginalize and revile women, keeping them in psychological, physical, and societal chains, at the heart of everything is a woman, and some women are quite adept at playing the innocent -- or at least beleaguered and abused so there is a reason for their violence. Puts me in mind of the woman who set her husband on fire while he slept after being abused for years. Marriage has a way of uplifting and destroying people and some people imagine they are being destroyed, or want a way out to start their lives over. Getting away with murder is difficult, even for the so-called geniuses of crime, but to get away with murder and have no one suspect you is a great feat. That is unless something sets the wheels of memory turning until the events of a decade before are shown in a much different light. It's a good thing there is no statute of limitations on murder.

Some murderers get a taste for the violence and decide it is the best -- and most lucrative -- way to solve all their problems. That is where they set themselves up for failure. It's a variation on: fool me once, shame on me; fool me twice, shame on you.  The murderer might get away with once, but getting away with murderer again under similar circumstances? Spider senses will be tingling all over the place.

Okay, so no more hints and no more clues. Keep an eye out for one woman's story of suicide, gossip, and murder. It'll be a killer.

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