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The Rose Queen
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The Rose Queen

by Alexis Child & Michael Morbid

Rodney burst through the front door alerting his mother to the fact he had returned home from school safely, but was greeted with no reply. He roamed purposely throughout the two-story house in search of his mother, finally catching a glimpse of her out of the large bay window in the dining room. Regally, she reclined in a black wicker chair like a queen on her throne bathing in the perfumed scent of the rose garden she lovingly tended to everyday without fail. Rodney drank in the intoxicating sweetness of the roses, quietly approaching his mother so as not to startle her.

Gladys didn’t seem to notice Rodney's presence at first until the arm of his blue cable-knit sweater caught on a rose thorn and the tree branch snapped off falling silently to the ground. Leaping up from her chair she cried out, aghast. “I told you never to touch my babies and now look what you’ve done!”

Gladys rushed to the rose bush to assess the damage caused by her son’s carelessness. Where roses once bloomed in all their splendor, now only barren, skeletal stems remained. Petals strewn on the ground whirled aimlessly about the garden in the wind.

With remorse, Rodney knelt beside his mother who sat stone-faced in her chair; a silent tear emerging from the corner of her eye.

Gladys reprimanded her son in a disapproving manner. “As Queen of this Court, my royal subjects demand justice. You will pay dearly for your wrong doing. Retribution is at hand, Rodney.”

Clutching a garden spade in her hand, Gladys delivered four sharp blows to the boy’s body, until he fell lifelessly to the ground. A solitary arm dangled upon a bruised branch of the rose bush raining droplets of blood as though to nourish the soil below.

Next, Gladys picked up her pruning shears savagely tearing pieces of flesh loose from Rodney’s skin. Content with the job she'd done, Gladys smiled proudly at the thick strips of flesh adorning the rose bush where her prized flowers had once bloomed. “There you are, my lovelies. Oh wait, there’s more!” she cried enthusiastically.

Gathering up the rest of her son's dismembered body, she planted it carefully beneath the soil; a feast for the flowers to delight in. The loyal queen of her court bowed before her royal subjects pledging to honor and obey them as long as she remained in their service. “There is another surprise in store for you,” she promised. “I have a guest coming to the garden tomorrow and the seeds of her soul shall be yours as well.”

Gladys began to giggle, and then broke into uproarious laughter. She was laughing so hard she could hardly speak. “It's almost too good to be true. How fitting that your next royal feast goes by the name of Rose.”

Copyright Alexis Child and Michael Morbid 2005

Alexis Child hails from Toronto, Canada; horror in its purest form. She works at a Call Crisis Centre befriending demons of the mind that roam freely amongst her writings. She lives with a Shaman and Calico-cat child sleuthing all that goes bump in the night. Her fiction has been featured in The House of Pain and Top International Horror 2004 published by Rainfall Books/BJM Press. Her poetry has appeared online and in print in such publications as Chaos Butterfly, several times in Decompositions and The Dream People, Gothic Fairy Tales, The Harrow, Horror Carousel, Locust Magazine, Planet Prozak, Simulacrum, Skin and Bones, Whispers of Wickedness and elsewhere. Visit her website: http://www.angelfire.com/poetry/alexischild/

Michael Morbid, a native of Texas has been banned from the music industry for his grotesque stage shows resulting in a slight vacation in Austin State Mental Institution where he has had poetry published in their monthly newsletters. Other poetry credits include U.K.'s Ezine, "Whispers of Wickedness" and is forthcoming in "Decompositions." He promises to continue frightening publishers and readers alike with his morbid sense of theology and fiery passion for pathology. Think of him as the devil's jester.... More of his works can be found at: http://www.angelfire.com/scary/michaelmorbid/

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