Blood On Her Tongue by Marge Simon


Demented Mother’s Day Contest Honorable Mention


When I was a little boy, my adopted parents got a Siamese cat. They wanted to breed her. When the time came, that was done. By and by, she had a litter of six kittens. But as we watched each born, she would not clean them. She did nothing. So we sterilized an eyedropper to give them watery condensed milk, and put the tiny ones back into the birthing box. Come the morning, she was cleaning herself. Six small bodies lay mutilated, dead. There was blood on her tongue.

There are times when the moments hang suspended and life begins or ends. It was so when I was born, I’d not have lived, had she not intervened. My mother was drained while in labor with me. She didn’t survive childbirth. It had been a dreadful mistake, for which nothing could be done. After I emerged from the womb — the creature who’d killed my mother wrapped me in her shawl. It was her face that my eyes first recorded, her smell. They say that’s impossible for a newborn, but she was there, as real then as now. She emerges from the shadows. Her pale skin is riddled with tiny cracks, like ancient porcelain. Her lips are red, placenta bright. There is nothing comforting in her eyes. She smiles and takes my trembling hand. 

“It has been as hard for me as it was for you, my darling boy. I always felt you were my own. They found me holding you, I had to leave you to their care.”  Suddenly, she closes swiftly in on me. “Blood of my blood, come to Mama.” Her mouth opens wide. A prick I barely feel, and then the suck and swallow sounds as I surrender. Without protest, I drift toward death. I know her greater strength, and I’m sure she’ll drink me dry. I sought to pray, but the last thing I remember is that ungodly cat.


Marge Simon is an award-winning poet/writer. Her works have appeared in Daily Science Fiction, Dark Moon Digest, New Myths, Silver Blade, Polu Texni, Crannog, JoCCA and numerous pro anthologies. She is a multiple Stoker winner and Grand Master Poet of the SF & F Poetry Association. She attends the ICFA as a guest annually, and is on the board of HWA. Visit her at her Amazon Author Page

Published 5/6/21

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