I could not fathom as to why I felt enthralled by her design. A golden face and bodice from head to toe, oblique and obtuse below the neck. Metal straps covered her barrel-like body with tiny spikes protruding consistently around. The straps met in the center by a thin flat piece of metal. On that metal, a large key hole bored through, hiding what lay within the maiden’s chest.
Her face was the most intriguing of all. Golden yes, almost reminiscent of the sun. The eyes were apparent emeralds, though whether they were the gemstones or not, I could not say. Her nose was small, almost a little ball if it weren’t for the slant on the ridge. The mouth spoke of aghast with it gaping as it did. Yet, I did not fear it. How odd. Why would I not shudder at what one would normally consider a Kafkaesque face. For soon, I would be wrenched inside her womb and perforated to death. That face however, did not speak of despair. At least, not to those she would murder. Instead, horror at what she was forced to do. Screaming, in utter agony as she takes every life.
Ironic, was it not? I first breathed air in this world after leaving the womb of my mother. Now, I would enter the womb of this maiden and be snuffed out.
They tugged me to my feet, making me stand closer to my demise. I stared at the belly of the maiden as they latched a key in between her breasts then stretched open her ribs. Within, hundreds of sharpened nails jutted within. There was no stain of blood and not a nick or rust on any of the spikes. Was I her first? Lover? Victim? It seemed to be so. I would take the maiden’s virginity of death.
I spared the maiden one more look to her face, knowing it would be the last face I would see. At least, of my choice. But when I looked this time, it was not the same. It was no golden sun, but a macabre hellish face of a ghoul. Her eyes had shifted to rubies and her mouth now did bring me discomfort and despair. I desperately wanted to turn around and look at my executioners. I could not let this . . . this thing, be the last I saw. But I was too late. The men shoved me into the chamber, already skewering my flesh.
And then, I screamed. Oh how I screamed and bled. So much blood, just as my birth was. But how could I compare this to my birth? How could I ever use such an analogy? For this was not the warm embrace of a loving mother which entrapped me in her claws. Nae. It was the cold piercing of the Iron Maiden.
Caleb Greenough is a 22-year-old writer from Nebraska. He primarily writes in the high fantasy subgenre and has more recently strayed into writing short stories of the macabre.