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Horror Vacui/Caleb Muse Forum

A message board to discuss the vampire character Caleb Morley (from the ABC-TV daytime drama "Port Charles"),  other vampires in fiction and myth, the supernatural,  the arts, and various dark muses.   

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Re: Werewolves, puberty and the horror of female sexuality

Here's a portion of one of my longer works, this section relating to female puberty, the santization and euphemisms related to the menstrual process vs. the messiness and horror movie aspects, as related in films such as Carrie, Ginger Snaps, etc.

"The Torrent" (part of "Vigil") by Alison Armstrong (Wolfy11) (c) 2002

Mysteries will soon be revealed, the narrator in the movie I watched in school had warned us. The black and white numbers blinked frantically across the crackling screen, and the cartoon began. A girl, perhaps about 12 years old, was sitting in an ethereally green meadow dotted with daisies swaying in a gentle breeze. Fat bumblebees flew sluggishly from blossom to blossom as the girl began plucking petals. “He loves me, he loves me not,” she whispered until the last petal, “he loves me,” was left between her fingers. The fuzzy gold head of the daisy lay at her feet, the pollen-dusted core a useless part of her amorous incantations.

As the girl stood up and began to walk away, the violin-basted music was interrupted by a female narrator. “This girl, perhaps like yourself, is experiencing first love,” the woman crooned in a soft, smooth voice seemingly incapable of malice or any aggressive impulse. “Love is a marvelous thing. And there are many other marvelous things that will come your way on your journey to becoming young ladies.” While the woman spoke, the movie showed the girl walking down a well-worn path to a small yellow house with immaculately trimmed hedges and window boxes bright with flowers.

Once at home, the girl looked at herself in her bedroom mirror and brushed her long, wavy hair. “You are getting older, taller, and some of you may have noticed other changes as well,” the woman went on as the girl admired her supple young body. Underneath her white blouse were the discreet undulations of budding teats, prickling under the chafing binds of their cloth harness, the bra, the manacle, the mask.

“The secrets of young love, the wonderful joys of growing up will soon be yours to

experience,” the narrator promised, her voice swathed in layers of antiseptic gauze, sterile and suffocating. Less savory mysteries, the female voice insinuated, loomed in the near future. We in the darkened sixth grade classroom knew what they were. There was a reason the boys were excluded from watching this film. There was a reason they were in the gym, unselfconsciously reveling in their familiar, still trustworthy bodies, running and jumping, unconstrained by the unwelcome changes we would soon experience. We were stuck here in the stifling female bond of blood. There was a secret too raw to be concealed by simpering euphemisms, a dark unsightly wound to be hidden and denied. Bandage the seeping hole, stifle the flow, gag your disgust with a clenched ladylike smile. Don’t bleed in public, don’t spit, just stew in your own juices. All it takes is a kiss from a prince to make the pulpy mess holy and fruitful. All you have to do is wait. . . .

As I lay in bed, restless and depressed, I think of the cartoon at school, that silly little lesson of passive waiting. I envision the girl now, slightly older, perhaps 16. She is dancing with a young man about her age in a chandelier-lit ballroom swarming with couples entangled like elegant pretzels.

As they dance, her white gown floats like the discarded daisy petals, her body the glowing center, the source of sticky nectar, not as sweet as the layers of perfume portend. Her polished, depilated body shines like a candle, attracting all the probing bugs, letting their wings and antennae fondle her until they sizzle with desperate urges. Her slippers glide across the checkered linoleum floor, white shoes on black square, his black shoes on white.

She delights in the camouflage, white covering the dark, the throbbing hole beneath her gown, and clutches him to her like a shield to protect her from her own emanations, the under-the-bed monsters she hides from, pretending not to see. Tucked deep inside her the uterus grasps its egg with rubbery frog-like hands. It has its own agenda, which has nothing to do with glittering ballrooms or fresh-scrubbed young faces. It waits for the secret signal to release its sperm-coveted lure and to squirt its squid ink, sticky, red, and pungent.

The chandelier lights sparkle over the cologned dancers as a darkness starts creeping down her leg. She looks down at her white slippers speckled a rusty red.

The wetness seeps through her wedding cake undergarments, sticky red icing spilling to the floor; it is like something springing loose inside her, a tight coil released. She is the conduit of a centrifugal flood, gushing unharmed as her partner begins to slip, his black-shoed feet gliding chaotically, unpropelled by will, across the floor. He clings to her now, trying to gain control of his leg, but she, eyes shut, is dancing, no longer seeing or feeling him. He is an accessory, a mere prop, a softly muscled platform for her dancing, stabbing feet. Her dainty, blood-soaked slippers pirouette over his fallen, drowning body. All the couples are engulfed in the throbbing tide, the headless, twitching rhythm of the flux.

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Replying to:

I just saw the movie "Ginger Snaps" (about a female adolescent who becomes a werewolf) and was very impressed. Although there were some cheesy special effects towards the end and the full-blown werewolf transformation looked rather silly, I loved the rest of the movie. Basically, it relates the process of female puberty to becoming a werewolf, that whole idea of the woman (or in this case newly pubescent female) as beast, which is a theme of some other notable horror movies, such as Carrie, Cat People, and Species, to name a few of this type. Some of the quotations I thought were quite profound as they relate to women and the horror of female sexuality, the double standard, etc. Here's one of my favorites: Ginger, after murdering one of her first victims, "No one ever thinks chicks do shit like this. Trust me. A girl can only be a slut, bitch, tease or the virgin next door. Because girls don't know how the world works." Another example, Ginger describing the rush of the kill and relating it to sexuality: "It feels so good. . . .It's like touching yourself. You know every move. Writing on the fucking dots. And after, . . .fucking fireworks, supernovas. I'm a goddamned force of Nature. I feel like I could do just about anything." I especially like the actress, Emily Perkins, who played the younger sister, Brigitte (not the werewolf sister, but like her older sibling, a dark, brooding adolescent with a cynical attitude toward life and the masses). She wasn't conventionally attractive but had this very compelling, dark, haunted look, somewhat reminscent of a young Patti Smith.