WONDER WOMAN

 

He was alone in the house: a bit doleful, a bit disengaged. Somewhere there was a depression in the room, but he wasn’t sure if it was him that had it. He thought well, I’ll concentrate on my favourite things: I’ll read, I’ll look at a film. And then he remembered it was his birthday, so he thought  he’d do a little ritual, and make a wish.

Feeling a little foolish, he lit a scented candle (it made him cough a bit) and then intoned: “I wish for my heart’s desire!” The he blew out the candle. A stronger breeze blew through the room, and seemed to gain force. There was a rustle and a click, as though several cogs had interlocked at once. Then a light shone out of the living room.

 

Cautiously, he peeped round the corner of the door. There on the sofa she was, with the lamp on her. She looked golden and blue. Long legs, an astonishing cleavage,  tumbling hair that seemed to be all Redken. She had a shield, for God’s sake. And a spear. It was Wonder Woman herself. Her boots creaked loudly as she stood up.

 

You never quite know how to deal with your fantasy. He introduced himself. But she seemed somehow recalcitrant. He didn’t mind her not agreeing with him: indeed, that might be stimulating. But she was astonishingly argumentative, and even quarrelled with herself once or twice. He tried to order a takeaway (“not vegan enough, not meaty enough”) and then offered her a drink (“my body is a temple, but OK, make it a double”). The worst was her frenzied activity level. She was able to walk up the wall and starting jogging on the ceiling. She used his new standard lamp as a sparring partner. Finally, in desperation, he tried to broach the issue of romance. This was not a good choice of topic. “I don’t think I’ve got a vagina” she said: “at least, nobody has found one.” But as a sort of recompense, she flipped out her breasts. That was alarming, as there were eyes where her nipples should be. So he was in the odd position of wondering whether to offer her a new conical brassiere, or a giant pair of sunglasses.

 

This was not a great birthday evening. There wasn’t even any cake. He began to find his visitor a trial, and discovered that desire could be cumbersome. It was rather early in the relationship to wish that she would go away: but he began to do so, and fervently. He lit the scented candle again. It guttered a little, as he intoned: “please be more ordinary, or go away!” She could not do the first, but could manage the second, with a puff of wind and a screech. Some strips of silver foil, and a blue star, and the heel of a boot, were all she left behind. He could cherish these, and keep them as relics: a reminder of the potency and oddness of dreams.

Arrow left_white.png
Arrow right_white.png

FOLLOW ME

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon
  • YouTube Social  Icon

© 2020 by Sue Harper

feminist gothic literature | tales of the macabre | fantastic and supernatural | gothic fiction | written by women | gothic literary tradition | gothic fiction | supernatural | fantastic and paranoia | literary female gothic | gothic narrative | stories of transformation and surprise | sue harper | short stories | feminist gothic literature | The Dark Nest | portsmouth university | emeritus professor sue harper | feminist gothic literature | tales of the macabre | fantastic and supernatural | gothic fiction | written by women | gothic literary tradition | gothic fiction | outstanding achievement award | british association of film, theatre and television | professor of film history at portsmouth university | film, media and creative arts | british academy and the arts and humanities research council | stories of transformation and surprise | sue harper | short stories | feminist gothic literature | The Dark Nest |