The pins and paper lay scattered about her on the wooden worktop, latent trouble stored in their sharpened edges. The doll’s carelessly splayed limbs mocked her, though the fabric face remained expressionless. No eyes, no mouth to speak of. Still, Jade could hear the voice. Do this and disturb the balance. Nothing she didn’t already know, practised practitioner of loa. Unfortunately, now, she knew too much. She would command; compel; complete the curse.
The circle was ready, rosewater and salt surrounding it, little though it would do. Jade coated her fingers in clay, splaying it across the petite poppet, transferring it from herself to the hair filled figurine. Time. It would represent her, before she was finished. The one.
Jade took the tiny pot of red varnish. Dots for eyes. Ole rouje. Rage red; scarlet passion – shades chosen with care, for both name and inference. Hers. Colours scarcely used, not easily missed, taken over a number of weeks. Planning and precision.
A dash of perfume at the neck and wrists. Kohl pupil in the eye, left and right. Jade wrote the name, the vengeance, down. She had the words by heart, as she – the One – had held his in her grasp for months, had Jade but known it. Poppet became mummy, as she wound paper bindings about the body, hiding its mocking gaze from view. Not so triumphant now. Her time.
Jade drove the pin right through the bandaged doll, fastening the photo to it and it, in turn, to the bench beneath. No escape. Her time now. She lit the flame, the candle’s flickering wick contrasting with the midnight wax. The sharp scent of lemongrass mixed with the musk of perfume, left by the ritual coating of the poppet.
There was only room for one queen in this neighbourhood.
A new fortnightly flash fiction challenge I came across during my internet travels. This one is a horror based flash fiction photo prompt challenge which aims to encourage writers to share their horror tales. The challenge is to try to scare (a little!) or create "a little bit of darkness". The word count is 200-300 words.
This is what I came up with, inspired by Louisiana voodoo and a little poetic licence. Strictly speaking, Louisiana voodoo involves dolls, not poppets, as I understand it. Generally also the voodoo doll would be used positively, as opposed to negatively, to curse. This being a horror story, however, I took things in the alternative direction...