's 2016 Horror Write-off:

Chalken Fairies

Submitted by Cassie Heath

NSFW! TW: rape, assault, gore.


When I was a young girl, walking

Underneath a grinning moon,

I would think of chalken fairies

Dancing to an ancient tune

Spirals on their vulpine faces

Pale as mother's washing-soap

Wine-dark warpaint come from someone

Did they die well? So we'd hope

Taller than a tower of acorns

Shorter than a summer snow

Lighter than a brimstone preacher

Heavier than what I know

Chalken fairies used to sing of

Ancient ways in ancient verse

Sounding like a saint's own sleigh bells

Even when they'd spit and curse

Though each face was pinched and hollow-

-Cheeked, not one could be more fair,

Though their eyes were bright as marshlights

I could see the darkness there

Coming out from deep within the

Earthen cliffs of sea-worn chalk

Bone-white fairies working witchcraft

As beside the edge I'd walk

Eager little voices saying

As the clifftop I'd pass by,

"Join with us and dance forever,

Step once to your left and fly!"

There was handsome Johnny Bailey

Walking too far from my reach

I called out, he could not hear me,

Rushing wind drowned out my speech

I looked down when they would let me

At what pale light could show

At the chalken fairies dancing

On the bloody mess below

They would dance and paint their faces

Chant and squeal in pure delight

Laughs like sweetest, purest music

Cutting through the darkling night

They would drink a fairy-potion

For their magic would make plain;

As they rutted on his organs

Johnny Bailey rose again

This time Johnny reached his hand out

Bones already losing meat,

As he climbed the chalken clifftop,

Saying in a voice rot-sweet,

"Won't you join the chalken fairies

In their little parlour game?

Won't you let them have your body?

Won't you let us be the same?"

Chalken fairies rose and flanked him

Leering at my heaving chest

Sizes twisting, shrinking, growing,

As they told me what was best,

And their best was ripping, tearing,

Bathing in a woman's blood,

Sweat enough to salt an ocean,

Tears enough to call a flood

I ran fast but they were faster

Bending space and bending time

More and more white hands upon me

Chalken flesh assailing mine

Chalken fairies stood to guard me,

Laid me down beneath young John,

Johnny's flesh was nearly jelly

But not all of it was gone

He was like a circus-bruin

Dancing, grinding, doing tricks

Chalken fairies pulled flesh off him

Some beat him and I with sticks

Torn from heart and hearth and kinfolk

Torn from life lived short but free

Torn to pieces by the chalken

Fairies that did this to me

As he and they writhed upon me

Some fell force holding me there

All I had was tears and screaming

Not for such as me is prayer

The moon set after an aeon

Chalken fairies fled the sun,

Johnny Bailey lay upon me

Looking now as he had done

When last I had looked upon him

As he lay upon the shore

Cold, dead mass that once was handsome,

Barely human any more.

Shaking like a leaf in autumn

Or a lamb whose wool is thin,

Was I when, a few months later,

Johnny's babe I found within

Every pill and each procedure

Couldn't force the babe from me

Every failure a reminder

Of chalk flesh defiling me

Nine months on from Johnny Bailey's

Murder by a chalken hand,

Out was born a pair of children

One of whom I could not stand

One was pinch-faced, hollow-cheekboned,

Eyes as cold as midnight dew,

One had flesh so pale, 'twas chalken,

And the other bairn was you

Every goodly thing in humans

Rested in your little heart

Everything about the chalken

Fairies was your counterpart

I knew that she looked upon you

Not just with a sister's eyes

I knew that she was a fairy

Eager to bring your demise

I would have cast out the creature

As I cast her from my womb,

But if I could not control her,

She'd be free to plot your doom,

And this year, now that you're twenty,

Has she not been seen since May,

And even before, our neighbours

Never saw her in the day

So I beg you, when you're walking

Underneath a grinning moon,

Walk far from the chalken fairies,

Or they'll come for us,

And soon.