We asked for stories about, ‘Women as fantastic beasts. Women as projections. Women not as they actually are, but as they are imagined and fantasised about; as they are limited and defined by, or viewed through, ideas of femininity – from the empowered to the absurd’. We are deeply grateful to all whose imaginations were stimulated by this challenge.
I wanted to open my mouth, to cry out to my father with his oblivious back to me. Maybe the boy sensed that, or saw it in my eyes. But when he did let go, what I saw in his made me want to shave off the skin where he’d touched me.
‘What happened to the angel?’ Dewa reaches for a glass of water on the bedside table, avoiding her eye. ‘The gods made good on their word.’ He sighs and both of them lie quietly, thinking about what they ought to be beholden to, the bargains they’ve already struck and the people they’ve left behind.
Not before. I go home. Think about this. Cannot imagine it. Swallow three sedatives. Okay. I can do this. Simple. Get hammered. Every morning hangover, hello sunshine, honey on toast, hair of the dog, raw eggs with Worcestershire sauce, bacon sarnie, chips.
She was older than me, not much, and if you want to know the truth, she was pretty. Pretty in an I-haven’t-been-with-a-woman-for-way-too-fucking-long way pretty. In any case I was ready to take up her offer, right there and then. Take my payment in advance so to speak. I am weak and not very bright in addition to being a liar and a slack-arse.
‘Where does woman begin? And where does she end?’ Vivienne Cutbush’s mixed media piece is experimental and nonlinear in form, exploring stereotypes, projections and narratives around women.