Mrs. Caliban by Rachel Ingalls


“She hadn’t thought she was going crazy, not straightaway. She believed it was just her own thoughts forcing themselves into low-pitched sounds and their insistent rhythm.”

In reading, I was reminded of those old black and white movies, you know the ones- King Kong with a beauty in his gigantic hairy hand, the woman passed out in the arms of The Creature from the Black Lagoon… the eroticism ever present when beautiful women are captured by the fierce terrible creatures (animal and monstrous) that have taken a fancy to them. In this case, the frightening creature is a dead marriage and the terror of being a good little housewife. Maybe “Aquarius the Monsterman” isn’t as dangerous as an indifferent cold husband, isn’t as ‘horrific’ as the loss Dorothy has suffered. So what if passion comes in the taste of a strange amphibian like being… what does it matter where tenderness comes from to a lonely woman starving for life? This story says so much more if you read between the lines. The old message ‘everything is going to be okay’ , see the silver lining, ignore the obvious pain, ‘suck it up buttercup’ seems to dominate in the simple day to day. The creature that Dorothy nurtures and falls in love with changes her. Is it about facing and overcoming not just grief but the truth we overlook? Certainly, this is a wonderful story for women. We are many things, we are Dorothy full of grief denied,the wife collecting dust on the shelf and we are also the young woman that married men stray to. We are every woman. Everything will be okay? Has she snapped, is this creature real? He is the perfect man for Dorothy, he sees her, he hungers for her even if he is otherworldly and has a strange diet. She is filled up and wants to save him, and slowly through opening her life and body to him, she begins to come back to herself. I can imagine people reading a different short story than I just did. It may well depend on the phase of your life. It is heavy for such a strange tale. Repression, infidelity, death and a strange ending. More going on that just a snap in reality! A quick, strange, sad little read. Oh women, how we are worshiped and discarded… how we must love ourselves and own our place in the world!

Open Road Integrated Media  Release Date: September 13, 2016


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