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#AtoZchallenge #flashfiction: D for Damnation awaited her, if…

As part of the A to Z Challenge,  through the month of April I’ll be posting a story a day based on photographs by Joseph T. Richardson and prompts given to me by blog-friends.

   Writing prompt: Damnation awaited her, if…

Provided by: Mary Wallace, friend, fellow blogger, and one of the Magnificient Seven of #TeamDamyanti

———————

Damnation awaited her, if...

Damnation awaited her, if..

     When Lilith opened the door, she wished she’d worn a better dress. The paisley she’d saved for the New Moon Day perhaps, cinched at the waist and flared below, which made her look delicate, a woman a man could smile at, ask out. Marry, even get with child.

What else was a man good for, besides making a woman with child?

He stood, left thumb hooked in the pocket of his jeans, smiling down at her. It fit him well, as did the smile on his shapely lips under his cowboy hat. Who wore cowboy hats these days? Lost wanderers in open-topped blue Mustangs, apparently. She saw it parked outside the gate. It stood like an obedient steed, shiny, as if it had just rolled out of the workshop. A car from another age, just like the man, who asked her whether he could use her phone.

They had those cellphone things these days, not that she had used them, but youngsters like him did. Odd. Not many lived in the old ways. It suited her though. She had just taken a bath, the house smelled good, of soup and incense, and her own fragrance.

She invited him in, giving her hips that subtle, extra, swing. Even in her plain cotton skirt, the drab garb she wore to hide her true self, she knew how to make male eyes stare– her long, shining hair that stroked her hips drew their gaze, and once they looked at her, they did not resist. Could not. Her body retained its shape from centuries ago, that was the way of her kind, and she was the mother of her kind. The Baalat.

Damnation awaited her, if she gave in, did not resist the call. But too long in her exile she had waited for just such a one.

After she was done with him, she would build another wall behind the house, lay him there in splendor, and build around him. She would give birth right outside the new wall, and her daughters would rise to fight again. She would not return to Adam or Eden, she had never bowed to an Adam’s son, would not start now. She would not bow to God’s will. God was a man, was he not?

 The farm boy stood making his call. Behind him, concealed with heavy drapes, loomed the old wall, its bricks gaping, mortar cracked in places. Lilith grinned, coiling her hair into a black-gold snake, waiting to strike.

She didn’t see that the man smiled too, into the phone. She didn’t see that his palm held a fist-sized, sapphire-colored, glittering rock. Lot’s salt, large enough to turn an Angel or Demon into a pile of ashes.

She did not know, and refused to accept, man’s dominion over woman.

And like all women, she paid for it.

~~~~~

Are you taking part in the A to Z challenge? Do you read or write fiction? Ever write based on a prompt? Have you read of the legend of Lilith?

Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her forthcoming literary crime thriller, The Blue Bar is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency, and will be published by Thomas & Mercer on January 1, 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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66 Comments

  • Susan Scott says:

    I don’t know how I missed this post last year Damyanti – better late than never! An excellent piece of writing. Lilith is close to my heart, she is much a part – and apart – of all of us.

  • Rajlakshmi says:

    One could make a whole movie out of this. More than the story, it’s the suspense and the way each line revealed something new after every full stop. Brilliant.

  • Rich and powerful!
    I loved the attention to detail in the clothing…
    I loved the pacing too…

  • That was fabulous, and it gave me some great inspiration to get writing again! See you round on the #AtoZChallenge circuit…

  • Lanise Brown says:

    Interesting. I enjoyed the twist at the end.

  • Nice twist. Definitely did not anticipate her being some kind of ancient mythical widow predator. Good work, Damyanti!

  • bizarrejc says:

    Such a great story. Both of them were plotting, calculating an outcome only one would be able to carry out.

    atozchallenge: http://inkwellandpaper.wordpress.com/2014/04/04/d-is-for-dont-know-what-you-got-by-cinderella/

  • Sonia Lal says:

    Creepyand sad! The last line is perfect, but makes me hate it all the same.

  • You have well portrayed the demons women have been facing for centuries, in a modern context. The end was good and unexpected, although I disliked it. I liked the details you provided too, in forms of her dress etc., which not only talked about what she wore, but also establishes the character too. A wonderful read.

  • talesbytink says:

    Fantastic story! I love your application to detail in such a short space. Eloquent and sensual. Thanks for liking my blog.

  • kristin says:

    You certainly know how to give an unexpected twist at the end. These women need to watch out!

  • Eli says:

    Nice twists in your story which you tell so well .. Captivating .I like the women power feeling:-)

  • Beautifully penned with the right emotions, Damyanti:)

  • Roshni says:

    So eerie!!

  • I’ve never read Lilith’s Tale. As for prompts, A to Z 😀 And Thursday Threads. I write fiction. Your story is intriguing. You did a great job of building tension and sowing the seeds of questions in the readers’ minds. 🙂

  • djinnia says:

    i find the lilith’s story sad. the first wife of adam and she didn’t want to be subservient so she was cursed and turned into a demon that killed children.

    great story!

  • Jessica says:

    Great story. I love how every detail of the story worked for it. You didn’t just describe her dress, you told us something about her while you did it. Awesome job.

  • sarala D says:

    An interesting story indeed.

  • I could read this story. What a fascinating character.

    • Damyanti says:

      Hey, Jacqui, sorry my last story was too dark.
      My next one, which I wrote just now, is a little lighter, but not much. I’m not sure why my stories always veer towards the dark side.

  • FreeRangeCow says:

    “She did not know, and refused to accept, man’s dominion over woman.

    And like all women, she paid for it.”
    #Love

  • DJ Kirkby says:

    Well, I didn’t expect that ending! Great writing.

  • Sherry Ellis says:

    What a powerful story! Well done!

  • I.L. Wolf says:

    I didn’t realize you were also doing the A to Z Blogging Challenge! I actually love the story of Lilith, that she was initially supposed to be a cautionary tale, and has, instead become a symbol of independence.

    Though your twist was both naughty and fun.

    • Damyanti says:

      I’m cohosting the challenge– have been doing it for the last two years :).
      Lilith, to me, is an everywoman, demonized by the male-dominated society for being herself, and refusing to live by a man’s terms.

  • Awesome writing. Loved your voice.

  • Carol Graham says:

    Exciting post and certainly kept my attention! Loved the twist and glad I found you. Please visit me as well at http://batteredhope.blogspot.com

  • Harliqueen says:

    Wow! That gave me chills, what a great piece 😀

  • lv2trnscrb says:

    Thanks for visiting my blog (A Bench with a View) and your comment. This is a chilling story. Yes, I do know who Lilith is; didn’t until recently when her name came up in a discussion about the Bible. She is mentioned in it, but not in the account of Adam and Eden as some might think she is, but actually in Isaiah and described as a screech owl. But this story is indeed chilling. Very good writing! Good luck with the rest of the challenge.

    betty
    http://viewsfrombenches.blogspot.com/2014/04/debris.html

    • Damyanti says:

      There are lots of versions of Lilith. I studied her as part of a project on myth and how women were castigated simply for being women, across the ages and cultures.

      I’m writing a story a day, so I’ll definitely need all the luck!

  • Peter Nena says:

    Lilith is outfoxed by the farm boy. She is calculating, cunning, and evil. But the farm boy . . . how did he know her motive so as to be ready for her just in time? I wonder.

  • Peter Nena says:

    Damyanti’s stories are getting better and better, and I am becoming more and more hooked. I can see that they are building towards a climax. I love a story when it chills. I can’t wait for the day I reach the Z, the last one. Great post, my dear, Damyanti.
    A little note, though: Did you mean ‘soap’ (not soup) and incense in paragraph 4? And I think it should have been “But too long in her exile HAD she waited for such a one” in paragraph 6. I think. Otherwise, well done.

    • Damyanti says:

      I meant soup, not soap. I wanted a cooking/ kitchen detail, because that’s part of what a woman is ‘supposed’ to do.

      I think you have a point with the changed HAD placement, so that it works with the syntax I’ve used throughout. Thank you for your kind words, and the visit 🙂

  • nabanita says:

    Oh god this was chilling….And I didn’t really expect the ending! Enjoyed reading it

    Random Thoughts Naba

  • Jodie says:

    You’ve inspired me to keep writing everyday! What a great blog. Feel free to visit me at sothisis40-really.blogspot.com.au Happy A-Z!

  • Jed H says:

    Loved the story! Thanks for being the first visitor to Aubade Rising and following it as well!

  • Wow, that turned round. Loved the twist because it was so unexpected. Such darkness. Great story.
    Tasha
    Tasha’s Thinkings

  • Jules Smith says:

    Brilliant! Great description. I felt like I wa sin a Supernatural moment. Happy A-Z ing.

  • uniqusatya says:

    oooo what an ending
    Good read

  • Frank says:

    Lovely story, but to be honest I dislike the end. Lilith is the defiant one who escapes the rule of men, and she is meaningless without that.

    • Damyanti says:

      I’ve left the end a little ambiguous. She could escape, still, (she has paid the price of being a woman, time and again) and since we’re not witness to what happens this time, we’re not sure whether she manages a first strike, and kills the Angel sent to destroy her.

      Lilith is vilified for her sexuality, for her very womanhood, and the patriarchal notion of punishing her for her femininity interests (enrages) me. That’s why I left the end deliberately unjust, so that the reader dislikes it, is moved to try and change it. Women are demonized in all cultures, and I wanted to tell this demon’s story in a modern context.

      Thank you for being frank with your opinion, and the fact that you reacted to the ending makes me happy as a writer.

      • Joe Richardson says:

        A lot of people think a good story starts with the right words. It doesn’t, of course. It starts with someone who has something to say. That’s why your stories are so strong, Damyanti. You have worthwhile things to say. And you say them very, very well.

        Thanks so much for sharing your time and talent with us. Well done!

        • Damyanti says:

          Joe, your pictures and the prompts tell the story. I merely take dictation. Thank you so much for letting me use your pictures for this challenge. I can only hope I can do justice to at least a few of them.

  • Hi, Damyanti. This is my first visit to your blog and I’m so pleased to have met you in the A-Z. I love this post, thank you!

  • Mind Style says:

    Interesting and chilling. Though I was expecting a bit of flirtation somewhere.
    But the harsh end to the story seems more apt

  • Beloo Mehra says:

    The whole story was quite a treat – dark and mysterious, but the last line was absolutely great!

  • Aditi says:

    This was chilling! Splendidly woven and kept me hooked till the end!

  • Alex Hurst says:

    Well, that was interesting! I liked the slow reveal of the mythology; it worked very well in so short a piece. 🙂

    Alex Hurst, fantasy author in Japan, participating in Blogging A-Z April Challenge.

  • Ooooooo, this was very good! And sexy, in a dark way.

  • Romi C says:

    Thank you for your comment in my blog.

    Reading your story, I am amazed at your creativity.

  • Rosie Amber says:

    It did make me wonder where the story was going.

  • its a marvelous read….a mysterious element haunts the mind…great..

  • Wow! That was ……I am speechless. An excellent read and what a twist to the tale.
    Thanks for making me mesmerized , I was standing right there by the curtains waiting for her to move.
    wow!!
    Health and Happiness Always.
    divorce-i-recommend

  • davidprosser says:

    Excellent writing and a lovely twist in the tale.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

  • Sammy D. says:

    Just when I thought we might have a little innocent flirtation BAM the twists began and kept on coming. Well done; you certainly pull me in as a reader even when I sense horror or tragedy coming.

  • I have read all your stories and I must tell you they are all absorbing. A lot is created in few words. You have artistic picturesque imagination wedded to fine craftmanship. I would like to give you a prompt as well, F for Farm animals, and you can take inspiration from ‘George Orwell’s’ ‘Animal Farm’. Shifting humans for animals would be fun and satire.

  • That was dark from beginning to end. Nice.

    ~Patricia Lynne~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, YA Author

  • What a powerful and spine chilling piece !

  • wned2012 says:

    Stopped by because you were kind enough to like one of my earlier blog posts. I’m very glad I did. Marvelous writing.
    As to your questions… I have participated in blogging challenges in the past, but not this time around. I read and write fiction. I’m reworking some of my prompted stories for publication submittal. I have not read, but have heard some of the legend of Lilith. You make me interested in reading more thoroughly on the subject. Also, after reading this, I believe I will include more short fiction on my blog as well. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • jrmanawa says:

    Love it!! Rich and absorbing!

  • Miss Alister says:

    I see now that you are The Twistmaster! This story delivers not only a twist but a hard-hitting message as old as time was, is, and apparently will ever be. Your flashes are not just crafted expertly, they hold within them mystique in varying measures, which is key, because a reader cannot live by craft alone.

  • dmauldin53 says:

    I loved this story! Very good work! 🙂

  • jazzytower says:

    Again I was transfixed. Great work.

  • As chilling a tale as one could imagine, right up there with Edgar Allen Poe. Not the ending I was expecting, but certainly the most satisfying!

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