Monday, February 3, 2020

Blue Pages 3.4 — Jane Hertenstein

. . .

Tiny, Little Horrors=a flash memoir series
by Jane Hertenstein


*Once walking in the woods I stepped on a snake, a black rope come to life beneath my feet. I sprung back in fear, but it soon disappeared, slithering into the tall grass. Always after that I would look out for snakes at that spot.

*One time I woke up hungry in the middle of the night and decided to eat a granola bar. I slit open the package and pushed the bar up through the plastic sleeve into my mouth. As I chewed in the darkness I had the feeling of movement. Not only my teeth and jaws but something more. I spit into the sink and turned on the light. Tiny white worms pulsed in and out of the masticated mess. To this day I cannot eat granola bars.

*When I was about five or six years old I collected a shoebox of caterpillars. I named them and fed them leaves and placed a twig inside the box they could play on. In the middle of the night I got up to check on my caterpillars. In the semi-darkness I reached into a webby sticky mass. I shrieked, throwing the box into the garbage. I was deathly afraid of spiders and thought the caterpillars had transformed. They do, just not like that.

*At about this same time we had a playhouse in the backyard. I’d hang out in it for hours. One summer’s morning I ran to the playhouse. Inside were daddy long-legs suspended into the corners. There were dozens of them resting in the coolness. I never went into the playhouse again. Little did I know they aren’t really spiders.







Jane Hertenstein’s current obsession is flash. She is the author of over 80 published stories, a combination of fiction, creative non-fiction, and blurred genre both micro and macro. In addition she has published a YA novel, Beyond Paradise and a non-fiction project, Orphan Girl: The Memoir of a Chicago Bag Lady, which garnered national reviews. Jane is the recipient of a grant from the Illinois Arts Council. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in: Hunger Mountain, Rosebud, Word Riot, Flashquake, Fiction Fix, Frostwriting, and several themed anthologies. She can also be found blogging at http://memoirouswrite.blogspot.com/






3 comments:

  1. These are wonderfully vivid and bring up memories of my own. Like the time I found a box turtle, and as I picked it up. the hinge of the bottom shell flopped open. Instead of a head and legs, I saw bones. I realized the turtle's home had become its grave.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I liked that these scary stories were all tied to creeping or crawly creatures.

    ReplyDelete