Welcome to Week 3 at Horror Matsuri! Only 2 posts this week, but we have a lot of content coming from Oct 23rd to 31st.

Today’s poem introduces a new Insignia Stories contributor, Maggie D. Brace. Maggie tells me that this poem was inspired by an article from The Smithsonian Magazine about an archaeological dig in Zabol (Iran /Persia) that unearthed the skeletal remains of a six foot tall woman with the first known prosthetic eye, made from tar and animal fat, that was painted gold.

Maggie also has a Filipino myth-inspired story coming up for Horror Matsuri on Oct 27th,  ‘Night with the Batibat’. Don’t miss it!


Maggie D. Brace

Tall and stately, she glides by
all whispers,
as her long, dark robes rustle on the ground.
A face cover cannot mask her beauty.
Two striking eyes draw me like a magnet.
One the vivid blue of a cloudless summer sky,
One unmoving, pupil and iris drawn in crisp gold lines.

A slim bejeweled hand beckons,
I would have followed, unbidden.

The musty scent of drying herbs,
assails my nostrils as I enter her tent.
She proffers a feast of fruit, nuts, and sharp wine.
My eyes slowly become accustomed to the dark.
Oddly illuminated, the lovely creature sitting at my feet, reaches for my hand.
Bewitched by her eyes, I cannot look away!
She pulls me to the floor, faintly drawing her nails across my face.
Again, harder, nails rake my eye.
Harder still.

Searing pain envelops me, yet I am unable, unwilling, to look away.
As I peer, mesmerized, into her blue and gold orbs,
one last cat scratch motion unseats my eye.
Burning, bloody void!
Sleight of hand plucks her gold prosthetic out,
and inserts my dull brown eye in her open aperture.
Are the screams coming from me or her?
Lithe hands carefully place her gold ball in my empty socket.
Vision returns, a hazy glow engulfs my new spectral orb.
What horror does she see through my puny dun colored oculus?
I now see the light!


Maggie D. Brace is a long-time denizen of Maryland, teacher, gardener, basketball player and author. She attended St. Mary’s College of Maryland and Loyola University, Maryland.  She has written ‘Tis Himself: The Tale of Finn MacCool and Grammy’s Glasses, and has both tied with Anne Tyler in the Baltimore Sun Paper Reader’s Choice for best local writer as well as lost out to John Waters. As heady as this sounds, she remains a humble scrivener and avid reader presently aging gracefully in situ.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MaggieDBrace

Horror Matsuri runs all through October, so I recommend signing-up for email notifications so you don’t miss any stories or poems.

View the Horror Matsuri Calendar here to see who is featured and when!

The next post will be this weekend, with Natasha Sinclair sharing a story over on her blog. I’ll share the links when it’s available.


*Featured Photo by Nathan DeFiesta on Unsplash


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