Content Warning: gore, dark themes
Renee Ng – Under Hollow Hills
there is strange music. Perhaps ‘music’ is too mild a word for it.
There are notes that unstring your bones.
melodies that drag the tears from your eyes.
lyrics that tear the laugh from your throat.
cadences that compel your feet to dance.
hush now, sweet thing. just listen.
there is strange beauty. The faces and forms are unlike anything you’ve ever seen.
The lady in the corner is regal, her back as hard and waxy and hollow as seashells.
The boy with skin of bark has delicate flowers for hair,
His companion’s face is cherubic as she dances on her forked feet.
The creature in the corner smiles, its teeth bright and gleaming, too wide and too sharp.
come now, lovely. it’s rude to stare.
there are strange delicacies. This is what food should be.
The sauces gleam, rich and earthy,
The fruit shine, bright and vibrant as a jewel,
The wine flows, thick and bursting with flavour,
Meat glistens, tender beneath your teeth.
hush now, precious. eat your fill.
You can’t quite seem to remember your name, only that moon is so bright and the night so full.
come, dearest one. succumb to our dance.
Renee Ng (she/her) is an actress and writer from Singapore with a soft spot for folklore, fairytales, and the occult. Her work has been previously published by Wingless Dreamer. You can find her draped in red roses and dark perfume where the moon meets the sea, or on Instagram at @reneenln and Twitter at @reneenln_, if the first option’s too much trouble.
Artwork: dark and macabre by Sarah-Jane Crowson
Sarah-Jane Crowson’s work can be seen in various journals, including Rattle, Waxwing Literary Journal, Petrichor, Sugar House Review and Iron Horse Literary Review. She uses bricolage to explore the space between real and imagined; creating alternative narratives as small acts of resistance. You can find her on Twitter @Sarahjfc or on her website at www.sarahjanecrowson.art
These are poems and collages which use Christopher Marlowe’s Dr Faustus (1592) as a source text. Other images are sourced from scanned in ephemera and images from The British Library’s public domain library.