Rinsing out another pair of blood-

soaked panties, I can’t help but


think about that famous scene in Psycho

where Janet Leigh’s lifeless torso


having been slashed by a knife-wielding

Norman Bates is slumped over the side


of the tub as the camera pans to the blood-

tinged water circling into the drain, her


dilated pupil mimicking the hollow

darkness. I read somewhere Hitchcock


used chocolate sauce for blood. Another

day in the week of a monthly cycle, I’ve


been locked into ever since turning 13.

The same age when I first saw the film at


a sleepover with the sisters who lived

next door. Huddled together on a pastel-


covered daybed, we watched via VHS tape.

Realizing I shared names with the actress


slaughtered on screen, made me lock the door

when showering the next morning while the


sound of screeching strings echoed in my

head. Too young to connect how Marion


Crane’s body was used as a prop for men

like I was used by the sisters’ teenage brother


when he rubbed against me and I stood fear-

frozen, his breath hot on my neck.

Janet Dale lives in southeast Georgia where she teaches first year writing at Georgia Southern University and is always reading something (including poetry submissions for Nightjar Review). Her prose has appeared in Zone 3HobartPine Hills Review, and others.