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 3, Hobart, Pine Hills Review, and others.