Planet of the Monster Girls—Jessie Lynn McMains

Come come, out into the streets with us. Us, monster girls. Come run through the streets of the Planet of the Monster Girls. The Planet of the Monster Girls is a planet within a planet. It’s a planet you can only find when it’s autumn on earth. It’s always autumn on the Planet of the Monster Girls. Always the season of hooded sweatshirts and Halloween costumes, hot cider and dead leaves crunching beneath monster girl feet. Always autumn and always nightfall, always the hour when the streetlights come on, when the shadows lengthen and girls lurk, monstrous in the shadows, waiting for their next victim. We monster girls know secrets. We know the secret of how all girls are victims. We know the secret of how all girls are monsters. We take turns playing monster, playing victim. One of us wears a black cape and the rest are her pale, trembling virgins. One of us menaces the night with gloved hands and a knife, the rest of us give her our most bloodcurdling shrieks. Come. Learn our secrets of menace, of night. Learn our secrets of fangs, blood, fur. Secrets of tombs, of swoon. Come howl at our five moons. The Planet of the Monster Girls has five moons: Lorre, Lugosi, Chaney, Karloff, Price. They are named for our favorite monster-men. We bathe in their cold old-film light, draw power from them. We love them so not because they are men but because they are monsters, and only they can understand how monstrous we are. When we fall asleep at dawn we dream of them. Of our Doctor Gogol and the fiendish need in his bulging eyes, we dream he loves us mad enough to kill us, dream of his hands around our throats. Of our Count Dracula and his black cloak, his leather-winged alter ego, we dream we are the ones he vants. We dream he flies into our bedrooms and mesmerizes us with his eyes until we gladly offer up our pale throats to his undead bite. We dream of our Wolfman, his taste for flesh and how his desires are so strong they transform him into pure desire, all animal, all monster. We dream of our Creature, of his hulking frame, the way he grunts instead of speaks. We dream we were made for him, his firm-boned brides, how his touch could electrify us alive, Alive! We dream of our Professor Jarrod and the silken somnolence of his voice, how we would love for him to turn us wax, keep us forever in his house of horrors. Come, b-movie lovers and midnight monsters. Come visit the Planet of the Monster Girls. See our five moons pinned against the night sky by the church spires and weathervanes that loom high above the streets we roam, the streets as wide as a studio backlot. See the stars, their celluloid flicker. See us roaming the streets, trick or treat, breathing hard beneath our rubber masks. Us: mummy, werewolf, madgirl, creature. Dance with us in the falling leaves, a red-gold-orange-brown orgy of decay. Come. It is autumn. The wind sinks its fangs into the veins on our necks. Smells of candy corn and candle wax, the rotted guts of pumpkins. We are waiting in the shadows for your arrival. Only a girl who is full of screams and casts her spells by night can find the Planet of the Monster Girls. Come, find the Planet of the Monster Girls. The wolf bane is blooming and the autumn moons are bright.

Jessie Lynn McMains (they/them or she/her) is a writer, publisher, and zine-maker. They run Bone & Ink Press and were the 2016/17 Poet Laureate of Racine, WI. Find them at, or on TumblrTwitter, and Instagram @rustbeltjessie.

image compiled using photos by Johannes Plenio and Curly Girl (via unsplash), and brushes by Obsidian Dawn