Corpse de Ballet

by Sydney Leigh

The ballerina holds one of her faces in her hands. Behind her hang the others, wall-mounted echoes of a past or future self. Cracked clay smile, terra cotta chin—crude earthenware symmetry carved and lonely, hollow-backed and expendable.

The gauze stretched around her former skin is tight; subtle holes where eyes once set. It mimics the tulle. The silk bodice holds more in place than just her breasts—a flesh-quilt, fragile patchwork—pieces torn apart and held together by the fabric of her profession.

She brings the mask to her face. It screams in fear of what’s under the gauze.


Sydney Leigh is the evil literary double of a mostly sane writer, editor, photographer, artist, English teacher, and native of the North Shore. Her poetry and short fiction has appeared in the Demonic Visions 50 Horror Talesseries, Daily Bites of Flesh, Nightmare Illustrated, and numerous other anthologies and publications. Sydney’s first drabbles, “Aquarium” and “Transference”, were published here on Hellnotes. She was recently featured on the Servante of Darkness poetry blog and won Fan Favorite Winner on Grey Matter Press’s St. Valentine’s Week Massacre Flash Fiction Contest with “Suicide Note”.

Her poem “The Undertaker’s Melancholy” is scheduled to appear in the upcoming Darkness Ad Infinitum anthology from Villipede Publications, where she also serves as a Word Warlock and Shapeshifter. Her short fiction “Baby’s Breath” was recently acquired by Great Old Ones Publishing for their bugs anthology, and she is proudly slated for inclusion in Firbolg Publishing’s Enter at Your Own Risk: The End is the Beginning, which will debut at the 2014 World Horror Convention in Portland, Oregon. 

Goodreads Author Page:


Villipede Publications:

Look for her website “the spider box” sometime later this year.

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