An Interview with Shebat Legion - Women in Horror Month
Who, in the horror genre, inspires you?
Harlon Ellison, Steven King, Peter Straub, The Brothers Grimm.
What’s the favorite comment you’ve received in a review?
My style was described as quirky. I stole that phrasing for my tagline, From The Quirky Mind of Shebat Legion.
Would you be a villain, victim, or hero in a horror story?
This is an intriguing question. I like to write a full character - one that employs facets both obvious and hidden. As writers, we use what we know. I am and always will/would be a multi-faceted character. So in terms of labels, it’s anyone’s guess, including my own.
Share the opening of one of the stories you’ve had published.
I put some green in the whatsit and it makes a whirring sound. Adding some of the other stuff, I yawn as I watch it blend and bubble. My boyo Tommybobby brought me minty leaves he found outside, and I add one in. This is going to taste delicious. I hope.
“Guess what I found?” Tommybobby says when he comes in from where he was, his hands behind his back.
I yawn again and shrug, pretending I don’t care.
“Oh, don’t even,” he laughs, all happy and tongue out. “I know you want to know.”
He’s right of course, I do want to know. Tommybobby is one of the best scavengers I have ever met. But it is first light and I am not a first light kind of girlie.
“You want me to guess, I am guessing.”
Tommybobby smiles. “Yes, you get three.”
Tommybobby is a pretty boyo, hardly any sores or warts and most of his parts are in the right places. He has the bluest eye I’ve ever seen.
I just sort of stand there. I’m sure I have that look I always have at first light. I have hair and it’s always messy when I wake up. Tommybobby says it makes me look delicious.
“Wellhey?” He says and I sigh inwardly. Turning the whatsit off, I grab a holder, pour the stuff, and take a sip. I pucker up and my eyes pinch shut at the taste. Too much green and maybe the leaf wasn’t the best idea.
“Jennysally.” He makes the last half of my name one long “eeeeee” sound and I force another sip, trying to wake up enough to play.
“Okay. Is it alive?” I mumble as I chew on some bits of minty leaf.
I can feel Tommybobbie’s face brighten, even with my back turned.
“No!” He pants in that way he has. “Two more.”
“Want some stuff?” I reach for another holder, thinking and stalling.
“No, I’m cold.” His ears are all flip floppy and perk. “Wellso? Guess!”
I turn around and can’t help smile a little, he is just too crawly. “Okay. Did it used to be alive?”
“You think with your mouth,” he says and he is too right. But Tommybobby has a way of finding dead things that makes me the envy of everybody. They say he can find things that can’t be found and it’s true. Girlies rub up on him but he does nothing about that.
“No!” He laughs and his hands are still behind his back so I play along and snatch at his arm. He pulls away, snorting. “Nuh. Third guess.”
Even standing I have to look up at him, balancing on my good foot; he’s so tall. His eye is sparkling. Whatever he has must be good.
“Where did you find it?” That answer might give me some clue. “Were you scouting in the blank place again?”
And he may have been, he is brave like that. Me, I would never go. I don’t even want to look.
“Nuh.” He shakes his head and laughs again. Something makes a noise when he does.
“What is that?” I reach but he pulls away again.
It’s too early for this but its love that I even try.
“Burny crap?” It’s the best I can do after only one holder of stuff. I’m kind of hoping it is burny crap. We need some.
“Nuh!” He sort of hops up and down and puts his hands in front of him and lets me see.
“Oh,” I say, and I can’t help but be downlow. It’s another kid thing. A something that has lots of colors and it is sort of round. We can’t eat it and we can’t burn it but Tommybobby, he likes his kid things. We have a whole bunch of them.
“Wellhey.” He bends over to look into my face and I know what he’s thinking with this kid thing. And maybe he’s right. I have been very tired and maybe I am growing another pup and just maybe this one will stay alive. Mostly they don’t and then it’s off to MissMolly and then we have stew.
Shebat Legion is a breast cancer survivor and an advocate for breast screening. She is a consummate storyteller and has been printed and reprinted in numerous anthologies including her anthology of short stories called Hubris. Legion is also responsible for the creation of Vampire Therapy, which includes a full-length novel, Jackson and Eva, as well as an illustrated collection of short stories set in the Vampire Therapy universe called The Chronicles of The Cats Ass Boutique: Seasons and Reasons.