"A Cold Dish" by Lisa Tuttle: An Appreciation by Melanie Fazi
This is about ordinary people and simple themes anyone can relate to. Pregnancy. Punishment. Revenge. With just a hint of Greek tragedy. The unnamed narrator could be any woman, any of the female readers of this story. The only thing that strays a little from our reality is this concept of "sentence pregnancy". What a creepy idea. A woman carrying other people's baby, seeking revenge, haunted by echoes from an old myth . . . . This is as simple as it's disturbing.
And the voice that tells the story remains so quiet the whole time. This particular detail makes the tale even more chilling. Especially during that confrontation scene between the narrator and Judge Arnold Jason towards the end. How can it be that you should identify with this woman and yet feel disturbed by her, share her feelings and yet dread what she might be able to do? Might be, that's the key. The most scary aspect of the story is that you never know what will happen--what could happen.
And what does happen, of course, is not what you expected. Somehow, you almost saw it coming. But still, you wonder until the end. What if...?
Link to story.