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Literature / The Madonna

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The Madonna is a short story by Clive Barker written in 1985 in the fifth volume of the Books of Blood.

Jerry is trying to unload an abandoned pool complex onto a not very pleasant buyer. However it turns out the complex isn't so abandoned after all, with a naked woman and something lurking in the pool.

Tropes included:

  • Ancient Conspiracy: May or may not be that ancient but the story implies protecting the Madonna is one of these type deals.
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  • Bittersweet Ending: Jerry decides to throw himself into the pool at the end, implying he might happily join with the Madonna now that he is a she.
  • Down the Rabbit Hole: This is likely Jerry's choice at the end.
  • Driven to Suicide: Ezra Garvey is due to him finding himself not a Gender Bender.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The titular Madonna is some kind of monster that is hidden inside the pool complex.
  • Gender Bender: Looking at "The Madonna" is shown to transform two men into women when they wake up the next morning.
  • The Little Shop That Wasn't There Yesterday: When Jerry goes back to the pool he finds it empty with no ladies or Madonna. But he does see a glow emanating from the drain.
  • Magical Land: The Madonna turns the abandoned pool complex into one of these and destroys it when they leave.
  • Naked First Impression: Since the ladies surrounding The Madonna are naked all the time, this is what happens when Jerry and Garvey first see them.
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  • Shameless Fanservice Girl: The Madonna is typically surrounded by several of these at all times.


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