Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Mary Ann Peden-Coviello @MAPedenCoviello @Sotet_Angyal #LoH

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

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The Birthday Present
by Mary Ann Peden-Coviello

“Look at this brooch, Will! Isn’t it beautiful?” I pointed out the gleaming bauble winking up at me from the display case at The Jeweler’s Loupe, a store specializing in vintage jewelry. 
“You really like that, Shawna? Isn’t it a little bit . . . weird?”
I gazed at my darling husband. His face was crinkled in bewilderment. You’d think after ten years of marriage, he’d understand my love for odd bits to accessorize my looks. 
I asked the clerk to let me see the brooch. She handled the piece as though she, too, found it disagreeable, its Art Deco starburst uncomfortable in her hand. When I took the brooch from her, I was startled to find it felt warm, almost alive against my skin. At its center lay a pale green stone like an unblinking eye that stared into my soul. The eye-stone seemed to speak to me in a language only I could hear. 
“Oh, Will, please buy it for me. It’ll look lovely with my new dress, and I can wear it tonight for my birthday dinner with Mom and Dad.”
Will pulled a face, but of course he bought the piece for me. He could never deny me anything, especially on my birthday. 
That night, I dressed extra-carefully. The last thing I put on was my new brooch. As I gazed into the mirror, the brooch’s center stone changed. The pale green, unblinking eye . . . blinked. 
I gasped in shock. I stepped closer to the mirror and looked again. The stone sat unmoving. Clearly, I was imagining things. 
Dinner was a delight. Will, Dad, Mom, and me: my favorite restaurant, my favorite people. The only off-key note was that no one but me liked my new brooch. Everyone thought it was creepy. 
Will and I made an early night and finished celebrating my birthday privately. I put the brooch on the bed table where the moonlight struck the green stone. I could have sworn the eye-stone blinked again.  
I awakened in the grey hours of dawn, a nasty, coppery taste in my mouth, my face and neck sticky. I put up a hand and found it covered in some brown, tacky, semi-liquid substance. I reached to the bed table and clicked on the lamp. I looked toward Will.
Blood. Everywhere. On me. On the bed. In my mouth. On Will. 
Will. 
His throat torn open. Great chunks of flesh ripped away. His eyes glazed over, staring at me. 
I turned away and vomited. Vomited up chunks of Will. 
I couldn’t help looking at the brooch. The eye blinked.
I screamed. And screamed. And screamed.
I don’t think I’ll ever stop.
Fiction © Copyright Mary Ann Peden-Coviello
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com 

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More from Mary Ann Peden-Coviello:

maryannpedencoviello_frightmareFright Mare-Women Write Horror
Short Story: One Hour Before the Dark

Women write horror and have written it since before Mary Shelley wrote FRANKENSTEIN. This anthology is to highlight the fact women write great horror and to kill the fallacy that they aren’t in some way up to standard. They are. Read here stories by Elizabeth Massie, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Lucy Taylor, and a plethora of other great writers as they work on your nerves, get inside your head, and bang out some of the scariest tales written today. I’m proud to present these women for your consideration, as Rod Serling might say, as I ask you to step into FRIGHT MARE. Lock the door and windows, put on a light, and remember, it’s not real. It’s not real. Midnight awaits, monsters scheme to take you away, the strange and weird wait in the shadows, but it’s not real. Is it?

Edited by Billie Sue Mosiman, the author who brought you the SINISTER-TALES OF DREAD collections and her latest suspense novel, THE GREY MATTER.

Available on Amazon!

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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Ela Lourenco @ElaLourenco @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Image_01Wrath of the Gods
by Ela Lourenco

My lifeless body drifts in the seas. Thus, it has been for many a year. Bottomless black waters torment me. There is nothing, no one, except brief glimpses of sky-scorching lightening – it seems almighty Zeus has not forgiven me. My centuries being pecked apart in Tartarus, half living half dead… even that did not his fury appease.
Finally, even as my immortal shell perished, he cursed my soul to linger on. Buried with no coin to pay my way, condemned to forever meander, lost and alone in the seas.
Charon, that wretch, sails by daily, a smirk on his faceless skull as he denies me the journey to my final resting place…
Fiction © Copyright Ela Lourenco
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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More from Ela Lourenco:

awakeningDragon Born: Book Three
Awakening

The Royal tournament, the Karnac, is fully underway. But there is deception and betrayal at every turn. Unseen dark forces are at play, both within the school grounds and out with. Even the Gods are unable to help when a new threat looms over them all.The very existence of Azmantium depends on Lara fully becoming the Child of Fire and casting aside the Shadows lurking in every corner of her beloved planet.Can she overcome the challenges that await? Will the Shadows cover the world in darkness? Only Lara and her friends can change the fate of Azmantium.

Available on Amazon!

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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Sheri White @sheriw1965 @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Sept_LOH_Image2Shattered Memories
by Sheri White

“Hey, Emma—it’s Ruth. How are you?”
“Oh. I’m surprised to hear from you. It’s been several years. I can guess why you’re calling, though. Mama’s dead, isn’t she?”
“Yes, she passed on Monday. Lung cancer.”
“I knew those cigarettes would kill her. I just can’t believe it took this long.”
“Yes, well…her lawyer is reading the will on Friday at her house, after the funeral. Will you be there?”
Emma laughed, a quick joyless sound. “You know I won’t, Ruth. Why would I? I’m sure she has left everything to you.”
Ruth sighed. “I’m sorry, Emma. About everything.”
“Oh, Ruth—please don’t be. You are not responsible for how Mama treated me.  We were children. No, this is all on her.”
“Please come, Emma. I know you don’t care about the funeral or the reading, but I would love to see you. It’s been so long. I’ve missed you.”
Then why haven’t you reached out before now? Emma closed her eyes, trying to let go of the bitterness she had held onto since she left her childhood home.
“All right. I’ll meet you at the house. Who knows? Maybe she left me some money.”
***
Mr. Mason, the executor of their mother’s estate, droned on and on reading the will, his bald head glowing with a sweaty sheen. Emma fanned herself with a take-out menu she had found in her purse. She looked at Ruth, occasionally blotting her face with a handkerchief. Window fans hummed throughout the house, but barely broke through the Florida heat.
I’d forgotten Mama was too cheap to pay for central air.
“Ruth,” she whispered. “How long is thing going to take? She couldn’t have had that much stuff, and you are getting it all anyway.”
“I think Mama had some distant cousins or something. It shouldn’t be much longer.”
“Are you going to live here or sell it? You could get some decent money for it.”
“I’m not sure yet.”
Emma leaned back into her chair, pushing damp tendrils of hair away from her face. She closed her eyes, fantasizing about the frozen margarita she planned to treat herself to later.
“…and to my estranged daughter Emma—”
Emma’s eyes opened wide. What?
“I leave my collection of Lladro figurines, in the hopes that she matured into a woman who can finally appreciate the finer things in life.”
Ruth buried her face in her hands and shook her head back and forth slowly.
Emma stood up, hands clenched into fists. “Are you fucking kidding me? What the hell do I want with those things?”
Ruth gently pulled at her sister’s arm. “Sit down, Emma, please. We can deal with this later.”
Emma yanked her arm away. “No! The hell with this and the hell with Mama. I’ll bet she’s actually IN HELL!” She left the room and ran upstairs to her old bedroom. Now it was nothing but a junk room.
The box containing the expensive figurines sat on the bed, all of them carefully wrapped in layers of newspaper. Emma sat down, the old box springs squeaking and groaning in protest. She unwrapped one, revealing a fragile porcelain angel. Her fingers traced the graceful curves and lines, and she had to fight the urge to throw it against the wall.
Then she saw it—the gift she had bought for her mother when she was a child. The girls’ grandmother had taken them to Goodwill one Saturday. Grandma loved Goodwill and always found a treasure.  This time, Emma found a treasure.
A ceramic figurine of an angel and her horse. Emma knew of her mother’s love of beautiful objects; every tabletop was covered with figurines, and glass cabinets were filled with what her mother called “Yadro.” Emma thought the angel would be perfect. She happily took the three dollars out of her little change purse to pay for it.
Emma could barely contain her excitement several days later watching her mother open the gift.
“What is this thing?”
“It’s a statue, Mama—to go with the other ones in our house. Isn’t it beautiful?”
“You think I’m going to put it out with my priceless Lladro figurines? I don’t think so. It’s cheap and ugly, Emma. I swear, how did I ever get such a tacky child as my daughter?”
Emma bit the inside of her cheek, trying not to cry. Crying would make it worse. But she couldn’t hold back a few tears sliding down her face.
“Oh, for God’s sake, Emma. There is no need to blubber about it. Ruth—what do you think of this?” She held the statue up and tilted it back and forth, laughing.
“I don’t know, Mama. It’s fine, I think.”
“You’re just a little girl, Sweetie. You will learn as you get older.” Mama got up and took Ruth by the hand. “Let’s go have some cake.”
Emma watched them go into the kitchen. She knew better than to follow.
***
Emma got up from the bed and retrieved the angel statue from the pile of junk surrounding it. The statue was dusty and chipped. Emma grabbed one of her mother’s old dresses and cleaned it off.
“Emma? Are you okay?”
Emma opened the window then picked up the box of figurines. There were a lot of them, but they were so delicate the box wasn’t heavy at all. She turned the box upside down and listened to the sound of shattering porcelain.
Emma turned and smiled at Ruth. “I am now.”
She cradled the angel statue in her arms and walked out the bedroom door.
“Emma, wait! Will you keep in touch?”
She looked at her sister one last time and shook her head.
“Good-bye, Ruth.”
Fiction © Copyright Sheri White
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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More from Author Sheri White:

When the Clock Strikes 13

Tick – tock
Tick – tock
Tick – tock
Your time is running out. When the clock strikes 13, all manners of hell will break loose.
When the Clock Strikes 13 is a collection of thirteen short horror stories by some of the best horror and dark fiction authors writing today. Inside, you will find stories to frighten, shock and gnaw at your inner fears, and take you places that belong only in the dark recesses of your mind. There are monsters on these pages; some are human, some are not.

Available on Amazon!

 

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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Asena Lourenco @ElaLourenco @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Sept_LOH_Image4Stories Standing Still
by Asena Lourenco

The curls of cobweb that swayed on the wood,
And on that wood, many stories stood,
Being wrapped around the shape of a book,
Thoroughly enjoying their new look,
As the stories jumped from one cover to the next,
Arguing all the time about which one was best,
The time stood still but many different worlds did not,
But now the everyone hasn’t surely forgot,
The time when you did not know which story was in your hand,
And each book was alive, and you were not able to demand,
The time where greed and hunger was not a thing,
The time that you would be happy with anything,
The time when you’d love everything you could hold,
And in a book, you didn’t have to do what you’re told,
So tell me what happened, what happened to this gold?
Who knows, only ones with hearts of cold.
Fiction © Copyright Asena Lourenco
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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More about Asena Lourenco:

Asena Lourenco is 12 years old. She loves reading, playing Scottish traditional fiddle music on her violin, dancing, and martial arts as well as writing her own stories.

She would like to be a teacher and writer when she grows up. She also loves cats and babies!

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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Terrie Leigh Relf @TLRelf @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Sept_LOH_Image1The Family Treasures
by Terrie Leigh Relf

“Each one of our family treasures has a story,” Tante Sylvie reminded us while dusting them wearing her special cotton gloves. “Some day it will be your turn to keep them safe and tell their tales, so listen carefully, children.”
We would stand dutifully while Tante Sylvie told her tales. As the eldest, I think I was the only one who questioned their truth. I enjoyed them nevertheless.
“You can look, but you mustn’t touch,” she would always say, my younger sister’s and brother’s small hands hovering like moths toward some of the treasures displayed on the foyer table. There was Opa’s clock, which no longer chimed, and Oma’s porcelain plate, which no longer held any kuchen. There were with other items that invited us to “ooh-and-ahh” with delight or curiosity, like the urns that contained the ashes of her first, second, and third husbands. My favorite Onkel, Walter, had died unexpectedly the year before. I was pleased that he had the most decorative urn. It was smaller, though, and rested next to the largest one that contained our Onkel Rolf. The other urn contained Onkel Max, who had passed away long before we were born.
“What if we wore the gloves? Could we touch them then?” Irina asked.
Tante Sylvie looked down at Irina with the smile reserved just for her. “My gloves are much too big for you.”
“Besides, you’re clumsy,” Brandt added.
“I will be very careful, Tante.”
“You will have your very own gloves when the time comes.” Tante Sylvie reached out as if to tuck a stray hair back in Irina’s braid, then pulled her hand back with a start. I thought it odd, as when she wasn’t dusting and polishing the family treasures, Tante Sylvie was always fussing about our hair. It must have been because the gloves were dirty. What else could it possibly have been?
And so our childhood summers went at Tante Sylvie’s grand house until a call came one winter’s afternoon while we were packing to make the drive there to celebrate Christmas. Irina, who had always been our Tante’s favorite, had already been there for a week or so.
We finished packing, and Father did his best not to speed to his sister’s house. Mother wrung her hands as usual. She was always the nervous sort.
Once we arrived, Irina was on the porch shivering in her woolen coat. “The police said it was probably a heart attack or stroke.”
Father patted her on the head before pushing past her into the house. We all followed close behind. The police were dusting everything for prints, which included the broken bits of colorful porcelain scattered across the floor. Ironically, there were layers of dust strewn throughout the foyer, with footprints trailing through it.
But my eyes were drawn to Tante Sylvie. The police hadn’t bothered to cover her up even though there were afghans on almost every chair and couch in the living room. She was lying on her back, her arms and legs bent at odd angles. But it was her face that disturbed me the most . . . Her lovely face all contorted and blotchy, lips drawn back in a snarl.
“I didn’t mean to break them.” Irina began to sob, wiping at her face with a sleeve. “I was very careful and used Tante’s gloves while she was napping. Onkel Walter’s urn just slipped out of my hands and knocked over the other canister.”
Brandt refrained from calling her clumsy, which was a relief under the circumstances.
“Your breaking the urn didn’t cause her death, Irina,” Father said, pulling her close to him. Mother just stared at the mess as if she could will it away.
It took quite some time to learn the cause of Tante Sylvie’s death. Apparently, we had all been quite lucky when we stayed with our Tante all those summers and Christmas holidays. We were even more fortunate that day when we arrived to discover Tante was dead and lying within the ashes from Onkel Rolf’s broken urn. While the urn had contained a slight amount of arsenic, the other canister labeled with Onkel Walter’s name, hadn’t been filled with ashes . . . Instead, it contained enough arsenic to kill a horse.
Fiction © Copyright Terrie Leigh Relf
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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More from author Terrie Leigh Relf:

The Sisterhood of the Blood Moon

For thousands of Earth years, the Transgalactic Consortium has had a quiet interest in this planet and its inhabitants, the Haurans. While the Sisterhood of the Blood Moon works together with the Consortium and Haurans to maintain balance in the universe, the Blood Moon is fast approaching. The power of this moon reveals untold secrets . . . including a sacred covenant with the Mora Spiders. There is an ancient pact that needs to be honored—but at what cost and for whose purpose? The world may come to an end. But will there be a chance for a new beginning?

Available for purchase from the Alban Lake Store!

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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Rie Sheridan Rose @RieSheridanRose @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Sept_LOH_Image4
The Scent of Time

by Rie Sheridan Rose

It hit her the moment she opened the door to the bookstore…musty, moldy, magical. The scent of books written before she’d even been born. She trailed a finger along ancient spines that looked ready to fall to dust. Curious titles—some in languages she didn’t speak, others in familiar Latin or Olde English. A smile tugged her lip. What fun she would have! 
Here was a grimoire that looked like it was bound in calf-skin…but she wouldn’t bet on that being the origin of the leather. Too soft, even for baby cow. And the wizard who had written it was awfully fond of the old ways. She peeked inside. Yes, the rusty ink was most likely blood. She took a deep breath, inhaling the page, then huffed in frustration. 
She couldn’t enjoy her new acquisitions to the fullest as long as the air was tainted with the bright copper smell of new blood. Who would have thought the old man had so much blood in him? And why wouldn’t he just give her the shop? He had promised it to her since she was twelve. It was her time!
With a sigh, she set the grimoire back in its place and went to fetch a mop.
Fiction © Copyright Rie Sheridan Rose
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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More from Author Rie Sheridan Rose:

Skellyman

“I have always preferred the supernatural in tales of horror, the knot between life and death. Rie Sheridan Rose’s Skellyman is cool and creepy. Her first horror novel is a chilling read.” — Charlee Jacob – Stoker winner, Best novel, “Dread in the Beast”

Brenda Barnett is trying to cope with raising her four-year-old daughter all alone after an accident tore her family in half. As she and Daisy go for a much-needed treat, the little girl spots a Skellyman on the corner.

This pivotal encounter leads to a wave of mounting terror as Brenda’s life begins to come undone around her. Who is the Skellyman? Why does he keep appearing? Can the sympathetic policeman Brenda turns to stop the madness before it is too late?

And why does Daisy insist that her dead brother is trying to tell them something important?

Available on Amazon!

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Posted in Authors, Dark Fiction, flash fiction, FREE, Horror, Ladies of Horror, Writing Project | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Christina Sng @ChristinaSng @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!


Sept_LOH_Image3

One Dark Night
by Christina Sng

Our bags are packed,
Waiting like sentinels
By the front door
Where twins stand,
Hand in hand, half asleep,
Half a foot in dreams.
He has passed out
Drunk yet again
With bloody fists.
I’ve long given up
On him ever changing,
My face battered
Black and blue
Enough times
To never forget it.
I can only start anew
With my crone powers
Slowly awakening.
My fingertips tingle
With a lightning crackle.
I touch the door,
Watching it blaze
With azure fire
As it tears open a portal
Into an emerald-green planet,
Full of cotton candy clouds
And crystal clear ponds
Floating beside them
On languid leafy pads,
Magic carpets in the air.
The twins do not hesitate.
Their eyes light up
And each picks up a suitcase.
“Let’s go, Momma,”
They plead with eager eyes.
“It must be better
On the other side.”
I nod,
Clasping their hands.
We take a deep breath
And step into the portal.
It is as magical as I imagined.
I turn back to close
The barrier between
Our worlds forever
But first, I send through
A sprinkling of silver stardust,
Imploding the house

As the portal seals shut.

Fiction © Copyright Christina Sng
Image courtesy of Nina D’Arcangela
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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More from Christina Sng:

A Collection of Nightmares

Hold your screams and enter a world of seasonal creatures, dreams of bones, and confessions modeled from open eyes and endless insomnia. Christina Sng’s A Collection of Nightmares is a poetic feast of sleeplessness and shadows, an exquisite exhibition of fear and things better left unsaid. Here are ramblings at the end of the world and a path that leads to a thousand paper cuts at the hands of a skin carver. There are crawlspace whispers, and fresh sheets gently washed with sacrifice and poison, and if you’re careful in this ghost month, these poems will call upon the succubus to tend to your flesh wounds and scars.
These nightmares are sweeping fantasies that electrocute the senses as much as they dull the ache of loneliness by showing you what’s hiding under your bed, in the back of your closet, and inside your head. Sng’s poems dissect and flower, her autopsies are delicate blooms dressed with blood and syntax. Her words are charcoal and cotton, safe yet dressed in an executioner’s garb.
Dream carefully.
You’ve already made your bed.
The nightmares you have now will not be kind.
And you have no one to blame but yourself.

Available on Amazon!

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