Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Angela Yuriko Smith @AngelaYSmith @darc_nina #LoH

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

All Our Problems Solved
by Angela Yuriko Smith

It was breathtaking

for 30 golden seconds.



a generation

worshipping the sun, falling

into soot and ash


smudging the white sand

with loss of life. Souls rising—

charcoal wisps of smoke



along with all the problems—

a grim solution.


World hunger ended

in a flash. No more fighting:

World peace in pieces.


Divided no more

our flesh burned in unison…

all our problems solved.



More from Angela Yuriko Smith:

Angela Yuriko Smith is an American poet, author and co-publisher of Space and Time magazine, a publication that has been printing speculative fiction, art and poetry since 1966. Together we build a poem as a community each month. Visit “Exquisite Corpse” at to submit.

Catch up with Angela here!


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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Nina D’Arcangela @Darc_Nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

The Push
by Nina D’Arcangela

A quick hit, that’s all I need. The needle still in my arm, I drift with the flow as I sink deeper and deeper into the chair. I sink so deep, the world swallows me, makes me the nothing that I am. Infinitesimal, I scratch at a tear in the vinyl; it seems like a gaping chasm, one that will swallow me whole if allowed. I turn and walk the other way.

What feels like hours have passed, yet I’m unable to reach the other side – the landscape taking on the cast of forever. Still I trudge, dragging my wounds with me to the next patch. Its darker, cooler, comforting. A spot to lay my head down but for the sticky residue.

Looking to my left, I spy a boat and crawl to it. I climb inside and my mind tells me the waves are coming too strong, the tide about to tip the spoon. I fight the gale with all I have to give, but it sways and bucks until I find myself beached upon the cushion’s shore. The tide has dissipated, left me stranded. Brighter light floods the room as a Goliath steps through the door to my soul.

“Hungry?” the beast booms. I shout and scream for it to stay away. Hot lava burns my body as the monstrosity grins, placing a bag of fries in my lap. I try to run, but the cushion has becomes marshmallow pulling me further in, no under – under what I wonder? Smothered by the all encompassing ‘mallow, I succumb to the darkness that has been calling to me. I don’t fight it. I float, I drift, I sleep – at least until the next push.



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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Elizabeth H. Smith @bethsmithwrites @Darc_Nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

The Storm
by Elizabeth H. Smith

My fellow flora lend me their collective power to evolve, to break the barrier that binds us. With a great flash, the sky lights my heart with its fiery touch. It gives the strength my hardened legs need to bend. One by one they remove themselves from the packed earth.

The fury of ages leads me not to an existence of peace. Where once I let the breeze graze my leaves, I’ll be a storm commanding vengeance on the meat of the world.



More About Elizabeth H. Smith:
Elizabeth H. Smith is a storyteller who writes while trying to keep her cat, Luna off the keyboard. The musical group, Rasputina is her muse. She was born in the state of New York and would never feel at home anywhere else.

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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Sue Renol @Darc_Nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Eternity’s Reach
by Sue Renol

I opened my eyes from a deep sleep to see her face. Those eyes stared deep into my soul. Immeasurable sadness lay dormant within them. I wanted to believe it was a dream, but I knew it was not.

“Who are you?” I asked. The sound of my words were sucked into the vortex behind her.

She answered not with her lips, but with her mind. You’ve been accepted. Do you wish to go?

“Go where?”

My thoughts were struck hard with an undeniable truth. True, plain, and honest, her response told me everything I needed to know. But how could it have happened? Hard as I tried, I couldn’t remember.

You don’t need to remember. All will be anew.

Reluctantly, I let her take my hand and lead me to the beyond.



Wicked Deeds: Witches, Warlocks, Demons and Other Evil Doer’s

Sometimes wicked people do wicked things simply because they can… The twelve stories in Wicked Deeds tell tales of witches and warlocks with ill intent, devilish demons bent on destruction, and other doers of evil who make the world a terrifying place. What is a mother to do when her daughter is gifted but lives under the thumb of her fanatical preacher husband who will brook no talk of the supernatural? What of a demon so desperate to free himself of a trap that he will force another to repeat his atrocities and condemn a young boy to his demonic fate? Or maybe the story of a crotchety old witch with a score to settle against the town she lives in is more to your liking – what evil will the seemingly harmless town-crazy call upon when faced with an ultimatum? If you’re looking for wicked people with supernatural abilities doing wicked things, this is the collection for you!

Available on Amazon!


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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Loren Rhoads @MorbidLoren @darc_nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

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A Wondrous Curiosity 
by Loren Rhoads

Stella had a whole collection of things that she insisted they drag out onto the beach: deck chairs and a beach blanket and a lime green and blue striped umbrella. She’d made a picnic, which she carried in the cooler she wore as a backpack. Alondra wore the corresponding pack, filled with plastic plates and champagne flutes and a cutting board with knives.

“You’re sure we’ll see it tonight?” Alondra asked.

Stella laughed. “I can’t believe you’re asking me about celestial events.”

“I’ve lost track of the sky,” Alondra admitted.

Stella stopped fussing with the blanket to reach up to squeeze Alondra’s hand. “You’ve had too much on your mind,” she commiserated. “Anniversaries are always hard. Death dates are worse.”

They got all the pieces set up as the sun dipped low in the west. Alondra thought it odd that they had such a lovely sandy beach to themselves, but she put it down to it being Wednesday night.

Stella fixed her a plate of potato salad with tahini rather than mayo, a slice of lentil loaf with homemade barbecue sauce, and a mixed beet salad over greens. Everything was full of complicated flavors that complimented the bottle of Syrah that Stella kept pouring into Alondra’s glass.

Everything was perfect: the solitude, the metronome whoosh of the surf, the picnic, the company. Alondra took a long, slow breath, trying to unknit the tension that laced through her chest.

“Look at that,” Stella directed.

The sun had dropped almost to the horizon. It made the breakers look as green as bottle glass. Inside the translucent walls of water swam…something.

“Are those sharks?” Alondra asked. Whatever they were, they swam parallel to the shore, staying obscured by the water as they raced through the breakers.

“They’re not big enough to be sharks,” Stella said. “And they don’t have dorsal fins.”

The sun slipped closer to the water. Alondra watched it obliquely, trying to catch the exact moment of sunset. An optical illusion turned the sun to an hourglass shape that faded rapidly below the horizon. As it vanished, a dagger of green light shot upward. It faded almost immediately. Alondra sighed, thrilled to have caught the illusive sight.

Stella kissed her. “It’s supposed to be good luck,” she said.

“We may need it,” Alondra said quietly, frowning. “Look down on the beach. At that pile of rocks on the left.” As she spoke, a little head shrank down behind the gray stones.

“What the heck was that?” Stella blurted. “It looked like a monkey!”

“I think it’s whatever was swimming in the waves.”

Another of them peeked over the rocks and disappeared just as quickly.

“Do you want to pack up now or come back in the morning to get your stuff?” Alondra asked.

Stella didn’t take her eyes from the creatures. More of them were crawling out of the surf now, undulating across the foreshore. They had wizened little faces and scrawny sticklike arms, but the lower parts of their bodies were fish tails.

“I thought Barnum made them up,” Stella said.

“Guess not.”

“You think they’re hungry?”

One snarled, revealing a mouthful of needle teeth. Alondra searched the beach blanket for the backpacks. Hers was the green one… She found it tucked beneath one of the chairs. She dug through it for the knives. One was serrated enough to cut a baguette. The other had a duller blade for slicing cheese. She held that one out to Stella.

“What’s this for?”

“It’s better than nothing.”

“Not by much,” Stella said grimly. “We’ll come back in the morning.”

She took Alondra’s arm and pulled her toward the farthest side of the blanket. “Watch them,” she directed. “I’ll make sure you don’t trip.”

And that the mermaids didn’t get behind them, Alondra realized. She adjusted her grip on the breadknife and watched the creatures advance toward the abandoned picnic.


Fiction © Copyright Loren Rhoads
Image courtesy of


More from Author Loren Rhoads:


Alondra’s Experiments

Alondra DeCourval travels from San Francisco to Prague to Olso, encountering magical creatures and searching for the limits she will go to for love.

Available on Amazon! 


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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Amy Zoellers @breakfastpoet @Darc_Nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

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by Amy Zoellers

“Aloha,” said the afterlife

“OH, my sick and beautiful

nascent joys.

You’ve had a long and rigorous


We have but one chair

and there are three of you.

But take the chair

and be engulfed in your

cruelest acts of life,

in endless repetition, first

as yourself, then as your

objects of abuse.

Recline on the table and

slide into madness of terror,

terror magnificent and magnified,

unrelenting, ripping you open,

constant, bouldering threat

Fire, hailstones and pursuit..

Lean on the wall and swim

in nausea forever.

One destiny for each of you.


As the afterlife had known,

all three lunged for the chair,

battering and slapping their

eternity away in battle for

the ecstasies, the eternal

indulgence of cruelty.


Fiction © Copyright Amy Zoellers
Image courtesy of

More from Amy Zoellers:

OrdealInFrenchLipstickOrdeal in French Lipstick

Ordeal in French Lipstick is a candid look at the passions that add glitter to the everyday grind. The product of the ever sparkling Amy Zoellers, topics include drunken dreaming, starshine, all things sweet and sometimes bath tubs. Warning: this book is liable to leave permanent marks of poetic joy.

Available on Amazon!

Art! Fun!! Poetry and song! Portraits, dolls, prints, jewelry… and so much more! Click on her Instagram name for more info: Hipness and Outrage!


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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Nina D’Arcangela @Darc_Nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

by Nina D’Arcangela

Tiny bones arranged on a bed of cotton. A single daffodil snuggled in golden glory and lavender sprigs – an offering of love and fidelity. A stone from the garden to keep her beloved grounded; Lucy’s favorite toy sacrificed so she’d never be alone. To say her tears could fill a sea would be an understatement, though today they flowed with intent as each drop was captured in a small heart-shaped vial. Once stoppered, this too was placed with care. A final relic, the band she wore the day she came home. A watershed moment in a life yet unlived. With broken heart, the young one spoke the words only an eight year old’s grief could conjure before the lid was sealed and the small box buried at the base of Great-grans favorite tree.

As they turned to walk back to the house, the ground rumbled, the clouds darkened, and the tree began to shake. Brilliant fingers of light spread below them; enchanted, the child ran back to the tree. She hugged the bark and called out to her beloved Lucy, and Lucy answered in vibrant hues of orange yellow and red. As the phoenix burst through the canopy, the young girl began to scream. Flesh melted from bone. Blood ran free to quench the earth. Flaxen strands crisped in the heat.



More from Nina D’Arcangela:


A dank basement, shadow filled hallways, the deep echo of a metal latch being thrown while faint screams are heard… These are the things you might experience in a place where the unspeakable happens, where conscientious action and moral turpitude turn a blind eye in the interest of advancing one’s own personal pursuits in the most deranged and unjustifiable manner. The type of place where power corrupts, and depravity runs rampant among those imbued with it. A place where the unfortunate are abandoned to the devices of those who convince themselves their actions are in the best interest of science.

Mental Ward: Experiments is a collection of ten short stories that demonstrate the worst of humanity’s ambition in the interest of ‘civilized’ advancement. Step into a world where sanity is left behind, and horror is what the doctor ordered!

Available on Amazon!


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As Fast As She Can by E.F. Schraeder Review

Anthony Avina’s review of ‘As Fast As She Can’ by E.F. Schraeder!

Author Anthony Avina's Blog

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Two young women dive deeper and deeper down into a blood-soaked world of carnage as they give into their unquenchable new appetites in author E.F. Schraeder’s “As Fast As She Can”.

The Synopsis

Living in a quiet house on the outskirts of town, Ginger isn’t like

the other girls.

When she wakes up and discovers the unthinkable about her

adoptive parents, she runs away and goes on a rampage straight

to the only friend she has. Can she control what they both become?

With a violent, growing hunger and more questions than answers,

Ginger has nowhere to turn.

The Review

This was a shocking, pleasantly campy horror read! The humor and dark comedy aspects of the narrative are felt instantly, as the protagonist joke and go out for a…

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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Sheikha A. @Darc_Nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

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by Sheikha A.

to giving Venus a Sun
They say she was hit – this is how
they warn their village – by fireball
that skulled out of night’s crevice,
forming first like an incision – stitch
less beauty of supple surfaces – new
like peach on a sprig in daylight – old
as wisdom tucked under a hypnotic gaze
as deep as Zuhal penetrating her nemesis.
The village knew what she was after:
heads of men of valour who would fall
onto the silk she weaved – bed of air,
dense and bottomless. She appeared
as butterfly: dragon-belly: malefic breeze
in their house of cards; conquests of war
over centuries of dipping their hands
into vortices, pulling out limp limbs:
comets she called her future – progeny –
that would cast her into a pool of fire
and her cape of regal immortality
shadowing Star. Her ambition blind
like ice crystallising surface of Pacific,
wild and magnetic – Zuhra riding black
horse – she is dignified and unfallen
in the house of her lord, seething fury
on men that had dared birth her future.
Her hair is a forest of tangles and knots
but her scent is aphrodisiac; mating
time is near. They come from Mirykh
on steeds of fiery hooves to leash her,
unknowing they won’t survive the night.
Fiction © Copyright Sheikha A.
Image courtesy of


More from author Sheikha A.:

Screen Shot 2019-12-17 at 10.57.17 AM.pngNyctophiliac Confessions:
Poems by Sheikha A. and Suvojit Banerjee

“The night is cold enough to inspire poetry,” says Sheikha A. in her poem, “Reading My Bones.” This is the basis of Nyctophiliac Confessions – poems that are introspective and luminal, poems that require a certain amount of silence and space to be fully formed and appreciated. Reading these poems, I imagined that they were the kind of poems that assert themselves unbidden during a bout of insomnia. (A nyctophiliac being someone who loves the night or loves darkness).

Nyctophiliac Confessions is the 17th installment of Praxis’ chapbook series and contains twenty-six poems written by two poets, Sheikha A. and Suvojit Banerjee, interspersed with abstract paintings by Robert Rhodes.

Available Here!


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The Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Marge Simon @Darc_Nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

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The End

A Poem Redux 
by Marge Simon 

Composing his last poem, the Poet walks the beach at the end of the world. His lover lags behind, a bag over her shoulder. The ocean is a dirty brown. Waves moves sluggishly, heavy with death. He pauses, waits for his lover to catch up. She takes her time, picking up the prettiest shells which she places in the bag. She is bent nearly double with the burden, but it is her choice to follow him.

Just at sunset, the Poet and his lover come upon a cage. Hunkering down, the poet inscribes his words in the sand beside the cage. His lover covers them with the contents of her bag.

The Poet takes her hand. “We’ve done all we can. My poem, your shells, are the business of the sea. They are no longer yours or mine. Perhaps they never were. This is all there is to be said. Come, let us sleep inside this cage tonight and ponder universal enigmas.” His lover does as bidden, for she’s quite exhausted from their travels.

When sunrise comes, they awaken inside the cage, which is now locked. His lover begins screaming as the tide begins to rise. “Save us!” she implores, “open the cage!” But the Poet loves the profundity of it all. A big smile on his face, he drowns without protest.


Fiction © Copyright Marge Simon
Image courtesy of 


More from Marge Simon:


by Marge Simon and‎ Mary Turzillo

The title of this collection sets you up for the surprise of lyrical stories of victimizations with unexpected endings for the villains. Be ready to have your heart opened and cheer for perceived victims, human (made and unmade) and other life forms, victorious in the hands of these two award-winning poets. —Linda D. Addison, award-winning author, HWA Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and SFPA Grand Master.

Across histories and cultures and from Auschwitz to Babylon this book leaves you questioning who are the victims, and regardless of your conclusion you’re likely to get throat-punched. This is horror where everyone has a knife, and is ready to deliver this message: “Remember, you are always guilty. —Herb Kauderer, author of Fragments from the Book of the After-Dead.

Simon and Turzillo have only gone and startled me again. What a collection! Brutal. Beautiful. This quiver of poems strikes with the unflinching truth of persecution and oppression as seen through the lens of feminism. Prepare to come away bruised and yet strangely bolstered by Victims, a symphony of sadness orchestrated by two masters of dark poetry. —Lee Murray, Bram Stoker and Shirley Jackson Award-winner.

This is one of the braver dark poetry collections I’ve seen in a while. Horror poets generally employ victims in their work, but the focus is generally on the Evil. Turning the camera the other way is unusual, unsettling, emotionally risky, and surprisingly effective. From their stark opening take on Pygmalion, to the ending poem about the wasted life of Stateira of Persia, this powerful collection teases apart an impressive number of the threads of victimhood. Some are the usual cases, but quite a few are surprises, or reversals, or cases with unexpected layers. There is nothing repetitive about this collection. —Timons Esaias, winner of the Asimov’s Readers’ Award and the Winter Anthology Contest

Available on Amazon!


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