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

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

04_MAY_LOHThe Housekeeper
by Asena Lourenco

My vision is an ombré of dark browns as I dunk each cloth into a bucket of bubbles. The drilling of rainfall on roof tiles is a crescendo amongst the questioning silence. Fighting a pointless battle, the sun resigns, and all that can be seen is a faint whimper of light flirting with the one, lonely windowpane in an effort to enter. As if like clockwork, the pang of unpleasant deja-vu hits me as I glance at the growing pile of egg-white sheets stacked upon the dusty floor. A ringing scream comes from the upstairs floor, and before my brain has a minute to comprehend, I’m stood in front of a child brandishing a small dagger standing over a pool of warm blood.
Fiction © Copyright Asena Lourenco
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com.

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More about Asena Lourenco:

Asena Lourenco is 14 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 K. Soriano @Darc_Nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

01_MAY_LOH

Blackouts of Venice
by K. Soriano

The lone gondolier smiles at passing gondolas filled with patrons. A chill fills the air—the kind of chill that runs down one’s spine and whispers turn back. He ignores the feeling, continuing to glide across the water. 
He must have been in a daze as it appears night has fallen. The sun was setting from what he recalls of his last memory. 
The water relaxes me far too much, he thought. 
Still rowing, he misses his stop. Solitude soothes the gondolier as he traverses the waterways again. 
Such a beautiful evening.  
He reaches the nighttime hotspots of Venice only to feel that chill run down his spine once again. 
Slowing his gondola, he takes in the sight in front of him: red. Red everywhere. 
Blood. Bodies artfully woven one on top of the other.
He looks for someone—anyone—for help. He frantically scans the area. Gondolas float nearby, but no one was in them. 
How odd…
Cautiously rowing closer to the one nearest, he notices more blood. 
What is going on? 
Drifting further down the canal, he finds more of the same. Blood. Bodies. Death.
How can this be? How am I still alive?
He stops the gondola and sits down with his head in his hands. Feeling a warm, tacky liquid drip from his fingertips, he panics, dropping the oar. The lone gondolier stares at the blood staining his flesh. Feeling his heart pounding through his ears, his breath quickens.
Just when I was starting to really like it here, I’ve done it again…
Fiction © Copyright K. Soriano
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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More from author K. Soriano:

sllah


Surviving Love
, Life & Her

Surviving life on your own is challenging enough. Include love and heartbreak, and it becomes agony. When you think life couldn’t be any crueler, life threw her back into his life; Unless, she never really left to begin with…

 Available on Amazon!  

 

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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author K.R. Morrison @KRMorrison2 @darc_nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

01_MAY_LOH

Sanctuary
K.R. Morrison

Concetta ran along the moonlit canal, her blood pounding in her ears in time with her feet pounding the slippery ground. She didn’t know where she was going or what she would do when she got there. She just knew that she had to get away. She cursed the dainty slippers that she was wearing—oh, if only to be wearing her sturdy workaday boots right now! She was sure that she would be able to get to St. Mark’s and the lights of the piazza there without any problem at all.
But here she was, the picture of femininity – except for the running. Her best dress and the damned slippers — all dressed up for a disaster.
Her mother had come to her that afternoon so excited – a man had come to call on her youngest daughter! She was beside herself as she coaxed an uncooperative Concetta to leave her clay and potter’s wheel in order to clean up for this suitor.
So there they had been – Signore and Signora Benedetti and a scowling Concetta – waiting for the knock at the door.
It finally came, but they were very confused when they opened the door.
It had been Monsignor Castenelli. At first, the family had thought that he was carrying bad news. After all, a minor plague was finding its way through Venice, and death was not unexpected.
But no – for the parents, it was worse than a death. Monsignor Castenelli wanted to take their Concetta away!
Concetta backed toward the door to the rest of the house as her father asked – no, demanded – an explanation.
“Your daughter is very beautiful,” Monsignor explained. “She would make a lovely addition to our convent.”
Mr. Benedetti’s brow was turning a fine crimson. “My daughter is not going to be stuck inside some abbey for the rest of her life!” he growled. “And why would you come for her yourself? Why not the Mother Superior?”
Monsignor had the gall to look Concetta up and down as if she was a piece of meat on offer. “She would also make a lovely – housekeeper – if she didn’t make it as a nun.” His grin reminded Concetta of woodblocks she had seen of wolves right before they ate the sheep.
“Papa!” she gasped. “No! This cannot happen!”
Her mother stood in front of her, a wall of comfort. “This certainly will not happen!” she shouted. “You may leave, Monsignor. Do so quickly, before we decide to summon help!”
Monsignor Castenelli plastered a soothing smile across his features. “It is an innocent request. Surely you must know that she won’t be harmed.” But there was a gleam in his eye that told otherwise.
Suddenly he pulled a dagger from beneath a fold in his clothes. Concetta’s father could only stare in horror.
“What — ?”
“If you do not give your permission to take her,” snarled Castenelli, “I will have to take her by force.”
At this, Concetta whirled around and bolted through the door behind her. She streaked through the house and out the back door. She could hear her parents shouting and the sounds of struggling, and could only hope that they would be spared that knife.
Now, out of breath, she turned down what she thought was a side street, and almost fell into a canal. She stopped in time and backed away – right into a door that led onto the alley. She took a close look at it, and almost cried in relief.
This door had a stained-glass window with a cross carved into the wood. She recognized it as the entry to a chapel that her mother used to go to – at least until death had claimed most of her children. Then she had lost interest in praying.
Concetta rapped hard on the door, and it was soon opened by a wizened old man in a brown cassock. She pushed past him, shouting “Sanctuary!”
The priest, or brother, stepped back, startled.
“Dear girl, whatever is wrong?” he asked.
Concetta could barely get her breath. “There’s a man out there who is trying to harm me and my parents! He pulled a knife on us!”
“Dear Lord!” the man exclaimed. “Where is this happening?”
“The Benedetti villa. Do you know of it?”
The man smiled reassuringly. “Yes, I do. Signore Benedetti has been a patron of ours for many years. But please. Step into the kitchen, where it is warm. We’ll be having dinner soon, and we would love for you to be a part of it.”
She followed him gratefully through another door into a warm, inviting light. However, there was no food on the table. She was about to ask about this when a door in the opposite wall opened – and who should come in but Monsignor Castenelli!
Concetta screamed and pointed. “That’s him!”
The man she had followed in had slipped behind her, and had closed the door firmly. He now stood in front of it, barring her escape.
“Monsignor?”
Castenelli grinned that wolfish grin again. “Send word to Signore Benedetti. Tell him that we are in receipt of his donation, and we are very grateful. But do hurry so that you can get back here for the feast!”
The old man grinned a nasty, almost toothless smile at Concetta, then he reached out and pinched her arm.
“I will certainly hurry. Mmm, but it’s been so long since I’ve had a good serving of meat! This is going to be wonderful!”
Off he shuffled, as a terrified Concetta backed away from the knife that was coming ever nearer…
Fiction © Copyright K.R. Morrison
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com.

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More from Author K.R. Morrison:

Be Not Afraid (Pride’s Downfall Vol 1)

Lydia’s faith in God is strong – at least on paper. But what happens when that faith is tested? Turned into a vampire by the worst – Vlad Drakul – she feels that God has abandoned her. But the opposite is true. God rescues her from a fate worse than death, and brings her into the plan He has for global redemption. With the help He sends, she feels like nothing can stop her. But when Vlad torments her again, and then her family, the temptation to run and hide is almost too strong to resist. Her answer to God’s call is the deciding factor in the battle that pits the angelic powers of God against the demonic powers of Hell.

Available on Amazon!

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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!

04_MAY_LOHMuni
by Sheikha A.

for Saad Ali
Kitchen Witches are real.
– Amateur Sage
She understands past lives –
dark matter of time – sludge
of afterlife. She has travelled
the ages of death in variants
but has returned with the skill
of inseparation – the way to be
herself. She cooks them food
brimming with enticing aromas
of promised finalities; they come
famished of illusions, deprived
of the blissful kind of fiction
that travels miles of suspension,
that webs thick strings of reality –
the present tense of possibilities.
She feeds them flavours of calm
flowing through their embossing
veins; their bodies slipping into
paralytic pleasures of limp sleep
from potions of notions; she arrays
buffets offering forbidden gateways.
Her house is an image of paradise,
psychedelic trance-waves of euphoria
nobody escapes her food –
nobody leaves once eaten.
They believe what they imagine
walking into a groomed kitchen,
lured into what cannot be resisted;
she cooks their essence on slow heat,
their souls reducing to congealing broth,
and by their scents she vials their worth.
Nothing she makes ever goes to waste
every part used, every breath infused;
every body served, every soul preserved.
The room shivers in miasmic silence
as she stacks the new bottled flavours;
her shelves tremble under their weight.
They come broken by manipulation;
she tells them she is maker of miracles –
an alchemist of potions.
She calls herself a fair trader.
She doesn’t tell them
she targets only soulmates.
She doesn’t tell she has many;
never tells she’s never lonely.
Fiction © Copyright Sheikha A.
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com.

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

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

03_MAY_LOHThe Audition
by Terrie Leigh Relf

I preferred walking through the tunnels to reach the music department’s practice studios. While it wasn’t exactly a short cut, the tiled tunnels, which wound ‘round the university campus, were quiet and peaceful, only interrupted by the occasional student. 
Every twenty feet or so, there was an arched opening where light drifted in. Otherwise, the system of tunnels was dark and given to shadows. While I had a flashlight, I only used it at night when returning to my off-campus walk-up.
Just before the system veered off, which lead outside to one of the courtyards, there was a small anteroom. It contained more than enough space for me to set a stool and play my cello. There was something about this space, as if it had been designed for the sole purpose of playing a stringed, or perhaps a wind, instrument. Here, I could compose without anyone listening, without worrying if a passerby would inquire as to the piece’s artist or pause to listen, their presence an interruption to my creative process.
 There were times, however, when I did sense someone listening, but when I’d open my eyes after allowing the final stroke of my bow to resonate, I would still be alone. Until one night, when my solar lantern gave up its light and I was cocooned in darkness. 
As my eyes adjusted to the encroaching darkness, shadows began to peel away from the moonlit walls, gathering before me. “Bravo! Bravo!” they intoned. 
While I was attempting to gather my wits about me, a rather dignified man wearing a tuxedo stepped forward. He gestured to the disembodied audience with the wave of a baton. “You have transported me, transported us all,  young man.” 
A woman wearing an elegant green evening gown stepped forward to join him. “Congratulations! You have passed the audition! You will be an excellent First Chair for our chamber orchestra!”
Pointing to my still-beating heart, I managed to sputter out, “I’m clearly honored, but—”
“A minor detail,” the conductor said with a beatific smile as he pointed his baton at me.
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 Kendra Hale @DevourAllWords @Darc_Nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

02_MAY_LOH

What is a Monster?
by Kendra Hale

When we were young I once asked my sister, “What is a monster?” I had expected a simplistic answer, the normal reply of the creatures who haunt the darkness and move through the shadows. The ones that they played on the late night black and white double feature showings at the Paramount Drive-In during the balmy Summer nights. The air would smell of oil, gasoline, burning wood from those who built a fire to keep warm while enjoying the films, and of course hotdogs and popcorn. 
Looking back at her answer then, she was so wise beyond her eight years. The kind of wise that reminds you of how painful and bleak life really is though, the kind of wisdom that happens only to those whose path has had desperate despair. Even in the happiest of time, Viz had held onto her sharp mind that analyzed each situation, waiting for the floor to shift. That night Vizcacha had looked at me after pondering my question, her doe green eyes shimmering in the light of the screen and whispered softly.
 “ The Hollow Ones.” 
“What are the Hollow Ones Viz?”
“ The ones who hide behind the normal but it never reaches their eyes. The ones in a position that should be based in love and trust, but it is a facade. They no longer feel and those who trust them… learn the truth in the end. Like we did Cadance.”
I had hugged her to me and had tried to calm her mind, as best I could with my own 16 years of experience.  Even though the way she had stated it was clinical and not from a place of emotion, even when our past had played a part in her narrative. She had always been a smart child, but her mind had gotten even sharper after the Zeno attacks began. 
It has been almost 9 years since that moment at the Drive-In and the world had gone to absolute shit in that time. Any of the technology that people had clung so hard to had proved useless in this epidemic that plagued those who aged over 25 years. It was never a defined time that the great minds of our time could even come to a complete agreement on, with all the variables they clung to. No one person knew when their time for the disease to hit would happen…but it did and that was inevitable. 
We had seen first hand how sporadic and devastating the disease was. It took all of what made a person and left them no more than an empty shell. The memories, the emotions, the very core…would just disappear. But not before the pain took its retribution. Our family had been untouched… until we weren’t. There was no vaccine, not preventable measures that could have been taken. There was no avoiding what was coming but that brings no comfort. 
The most clear memory from the night we lost our parents was this loud and sudden cracking noise. It was as if in the dead of the night the tree limbs broke free from the trees for fear of decay. But what was shown on television was so different then seeing it in the flesh, of it being tangible and someone you knew.  What we saw as we raced through the house trying to escape was no longer the parents we had known for our lives. Their limbs distended and pulled from the socket, their jaws unhinged and open with this terrible wheezing scream emanating from their mouths. Their eyes sunken and brows covered in this viscous fluid. It was like one of those images from a horror show or comic… but so much worse. 
In the end the only places that the survivors have found that are safe are those that are high up. My sister knows my wishes are to be killed when who I am is gone. When I become hollow. My 25th birthday is coming soon. I will become what is inevitable. 
I will become a monster.
Fiction © Copyright Kendra Hale
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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More from author Kendra Hale:

je


Just Emotions:
A Gothic Bite Magazine Anthology

A collection of poetry.

 Available on Amazon!  

 

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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Bailey Hunter @DarkRecesses @Darc_Nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

01_MAY_LOH

Wet Kisses
by Bailey Hunter

Sitting in my bed, the sound of the men trolling the waterways waft up to me. “Alley clear,” they shout out to each other, their oars breaking water as they move on to the next one.  They are searching for Mama.  They’ve been searching for Mama for a long time.
When Mama first left, I cried a lot.  Papa was sad too.  He never cried in front of me, but I could hear him in his room when he thought I was asleep.  Now he curses the waters and the Borda which he swears stole her from us. 
The men below who search for her say Mama has become the Borda, stealing children, and their mothers, dragging them deep beneath the canal waters, but I don’t believe them. Mama is still good.  
She comes to me every night after the searchers move on, to tuck me in and give me wet kisses. She won’t let me turn on the lights to see her, but I feel her love and I’m not sad any more.
Fiction © Copyright Bailey Hunter
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com.
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More about Bailey Hunter:
Bailey is a publisher with Dark Recesses Press.

Dark Recesses Press is a publishing house dedicated to providing high quality dark fiction in its many forms to the reader. Our end goal is to impress and entertain, no matter what dark recesses we dare shine our light on.

DarkRecessesPress.com

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

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!


04_MAY_LOHElizabeth
by Christina Sng

Once,
I could see in the dark.
Not any more.

Not my papers stacked
In neat piles like buildings
Along a city grid.

Not the shrunken heads
Of long-dead enemies
Piked on my wall.

Not the pitchers of blood
Lined up on the top shelf
Of my study fridge.

Not my catspaws
Disguised as family members
To keep my identity safe.

Even vampires grow old
Despite valiantly
Holding on.

And I realize now
It’s been too long since
I last bathed in blood.

All those centuries
Of being humane
Have truly dragged me down.

As I ponder this insight,
An ally arrives and says,
“We need you in this fight.”

I nod and grit my teeth,
Fill my heart with wrath,
And fly into the fray.

My teeth tear flesh from bone,
Bathing me inside and out
With our enemy’s blood.

When the war is done
And the soldiers sent home,
I retreat

To that dark, quiet place,
Eyes bright again.
I see everything now:

The shadows
I had long forgotten,
The secrets buried deep,

The true nature
Of what I am,
The reason I exist.

I remind myself
I am legend. I am Elizabeth.
Peaceful at last, I sleep.
Fiction © Copyright Christina Sng
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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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Mary Ann Peden-Coviello @MAPedenCoviello @darc_nina #LoH

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

02_MAY_LOH

Gargoyle
by Mary Ann Peden-Coviello

I clutch the vial containing the precious green liquid to my chest and run from the bio lab in the Weeks Scientific Center. My rubber-soled shoes thud against the floor, and the sound echoes down the empty hallway. I skid to a halt, my free hand extended to grab the door handle of the emergency exit. No time to wait for the elevator. I catapult myself into the stairwell.
From below, a roar splits the air. The crash of breaking masonry proclaims the arrival of the evil gargoyle that pursues me. The thing has already destroyed two of my associates, crushing the life from their bodies in hideous fashion, and has been tracking me all night, across the city from my home to the University, and across the campus to the Scientific Center. If the beast catches me now, the consequences will be unimaginable.
I turn and leap up the steps. Dawn is but moments away, and it’s crucial I get to the roof before daybreak. Everything is at stake, All my work, my research, my struggles. The scientific community that rejected and mocked me will soon be forced to acknowledge my dominance.
I scramble up two more flights of stairs. My heart pounds in my chest, threatening to burst through my ribs. My breath rasps like razor blades in my throat. The muscles in my legs spasm from the unaccustomed activity. Who could have predicted a middle-aged bio-chemist would need to run for his life from a mythical living-stone monster?
Behind me, below me the gargoyle growls and snarls. It smashes its way up the stairs, demolishing everything in its path. Its unnatural, hellishly hot breath heats the air in the stairwell and taints it with the reek of sulfur. The foul creature is climbing the stairs faster than I’d thought possible. 
Agony rips apart my lower back. The beast has struck at me with its talons. I scream but do not drop the vial containing my life’s work. Only one flight of steps remains! I am within reach of my goal. I must not fail. I must not fall to the stinking beast raging behind me. 
Weakened by loss of blood, I fling open the door and stumble onto the roof, the gargoyle only a few feet behind me, bellowing with fury. I hurry toward the radio tower. 
The gargoyle bursts through the doorway, shattering the door, shouldering its way through the opening. It shrieks just as I reach the tower.
The first rays of dawn strike the snarling face of the gargoyle, instantly turning the creature to stone. I laugh in triumph, raising a fist high into the air. 
I turn to the rising sun, open the glass vial I’ve protected from the gargoyle that has dogged my steps, seeking to prevent me from my victory, and release my virus — mine and mine alone! — into the dawn. 
By the end of the month, my name will be on every tongue. And no one — not even nightmare creatures of living stone — will stop me from ruling the pitiable remnants of humanity.
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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Please don’t forget to visit the other WiHM 12 projects taking place!

WiHM12-TextGrrrl-Black-300x102

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The Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Stephanie Ayers @theauthorSAM @Darc_Nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

01_MAY_LOH

Who the Light Hunts
by Stephanie Ayers

The light spilled onto the dark water like a mixture of blood and fire. No screams that came from within the glowing depths were answered. The few gondolas in the canal never stopped moving, yet they steered clear of that doorway just as they always did whether the light filtered out or not. 
That light—an invitation to enter with its soft glow. 
That light—an illusion to the certain death one met upon entering. 
Locals knew to avoid it. The police wouldn’t step foot in it. Ghost hunters refused to investigate it. The only person who knew what happened inside that light never talked about it.
Until now.
All those who said that light overpowered darkness knew something no one else knew. Light didn’t always mean good. Sometimes, what lurked within the light held more evil, contained more power than the darkest creature of any nightmare. And when it hungered, that was when its light shined brightest, eager to entice its unsuspecting prey into its grasp with illusions of edible treats in the front window. 
Once entered, there was only one way out: darkness. 
But only if you could find it. 
Any shadows—and there were very few—were so small a toddler couldn’t hide within them, but it was the only way out. A complete and total absence of light was the only way to hide from the monster intent on drinking your blood and gnawing on your bones. The light’s magnanimous power found its way into even the darkest corners, the deepest shadows to feast. Sharp, needle teeth clamped into flesh, ripping, tearing, its mouth sucking in the blood from opened and gushing veins. A mouth without a face chewed and crunched, nibbling away until it met bone. And then, the teeth attacked again, finding fresh meat to feast upon until bones were all that remained. 
Bones—they were what fueled the light. Marrow it craved more than the blood, more than the tender meat it devoured. The marrow sustained it, allowing it to grow and consume. Its hunger grew until it was no longer able to become satisfied. Greedy teeth stalked ripe prey like a vampire in search of blood. 
I must warn you again. Beware the light. For what lurked within was more evil than the darkest creature of your worst nightmare. Trust me.
I was the lone survivor, living in permanent darkness. I watched from my window for when the light went out, because it was then and only then, I dared to leave the safety of my self-imposed prison. The light had tasted of my flesh, ripped my hip from my body, and quenched its thirst with my blood before I found safety within a shadow. The sacrifice of my leg enabled my escape. The sound of my wheelchair squeaking along the cobbled pavement was my only assurance I had survived.
I am who the light hunts, but it is you it will consume. 
Fiction © Copyright Stephanie Ayers
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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More from author Stephanie Ayers:

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A Sudden Flutter of Wings

Something strange is happening in Ruppert Hills, Missouri and it’s up to news reporter Kate Chisholm to get to the bottom of it.

When a body turns up in an old grain mill, something sinister begins to haunt her dreams, and no one is willing to tell her why. As her investigation leads her to the Trail of Tears and an old Indian shaman, and she mysteriously turns up pregnant, things get even stranger.

Is the baby she carries the key to the mystery shrouding Ruppert Hills or are they all doomed to the evil arising?

Available on Amazon!

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