Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Kathleen McCluskey @KathleenMcClus4 @Darc_Nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

001NOVStanley
by Kathleen McCluskey

Stanley always thought of himself as a friend to the environment. Even though his job as a lumberjack came into conflict with some of his eco-friendly views, the money was just too good. As he sat on a log and ate his lunch he thought he heard gunshots. He sprang up and that was the last thing he remembered.
   Waking on a cold, damp floor Stanley could feel the tight blindfold digging into his cheeks. His hands were securely bound behind his back making it difficult for him to sit up. He wondered if the foreman and the crew had met the same fate. Stanley strained to hear anything; he could hear the soft hum of traffic. He tilted his head and listened intently. The field that he had been working in was far from any city.
   Stanley snapped his head around when he heard footsteps coming towards him. Panic began to run its icy cold fingers down his spine as a large bolt of pain shot down his arms. He was lifted into the air. Stanley began to plead for his life, “Please, please, I have always done what was right.” A deep, gruff voice answered, “Shut your mouth. You are going to have a chance to prove that you are innocent, the guardian of the forest will determine your fate.”  Stanley had no idea who the guardian of the forest was but the thought of it instantly terrified him.
   Stanley’s blindfold was removed and horror gripped him; he began to shiver with fright. Two armed men escorted him to the edge of the tallest building in the city. “The guardian has spoken. You will have a chance to save your life. Untie yourself and make your way across to safety.” Spanning before him across the abyss of the city block was a log. He could see the blood stains of others before him.
   Stanley frantically worked on the ropes, he was on the last knot. Bent over and sweating Stanley made a critical mistake. The last thing that he saw before his skull busted open on the concrete was his boss’s mangled face on the pavement.
Fiction © Copyright Kathleen McCluskey
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
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More from Kathleen McCluskey:

The Long Fall: Book 1: The Inception of Horror

Lucifer always cunning and intelligent challenges father to a battle of wits. Being the angel of light he casts a judgmental eye upon mankind. He begins a war with his fellow archangels and God. Michael, along with his siblings defend their home and mankind from their deranged brother. Broad swords and hand to hand combat drench heaven in blood. The four apocalyptic steeds are released, each having their own destructive power. Betrayal and lust are at biblical levels. Understand the very creation of evil and the consequences that transpire in the first of THE LONG FALL series.

Available on Amazon!

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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Alyson Faye @AlysonFaye2 @Darc_Nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!


004NOV
Piece
by Alyson Faye

Succulent
luscious
ripened to perfection,
ripped from the maternal pouch.
Let them settle
nestle
wrestle,
in your gut,
grow tendrils –
pink pastels
fuschia fronds
lilac leaves  –
a forest of ferns
inside your bowel
bustling with bouquets,
a breeding swamp
of lush tasty spawn
ready to be harvested  . . .
and added to the menu.
Fiction © Copyright Alyson Faye
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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More from Alyson Faye:

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The Lost Girl & Spindleshanks

The Lost Girl
A nailed-up door. An inheritance which comes with a ghost. A missing girl. A fifty-year-old mystery. Parapsychologist Berkley Osgood is hired to investigate. What he uncovers reveals secrets the living want to hide and the dead will never forgive.

Spindleshanks
Adam is having nightmares about a skeletal shadow figure, who he calls Spindleshanks. Soon his whole class are sharing the same nightmare. Adam’s dad, Rob, knows that Spindleshanks can’t be real. But is he? One terrible night Rob has to face his son’s nightmare creature and fight for his son’s life. What would you sacrifice to have your child back safe?

“A decent two-for-one. Alyson Faye brings the engaging and eerie in equal measure.” CC Adams – horror / dark fiction author

Available on Amazon!

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The Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Naching T. Kassa @NachingKassa @darc_nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

003NOV

Dreams of a Dead God
by Naching T. Kassa

There is nothing more frightening than madness.
And yet, I assure you, I am entirely sane.
I am a poet.
My work sold well commercially, but the critics found it bland. They called my verse cliché, my meter jarring. Their words stung and haunted me. I prayed for their approval, and when one god would not answer me, I turned to another.
He came to me in dreams.
The first, took place on a beautiful desert island, a place of lush green foliage, azure sea, and golden sand. The sea sparkled and undulated around me. The fine sand clung to the soles of my feet. 
When my new god entered, I saw only his enormous shadow. I could never see his true form, for it blotted out the sun. He whispered to me, speaking a strange language I had never heard and would never forget.
When I awoke two days later, I found myself on the floor, surrounded by pages of ink-bound verse. The weakness, which often accompanied a fever, lay upon my bones. I dragged myself up from off the floor and collected the pages.
My agent called them brilliant.
The critics lauded them. I had finally achieved the adoration I so craved.
The night of the book launch, I slipped between the satin sheets of my bed and drifted off into slumber. Seconds later, I found myself on the island, the shadow rising above me. This time, I glimpsed the fearful countenance of my god. His mouth, a collection of tentacles, writhed as he whispered to me. And, against my will, he filled my head with words.
This time when I awoke, the comfort of my bedroom did not greet me. I lay upon a broken bed in a shabby room, a moth-eaten blanket covering me. It smelled of sweat and urine. A rat scurried across the floor.
The clean pages, covered in red ink, awaited me on a table near the window. I rose to gather them and almost tripped over the body on the floor. He stared past the ceiling with sightless eyes. A quill lay in the blood pooled near his left wrist. 
I don’t remember killing him. I’m not convinced I did. I guess it doesn’t matter what I think. The police believed otherwise.
They pled insanity at the trial. My lawyers believed the move would save me from the death penalty. They sent me to Dunwich Asylum, my new home.
Donna, the orderly, was kind. She loved my poetry. I guess she was a fan.
Six months ago, she started smuggling books in for me to read. It was here I discovered the name of my god. He is Cthulhu the Dead God Who Dreams.
I wish I had not learned it. I wish I had never prayed to him.
I had the dream five days ago. Once again, I stood on that accursed island, my body chilled by the shadow which towered above me. And as before, he drove the words into my brain. The more I resisted, the worse my agony grew. It seemed as though a fire raged within me, burning and charring everything in reach. The lush vegetation burned in a great, swirling inferno, the sand grew black, and the sea boiled. 
I awoke this morning in the infirmary, my hands charred black. Around me, on the clean white pages, symbols were scrawled. Only I can read them.
When the doctors come to visit, they tell me I tried to set myself alight—immolation, they called it. They said Donna tried to save me, but the fire took her life, and I used her ashes to write my poetry.
They’ve given me new medication. If it works, the dreams will cease. 
My dreams will cease. 
But I don’t see how this will help.
If he still dreams of me.
Fiction © Copyright Naching T. Kassa
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
 

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More from Naching T. Kassa:

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Arterial Bloom

Lush. Brutal.

Beautiful. Visceral.

Crystal Lake Publishing proudly presents Arterial Bloom, an artful juxtaposition of the magnificence and macabre that exist within mankind. Each tale in this collection is resplendent with beauty, teeth, and heart.

Edited by the Bram Stoker Award-winning writer Mercedes M. Yardley, Arterial Bloom is a literary experience featuring sixteen stories from some of the most compelling dark authors writing today.

With a foreword by HWA Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient Linda D. Addison, you are invited to step inside and let the grim flowers wind themselves comfortably around your bones.

Available on Amazon!

 

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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Alina Măciucă @darc_nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

002NovThey Ascended
by Alina Măciucă

The man in the hat watched the waves breaking
Against their bodies.
He couldn’t cry a warning out to the others,
But he hoped they heard him nonetheless.
Since his very soul – clunky mosaic made out
Of minuscule pieces his sculptor had stolen
From the city dwellers – vibrated angst.
Waves had already carried their robes away when
They first summoned their gods. Despair, defeat, and ruin
swallowing the sand, drinking the sea, eroding the stone.
The man in the hat knew what the others knew not.
One of them now floated, her blood like an oil spill.
The others raised their arms high into the air
And roared the second call to their gods.
The man in the hat understood the anguish of the sea.
They ascended out of the abyss,
Unfathomable even for the man in the hat who
Kept bits of everyone’s knowledge within.
But fear had already fled, leaving room for resignation
To grow inside his concrete chest.
The fate of the city dwellers, be it slavery or death,
Would be no worse than his, silent witness of
His world’s rebirth in chaos.
Fiction © Copyright Alina Măciucă
Image courtesy of  Pixabay.comline_separator2

More about Alina Măciucă:

meblurAlina Măciucă enjoys reading, writing, buying odd trinkets, and taking photos of beautifully decaying buildings. She has formally studied religion and hermeneutics at the University of Bucharest, and really has a thing for the Greco-Roman mysteries and Gnosticism, as well as for Renaissance magic. She lives in Bucharest with her very supportive boyfriend, their two cats, and an ever-expanding vinyl and book collection.

 

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

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

001NOVDon’t Look Down
by Rie Sheridan Rose

I don’t know how I got here. I went to a party last night…frat party. I’m only a freshman. I’d never been to one before. When the pledge captain asked me if I wanted to pledge—I said yes.
I was surprised, but I said yes.
I don’t remember much after that. They gave me a drink..or twelve…I don’t have any idea. I wound up sprawled across a bed upstairs in the house. 
I dreamed I was crossing a stream on a log. And I woke up here.
I made the mistake of looking down for a split second. That almost killed me. All that stands between me and the ground a hundred stories beneath me is this six-inch log. If this is it for me, then this is it. But I know something that those stupid frat boys don’t know.
You don’t want to mess with me. You might think I’m scared up here. I’m not.
I didn’t almost die from fear or falling. It was surprise. That’s all.
I’m not at all afraid of heights. Dragons can fly.
And I have a date with a bunch of frat boys. It’s gonna be a hot time in the old town tonight.
Fiction © Copyright Rie Sheridan Rose
Image courtesy of
Pixabay.com

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Overheard in Hell:
Dark Poetry

Poems exploring hell and damnation. Tales of sorrow, vengeance, betrayal, and redemption. Ghosts, ghouls, and demons stalk these pages. Don’t read in a lonely house…in a darkened room by a single candle…

…unless you like the touch of an icy finger up your spine.

Available on Amazon!

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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Melissa R. Mendelson @melissmendelson @Darc_Nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

004NOV

The Crows Ate Her Heart
by Melissa R. Mendelson

Love pushed her way forward,
scraping her feet against barren soil,
her arms bleeding from razor sharp thorns.
This world was foreign to her now,
the landscape changed,
more wild and wicked,
but she clung to hope,
knowing that sanctuary still existed.
Finally, she found it.
Relief overwhelming,
lifting her as she raced,
but as she got closer,
her scars laughed out in victory.
The heart was there,
but on its side,
denying entrance.
Slowly, it rose and fell
as if still trying to breathe,
recoiling from touch.
Pieces slipped away like jagged tears,
and along its skin, impressions made
by crows, who found it first.
Fiction © Copyright Melissa R. Mendelson
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
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About Author Melissa R. Mendelson:

Melissa R. Mendelson is a Horror, Science-Fiction, and Dystopian Author. Her short stories have been published by Sirens Call Publications, Dark Helix Press, and Transmundane Press. She also has a variety of short stories and poetry available on Medium.

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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Elaine Pascale @DocLaney @darc_nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

003NOVAffirmation
by Elaine Pascale

“They are not like us.” She reminded herself as she dragged the scalpel over the taught flesh. The black blood that sprung forth solidified the otherness of the specimen.
Her experiments proved that science was on the side of humanity. The visitors, while experts at intergalactic travel, were barbaric in their conduct and basic in their anatomy. They did not even have the sense to avoid capture.
“They are not like us.”
The black blood thickened quickly upon exposure. “It is not nuanced like our own,” she said aloud but kept the added appraisal “they are monsters” to herself.
The blood that had splashed on her hands pulsed and vibrated. She wiped her hands on the wall behind her, trying to scrape the blood loose and also put an end to the eerie feeling.
“They are inhuman…not human…” she whispered, pulling out an otherworldly organ and wondering if it were meant for digestion or reproduction. The organ felt hot, and she slammed it onto the examining table, creating more splatter on the wall. 
When she turned to look, the blood had dripped into configurations that looked like writing. 
She grabbed the guide that translated the visitors’ language. Initially, the humans had tried communicating, but soon realized the visitors were designed to fulfill a thirst for knowledge.
“The…possibilities…” She decoded the blood. “for…kindness…are…”
“Are what?” She took the scalpel and stabbed the flesh of the creature in front of her. She stabbed hard enough to direct more blood onto the wall.
“…Endless,” the blood said.
Something about that affirmation angered her. She felt as if the words were judging her. 
“They are not like us,” she intoned, running her fingers through the blood and painting over the words
“They are not like us,” she repeated each time a specimen tried to persuade her with its bloody words.
Fiction © Copyright Elaine Pascale
Image courtesy of Pixaby.com

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More from Elaine Pascale:

The Blood Lights

They victimize all…

Jezzie Mitchell is in anguish; with her brother’s murder still on her mind, she’s noticed strange behavior among the girls in the residential treatment center where she works. Is there a connection between the contagion on Cape Cod and the deadly Bahamas vacation that changed her life?

Jezzie reaches out to former lover Lou Collins, a scholar who has chased proof of the lights for decades. Will he be able to solve the mystery of the lights in time?

Intensely competitive, reporter Bridgette Collins knows the lights are a way to secure fame in her career. And while it’ll put the final nail into the coffin of her ex-husband’s career, she vows to know the secrets of the lights. Even if it means unleashing a world-wide epidemic…

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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Michelle Joy Gallagher @Aphelia @darc_nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

002Nov

Jack’s Regret
by Michelle Joy Gallagher

Jack hadn’t slept since he drowned Elise. He hadn’t set out to hurt her. She’d just said so many things that wounded him in short order, leaving him no time to recover. The passion and fire in her that first drew his eye quickly left him burned. It left no working patience in him. They had been walking along the shore when she’d brought up Beatrice. Beatrice. Why had he ever given her the time of day?  
“You’ve had your affair,” Elise said in a flippant way, “so, I guess I’m now allowed mine.” She gave a flirtatious glance toward a group of young men passing in the opposite direction, hiking her skirt above her ankle provocatively as she splashed playfully in the cold Atlantic waters.  
“You’re behaving like a child.” Jack said flatly. 
“My apologies Mr. North, I was under the impression that you quite enjoyed that.”  
Beatrice had just been 18. The comment had wounded him as intended. It was as if his anger and shame had surrounded him in a thick fog, and when the fog cleared, he’d found his hand gripping the back of Elise’s neck tightly as she struggled face down in the water. Instead of relenting and pulling her to safety, his panic led him to commit. He put a knee down onto her back. Her thrashing weakened and then stopped. Jack stood, knee deep in the sea that filled his shoes and Elise’s lungs and backed away slowly horrified. The cold air whipped around him, as he stood motionless, watching her body dragged further and further out and away.  
He lay in bed now, replaying the scene, mumbling a wish repeatedly under his breath.  
“May my deed be undone. May my deed be undone. May my deed be undone.”  
He’d wished so fervently the past few nights, he was convinced that with the rising of the sun, he’d return to the shore and find Elise there unharmed and happy to see him. With little sleep, he would drag himself out of bed and to the shore only to find the vast expanse of an unforgiving sea and nothing else. 
This morning was no different. As the sun peaked through the heavy curtains Elise herself had chosen when they’d renovated the house, he pulled himself with much effort out of the bed they’d once shared and pulled himself together. He dressed impeccably, expecting to be reunited with his wife, and even donned the top hat he’d worn at their wedding.  
The walk to the shore was short, but winded him. Lack of sleep and the weight of guilt had bent and weakened him. He found the place where he’d drowned her with some difficulty and then sat in expectation of the rising of the sun and the return of his beloved. It was evident quite quickly that Elise would not appear, but as the mid-morning sun glared and set the sea ablaze, he found himself unable to move. He’d stiffened. He tried moving his legs with no luck, and even tried laying back into the sand to rest and had found his body was as if in if rigor mortis. He quietly wept, watching families and happy lovers pass in front of his view. He yelled out a few times for help, but the roar of the sea drowned him out. 
The tide crept closer and closer, tiny crabs scuttled busily, and bold seagulls landed on him to watch, then catch them in their beaks. The sun sank behind him, bringing a chilling breeze. The tide soon reached his legs and lapped around his polished shoes, then crept up to his waist and then beyond him. Wave upon wave crested and crashed against him, a derelict new fixture for the water to embrace. He felt the sand give beneath him, as the water dragged and dragged at his body, the burgeoning tide emboldened by a rising moon.  
As the water rose around his neck and over his mouth, covered his nose and eyes and finally the top of his head, he was sure he could hear Elise’s melodic laughter, and in the dark water her porcelain skin shone in glittering glimpses, framed by her fine silk dress. They’d been reunited after all.
Fiction © Copyright Michelle Joy Gallagher
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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More from author Michelle Joy Gallagher:
31dLq1v2KHL._SX308_BO1,204,203,200_Disremembering
Welcome to Blackhawk, Colorado. Blackhawk has always been strange. Natural disasters. Disappearances. Murders. High strangeness is a part of daily life. We can’t hope to explain it, but we can chronicle its past. Learn from it. Fear it. Blackhawk is an experimental fiction series set in a shared universe, written by a variety of talented authors. It is the brainchild of David M Brown (Plague Doctor, Modern Animals) and Carl D Smith (Moleb the Giant, Darkness Out of Carthage). Each story will contribute to an organic, evolving mythology as diverse as the voices behind its tales. For fans of True Detective, Lost Highway, Twilight Zone, and The Terror. This is Volume Two of the series and contains five stories by five different authors, each in tune with the specific strangeness Blackhawk has to offer. NOTE: For fans of Lake Lord Publishing’s prior horror titles, be warned that Blackhawk will contain content that is perhaps more disturbing and mature.

Available on Amazon!

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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author A.F. Stewart @scribe77 @darc_nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

001NOVThe Hanging Tree
by A.F. Stewart

In the rarefied air above the city, it appeared, the branch of the World Tree. It flickered like a mirage, sailing in and out of the sunlight until it hovered, solid and true. Suspended by nothing, connected to everything. Crowds gathered to gawk, news cameras recorded the phenomenon, and the world was mesmerized.
Then he emerged from the ether, from the clouds.
Balanced on the branch, dressed in black and a grey woolen cloak. A few nervous snickers sounded on the ground and jokes about wizards, but a spark of fear infected those who watched. The air unsettled itself, made the skin twitch and the blood chill; something momentous was going to happen.
The figure turned, spread his arms, and stepped off the branch. The crowd gasped, and he fell. Limbs unfurled, and like an angel he descended, glowing in white light until, as people turned their faces, his neck snapped at the end of a golden rope.
In the rarified air above the city, he swayed, the corpse of the hanging man. One beat, two beats, swinging like a pendulum, ticking down the clock. The ground shook, the sky lit with thunder, and the World Tree appeared in all its glory.
But only for a moment, a stroke suspended in the sea of time, before it crumbled into dust.
As it died, somewhere the great serpent awoke.
Ragnarok had begun.
Fiction © Copyright A.F. Stewart
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
 

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More from A.F. Stewart:

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Visions and Nightmares

Tragedy spares no one… and takes no prisoners.
In the twilight shadows, secrets are revealed past the whispers of madness.

Wander into the realm of the old gods with Elenora, where humanity and marriage are a prison.
Step through a looking glass of dark horrors with an Alice you never knew.
Join with Zenna to seek the truth as her death by magic grows closer.
Journey with Olivia as she crosses paths with a monster of the forest and runs for her life.
Watch Isobel summon the faerie to solve her problem of an unwanted husband.
Shiver as Doctor Killbride experiments with corpses to create life from death.
All that and more await within the pages.

Ten stories. Ten women.
Who will survive? Who will fall? And who will succumb to their inner evil?
Find out in Visions and Nightmares.

Warning: This book contains disturbing scenes that may be upsetting to some readers.

Available on Amazon!

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SUBMISSIONS CLOSED: The Sirens Call – Winter 2021 – issue 56 | #Horror #DarkFiction #eZine #fiction #stories #flash #darkpoetry @Sirens_Call

Submissions Closed!

Promo_Cover_for_Ezine

Submissions are currently closed.

Please check back in January when we open the call for the Spring 2022 Sirens Call eZine.

Please visit our web site for further details and guidelines: www.SirensCallPub.com

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