The Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Tiffany Michelle Brown @TiffeBrown @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Heavy Lifting
by Tiffany Michelle Brown

I used to enjoy our Saturday afternoon ritual, the one put into motion by our wives’ mutual love of yoga. It used to be calming. Mundane. Predictable. Fun, even.
When the girls leave together, clad in poly blends, ready to strike warrior poses at the local YMCA, Aaron and I retire to the backyard to do manly things. Which is to say we lift weights and toss back tumblers of scotch.
Aaron’s really into fitness, the kind of guy who works out before going to his nine-to-five. I stay fit, but I’ll admit that I don’t have his level of dedication. My wife has always said she isn’t a fan of bulging, veiny muscles. I used to believe her.
Despite Aaron’s love of a good workout, our hangouts aren’t competitive. Not really. It’s just a dude thing. We shoot the shit and spot each other on Aaron’s outdoor bench press equipment. Maybe smoke a little weed if one of us has some.
It’s been chill. It’s been good, mostly.
But it isn’t anymore. Today, I want to run Aaron over with his fancy backyard booze cart. Instead, I pour him a drink.
“You still jetlagged, man?” His voice makes me wince.
I hand Aaron his booze. “I’m never letting them send me overseas again. Coming back is brutal,” I say, which is the truth, but my rough re-entry has nothing to do with fatigue or time zones. “You been benching?”
Aaron shrugs, acting all nonchalant, and takes a sip of scotch. “Here and there.”
“What are you up to?” I pour myself a generous draught.
“Maybe two-fifty?”
“Impressive.” I smile. “You should try for three hundred today. I’ll spot you.” I walk over to the bench, knowing he’ll follow. This is our routine. Why wouldn’t he?
Aaron sits on the bench and watches me load up the bar. “I’m not sure about three hundred. It’s a big jump up.” But even as he says this, I can hear that he wants to try it. I knew he would.
“Oh, come on. You could do this in your sleep.” I make a big show of making sure the weights are secure, then give him an encouraging smile. “Besides, I’ll be right here.”
Aaron rolls his meaty shoulders and sets his tumbler in the grass. He does a couple stretches to loosen up, then reclines on the bench. My muscles burn as I help Aaron hoist the bar. “You got it, man?” I ask. Aaron’s already a little pink-faced, but he puffs out, “Yep.”
I relax my grip until only my fingertips support the bar. “Lower when ready.”
And Aaron does. He gets in four shaky, slow reps before his muscles start quaking and he’s red in the face from the effort. My cheerleader comes out. “You got this! One more, man. Put in the work!”
As his elbows bend, I give the bar a jerk toward me and let surprise and gravity do the heavy lifting. Then, I use all my strength to pin the bar to Aaron’s windpipe. He struggles against me.  Normally, he’d be able to throw me across the backyard, but his arms are tired. His struggling is just that, struggling.
The whole ordeal is quick but clearly not painless. I watch Aaron turn blue. Spittle flecks his lips. Finally, his huge arms splay open, the fight done. His fingertips skim the tips of the perfectly manicured lawn.
I stoop, pick up Aaron’s abandoned whisky, and take a sip. It’s smoky and sweet and burns my throat, which is good, because I have a phone call about an accident to make. A raspy voice could make my plight sound convincing, though it’s one of my own making.
I know how Aaron’s wife will react to the news, but I wonder about Patricia. Her response will fill in the gaps, let me know how long they’ve been carrying on behind my back.
And then I’ll know if I have any more heavy lifting to do.
Fiction © Copyright Tiffany Michelle Brown
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Sonora Taylor @sonorawrites @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

As Quick As Poison
by Sonora Taylor

In the darkness, liquid pooled
Upon a table in the wood.
A bottle lay inside her hand
And seeped its poison in the land.
She’d thought a drink would calm her nerves,
That one last sip would stop the stirs
Of voices crawling in her mind
Which fed her thoughts and dreams unkind.
But when she drank that fatal cup
And took a moment to look up,
She fell to earth. Her time had passed
As quick as poison through a glass.
Fiction © Copyright Sonora Taylor

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More from Sonora Taylor:

Without Condition

Cara Vineyard lives a quiet life in rural North Carolina. She works for an emerging brewery, drives her truck late at night, and lives with her mother on a former pumpkin farm. Her mother is proud of her and keeps a wall displaying all of Cara’s accomplishments.

Cara isn’t so much proud as she is bored. She’s revitalized when she meets Jackson Price, a pharmacist in Raleigh. Every day they spend together, she falls for him a little more — which in turn makes her life more complicated. When Cara goes on her late-night drives, she often picks up men. Those men tend to die. And when Cara comes back to the farm, she brings a memento for her mother to add to her wall of accomplishments.

Cara’s mother loves her no matter what. But she doesn’t know if Jackson will feel the same — and she doesn’t want to find out.

Available on Amazon!

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

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Another Man’s Poison
by Naching T. Kassa

Klaus Herrman sat behind the rusted bars, his eyes on the shadows shambling in the moonlight.
The dead gathered. Their numbers swelling.
His mind, clear as ever, reached back to the chain of moments long before the one he occupied. He had not believed in the devil then.
The year 1946 had begun with a chill he had never known, nor would long forget. Gone were the days of the sun, the days ushered in by his beloved Fuhrer. They had fled in April of ’45 when a bullet had creased the god’s skull.
Klaus, once a hero of the Reich, lay sprawled in his cell while the mongrels bayed outside the door. They called for his blood.
Two guards stood watch outside his cell. Neither responded when he asked for water and food. Cold stares were all he received.
Two hours before Klaus’ execution, a man entered the room outside his cell. Clothed in black with eyes to match, he slipped in like a shadow. If the guards saw him, they gave no sign.
The man stopped before the cell; he grasped the bars and shook his head.
“The end is nigh, Klaus,” he said, his voice soft.
“Who are you?”
“A friend,” the man replied. “Call me, Luke.”
He grinned and Klaus’ scalp prickled.
“My friends are dead.”
“Not all. There are those who think of you. I have come on behalf of just such a person.”
“Who?”
“Her name is Elsa Buren.”
“My maid?”
“She has given her soul to save you.”
“Why?”
The man shrugged. “I’m here to keep my end of the bargain not question the ways of a woman’s heart.”
Klaus glanced at the guards. He lowered his voice. “You have come to free me?”
“If immortality is freedom, then yes, I suppose I have.”
“Immortality?”
“You will live forever, my friend. You’ll never know thirst, or hunger, or death again. Once you take my hand and accept this gift, not even the rope can kill you.”
“I won’t hang?”
“Nope.” Luke slid his hand between the bars. “Just take my hand and I’ll be on my way.”
Klaus eyed the pale palm. No lines marred the surface.
“Time is precious,” Luke whispered. “Do you hear the seconds?”
Something ticked within Klaus’s mind. The sound grew faster, filling his ears.
“That’s your life ticking away,” Luke shouted.
Klaus reached out. He grasped the offered hand.
The ticking ceased.
“Good man,” Luke said. He shook Klaus’ hand twice and released it.
“I don’t feel any different. Where are you going?”
“My work is done. Have a good life, Herr Herrman.”
“Wait! Come back!”
Luke strolled past the two guards and out the door. He didn’t look back.
An hour after he’d gone, soldiers took Klaus to Nuremberg Prison’s gymnasium. Thirteen steps led him to a harsh hemp noose and a short drop.
It failed.
Several fruitless executions followed. With each one, Klaus’ confidence grew. He needed neither food nor drink for with immortality came invincibility.
And, then they built the cell. An impenetrable chamber with bars of thick steel. They kept Klaus in and the world out.
He remained there until the end. Until the guards no longer came. Until the dead rose to shuffle outside his cell.
There had never been so many dead before. They milled about outside watching him with white-filmed eyes and gnashing their blunt teeth. Skin and hair sloughed to the floor unnoticed and the bars, brittle and rusted, shuddered when brushed by their bodies.
Soon, they would break through. They would swarm over him.
Klaus shivered.
“Looks like the end is nigh,” a voice said.
Klaus looked up into a pair of black eyes.
“Luke.”
The man beyond the bars bowed. “In the flesh.”
“You have to get me out of here.”
“Sorry, Bud. No can do.”
“What?”
Luke leaned against the bars. They shifted under his weight.
“Don’t do that! They’ll get in!”
“Oh, I know they will. That’s the whole point. What’s the matter, Klaus? You can’t die.”
“I know… but…”
“Ah, yes. You still feel pain. Can you imagine those blunt teeth biting and gnawing for an eternity?”
The bars shifted again.
“Don’t! Please! I’ll do anything. Do you want my soul? It’s yours. I…”
Luke yawned and Klaus fell silent.
“I own your soul. Your actions condemned you to my custody long ago.”
“Is there nothing I can do?”
“Well… it is the Apocalypse and you are the last man on earth. We’re at a standstill until I collect you.”
“Collect me.”
“I can’t violate a contract. Elsa gave her soul that you might live.”
“Did she give it out of love?”
“I suppose so.”
“That negates the contract, does it not?”
Luke stared into Klaus’ eyes.
“Well, I’ll be damned. I believe it does.”
Tears glittered in Klaus’ eyes. “Free me.”
Luke pushed a hand between the rusted bars. Klaus took it.
When Luke pulled away the bars broke and fell. The dead ceased their mingling, their eyes focused on Klaus.
“Wait…” Klaus said. “You said you’d free me!”
The dead rushed forward as one.
Luke grinned. “Consider yourself free.”
Fiction © Copyright Naching T. Kassa

 

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More from Naching T. Kassa:


Final Masquerade

It’s the Final Masquerade and it’s your turn to dance.

The evening is ending and the guests are ready to leave, but the final event of the evening is just beginning — the unmasking.

Welcome to Final Masquerade where no one is who they seem.

Stories written by Daniel I. Russell * Ken MacGregor * J.C. Delisle * Joshua Chaplinsky * Lori Safranek * D.S. Ullery * Samantha Lienhard * Thomas Kleaton * Josh Strnad * Naching T. Kassa * Roy C. Booth & Axel Kohagen * Sheldon Woodbury * Craig Steven * Gregory L. Norris * Jay Eales * Dale W. Glaser * R.K. Kombrinck * Jonathan Cromack * Brian C. Baer * Adrian Chamberlin

Available on Amazon!

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

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

The Call
by A.F. Stewart

It began with a few, gathered on the beach, all squawks and flapping wings while the tourists laughed and tossed them crumbs. The birds moved closer, closer as more settled in the trees, long shadows cast to the beach. Human voices still chattered, among the caws, screeches and twittering, but the laughter stilled, replaced by a slight unease.
Some people rose to their feet, backing away, but others still tossed their crumbs to the ever-increasing number of birds. Flocks of them came, settling on the sand and in the trees, until only the voices of birds could be heard against the thumping scramble of feet fleeing towards the water.
The ocean splashed around frightened people as a great shrieking wave of avian feathers and flesh rose simultaneously and dove en masse. Screams ascended, and the smell of blood, as ripping beaks tore at eyeballs, ears, hair, and flailing arms. Sand and sea became awash in red, and, in time, the beach became littered with corpses.
Then, their screeching voices calling out, they rose to the sky on bloody wings and flew towards the city.
Fiction © Copyright A.F. Stewart

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More from A.F. Stewart:

Abandoned: 13 Tales of Impulse, Betrayal, Surrender, & Withdrawal

To act with abandon, in any sense of the word, is human. Whether it’s the sudden, strong urge to do something, either good or bad, or the act of betraying someone you love, we make choices that forever change our lives. Do you give into something or someone completely, or withdraw wholly into yourself? These thirteen stories run the gamut of emotions and express horror as you’ve never imagined it.

The story of a woman alone at the end of the world and the small lifeline she hopes will prove humanity still exists challenges the search for anything left behind after the death of a child. What if you hid a secret you’d thought no one else knew? Would its revelation spark the monster hiding within? A downward spiral into madness juxtaposes the ultimate, but impossible, (re)birth. Would you choose the frigid winds of winter over the warmth and safety of your lover’s arms?

Abandon hope, all who enter here…

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!


Nephthys
by Asena Lourenco

She’s dark and determined to complete her mission

On the run from God to overcome her sins

She’s hiding behind the old, wooden fences

Slowly, losing all of her senses

Screaming in pain when she’s alone

Watching as her children are stripped to the bone

A clutter of them, looking sad in a pile

At the bottom of the water of the Egyptian river Nile

Observing as boats pass over their head

Knowing one day they’ll return from the dead

Fiction © Copyright Asena Lourenco
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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More about Asena Lourenco:

Asena Lourenco is 11 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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Be sure to check out the other fantastic events and peeps participating in
Women in Horror Month 10

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

The Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Nicole e. Castle @Carys666 @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction #WiHM10

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Bullies
by Nicole e. Castle

I hear footfalls. Not rodent nor insect. I am accustomed to their light tread. This is something larger, lumbering across the threshold. I still myself for a moment, hovering. Do I come closer? My curiosity stirs me forth. I must see. It has been so long.
I move quickly over the mud-covered floors. Human children played here once. Sometimes I hear shrieks of laughter from long ago. Other times, shrieks of pain. That is what had drawn me to this place. I was able to share my own misery, mingling with the decaying despair, like saliva in the mouths of angry lovers, tearing at each other. I have no need for warmth or comfort. Dusk bathes me in dying light. Shadows caress me, we fold into each other. Freedom, I was told, can only be found through heartache.
I smell them now. Fresh skin, moist from the heat of the day, chilling in the darkness. Three sets of feet, stumbling, flitting over broken bottles, soggy leaves, scattered paper. Red ink blurred, This was a fine essay, Andrew. I wonder if next time, you might develop your argument more fully. . . They have no idea I am here. There will always be the moment before, and the moment after they meet me. Now they are in the before time. I hear whispers. “Let’s get out of here! I always hated this place!”  Night has come and maybe they are not all alone.
Melancholy rushes over me. I am lonely. I want a playmate. A companion. I want to feel a part of the world again. Not a prisoner in this sorry, sorrowful place. But Hunger builds. It drives me towards madness. This is not the friendship I was promised. It destroys me, taking me right to the edge but never quite letting me fall into oblivion.
A cone of light moves towards me. I do not move. A foot hits something yellowed and small, tufts of hair surrounding puncture wounds. The female bends to investigate. Shrieks once more fill these halls. Hunger and I dance to their tune.
Six feet gallop, full speed towards the murky doorway. Moonlight streams through the broken windows. If they can just get outside, they will hold each other’s gangly bodies, nervously laughing, and convince themselves that nothing truly bad happened here. That they were not the cause of this pain. That kids will be kids. Childhood is cruel, they’ll say.  There will always be the moment before we meet again and the moment after. Remember me? I’ll say, baring my fangs, barring their exit.
Now they are in the after time.
Fiction © Copyright Nicole e. Castle
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com 

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More from Nicole e. Castle:

Amanda’s Recurring Nightmares

Seven horror writers are gifted the name of a real person and told to do whatever they want to her. In the seven resulting short stories, Amanda is tortured, terrified and made monstrous; she is killed at least once. She won the right to have this done – and the writers couldn’t wait to unleash their imaginations on Amanda. Welcome to the inaugural edition of Recurring Nightmares, the Special Raffle Prize of the annual Monster Mash for Literacy Bash thrown by the Great Lakes Association of Horror Writers (GLAHW) benefiting the Dominican and Siena Literacy Organizations in Detroit. These are Amanda’s nightmares. We hope they become yours, too.

Available on Amazon!

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Women in Horror Month 10

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The Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Stacey Turner @Spot_Speaks @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Beginnings
by Stacey Turner

Hungary 1610
“They will come for me, now.” The woman paced the room, her features as stony as the castle walls surrounding them.
Even in middle age, her beauty stunned him—never more so than when the blush of anger colored her cheeks. She chewed her bottom lip slightly, her brown eyes flashing. Gyruri placed his hands on her shoulders, stopping her in her tracks, and lifting her chin so he could meet her gaze. “Come with me. With us. We can be the family we were cheated out of being.”
She waved her hand and continued her pacing. “I am not afraid of death, Gyruri. Not my death anyway. I am sad for my friends, for Katarína, most of all. All she has done is what I’ve asked of her—teaching Petra what she needed to know to survive. How could she foretell what a wicked girl the child would turn out to be?”
“Petra is not wicked. She is a victim. A victim of your father, of the woman who was supposed to care for her, of fate. And mostly, a victim of our own making.” He stepped into her path and folded her into his arms. “I will not apologize for loving you, Erzsébet. No matter what. But I will apologize for what has happened to Petra, and what will happen to you if you stay. Please, come with us.”
“I cannot. I will stay here and give them someone to punish, somewhere to focus their attentions, their blame. You take Petra away from here. You are right. She did not ask to be the illegitimate daughter of two very young fools. Protect her, my love.”
“Always,” he whispered.
She pulled away from him then. “Go. Go now, while there is still time. I will be fine. I am a Báthory after all. György Thurzó wants my land, not my life.”
Four years later…
Gyruri stood staring at Castle Csejte in the distance. The full moon hung behind it, silhouetting the bats flying from the high tower. He could not blame the superstitious peasants who thought it haunted, for surely the sorrow and death within had drenched the walls, seeping their way into the very stones. And now his Erzsébet had joined those ghosts. He’d seen her two nights ago, asking her again to join him. She’d been frightened of him, of what he’d become, what he’d let Petra do to him, and she wanted no part. Her terror and disgust had wounded him deeply. Her death twisted the knife. And while he didn’t blame her for her choice, he didn’t know how he’d survive an eternity without her.
Fiction © Copyright Stacey Turner
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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More from author Stacey Turner:

Morbid Metamorphosis: Terrifying Tales of Transformation

Metamorphosis occurs every day as caterpillars become sweet fluttering butterflies, tadpoles become gorgeous frog princes and chameleons become one with the beauty of nature – but you won’t find any of that here.

The transformations you’re about to witness are unnatural, sometimes gruesome and deeply psychological. They will make you question reality and take your mind places it was never meant to go.

Terrifying Tales of Transformation from Greg Chapman * Roy C. Booth & R. Thomas Riley * Terri DelCampo * Dave Gammon * Nancy Kilpatrick * Rod Marsden * Jo-Anne Russell * M.J. Preston * Stacey Turner * Tina Piney * Suzanne Robb * Franklin E. Wales * Donna Marie West * Suzie Lockhart * Cameron Trost * Daniel I. Russell * Simon Dewar * Amanda J. Spedding * Ken MacGregor * Erin Shaw * Gregory L. Norris * Nickolas Furr

Available on Amazon!

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Women in Horror Month 10

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