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

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Image_03The Ones Before
by Asena Lourenco

Red flowed down her iridescent skin,
As she concealed the villain that was hidden within,
She strode with confidence upon the rock,
As the curls of the cliffs started to talk,
They whispered her name which she would never reveal,
They whispered the feelings that she did once feel,
They whispered the language of before,
They whispered to her on what used to be the shore,
Secrets poured out like a river of blood,
Onto where long ago, there was the great flood,
The rocks underneath splitting with thirst,
As they can remember who was there first
Fiction © Copyright Asena Lourenco
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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More about Asena Lourenco:

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

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

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

Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Selah Janel @SelahJanel @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

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Missing Mother
by Selah Janel

Esther stared at the quiet, dark water. It was still and have no answers, just like the moonless night. She’d been hasty. She’d tried to do the smart thing, the safe thing. Now, She was far from home – a home gone mad, but home, nevertheless. Harold could protect her – the guns that dotted the ship proved that – but what did that really mean, now that they were far from everything, especially if she ever admitted she didn’t know if she loved him? The crew was his, the other passengers his friends, not hers. Would they care if he pushed her off the deck or would they ignore it? 
I wish I could speak to Mother. She always knows what to do. She fingered the chain at her neck and stared out into the water. Searchlights showed nothing but the night. She should have been relieved. 
‘There you are, darling.’ Harold spoke with the confidence of a man who knew his money would give him everything he wanted, no matter what his target thought about it. He followed her gaze out to the black water. ‘Have no fear. Nothing will touch us here.’ His voice was so quiet she couldn’t tell if the words were meant to soothe or threaten. 
‘Yes,’ she whispered. 
‘ What is it?’ She caught the hint of irritation that time. ‘ This is meant to be a happy occasion. You’re mine at last! We’re free! The world is ending all around us and yet it won’t touch us!’ 
‘I just…’ She couldn’t look at him, couldn’t face what she’d done, her moment if weakness when she had sought him for protection and traded herself for what? Aimlessly sailing until fuel ran out or the world righted itself? And what then? Would Harold try to seat himself as leader of the survivors, if there were any? She didn’t dare ask his plans, ask what chemicals his company had been developing. He’d either lecture her about progress or dump her over. 
‘I just miss my mother.’ The words were too simple for the longing she felt. 
‘We all miss someone, but we’re the ones here! We should celebrate that, not moan abiut in the dark. Besides, who knows if there could be pirates. Or…’ He trailed off, and on the searchlights she saw the grim distaste on his face. 
‘I just wish I had her as a sounding board. She always knew what to do.’ 
The water splashed, somewhere far out. 
‘What was that. Someone, check that noise!’ He turned from calling to the crew to regarding her with the stern, handsome face that gave her hope and dread. ‘You’re too old to cry for your mother. And why would you need advice?’ 
Esther winced when he turned her, was well-aware every step back pressed her closer to the rail. 
Behind her, the lap of water grew louder, but she couldn’t take her eyes off her husband’s face. ‘Haven’t I lived up to my end and taken you away from Hell itself? Would you really want to go back to that nightmare?’ 
‘A nightmare your investments caused.’ She didn’t mean to say it, but she didn’t regret it, at least not as much as she did her vows. ‘I’m allowed to miss my mother! She always knew what to do-‘ 
‘ And now she’s gone, just like everyone else.’ Harol’s eyes were hard, his smile cruel. ‘I’m going to ignore what you just said, because you have an important place in this new world. It’s time to listen to me, darling, because your sainted mother cannot help you.’ 
He released her with a sharp yank, and she whirled to grip the rail, wondering for a moment if she should jump. 
And then she saw it. The slender arm could have belonged to anyone, especially with so many turned to walking revenants in this strange new world, but she recognized the jewelry she’d buried her mother in anywhere. 
‘She said she’d always come to help me…’ A slow smile danced over her lips. Harold didn’t hear her; he’d already left to tend to the other elite he’d selected to board the liner. It wouldn’t matter. The waving arm she knew so well was at the head of a large, rippling swell. More fingers appeared, then tops of heads, until a slow, relentless legion of the undead came bobbing toward them. 
‘Esther, are you coming?’ 
She was supposed to sound the alarm. Scream. Call for Harold so the guns could be manned. Esther found her fear of her husband’s vision was far greater than the mass of decomposing bodies climbing the ship like nightmare barnacles. 
‘Esther, is something wrong?’ 
Her heart fluttered as she watched the crawling progress, heart tight in her chest. ‘Not at all,’ she whispered, anticipating her mother’s wrath and protective arms.
Fiction © Copyright Selah Janel
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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More from Author Selah Janel:

Mooner

Like many young men at the end of the 1800s, Bill signed on to work in a logging camp. The work is brutal, but it promised a fast paycheck with which he can start his life. Unfortunately, his role model is Big John. Not only is he the camp’s hero, but he’s known for spending his pay as fast as he makes it. On a cold Saturday night they enter Red’s Saloon to forget the work that takes the sweat and lives of so many men their age. Red may have plans for their whiskey money, but something else lurks in the shadows. It watches and badly wants a drink that has nothing to do with alcohol. Can Bill make it back out the shabby door, or does someone else have their own plans for his future?

Available on Amazon!

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

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Image_04The Zombie Apocalypse That Wasn’t
by Sheri White

Jilly walked out into the pre-dawn darkness with Bubbles, her MinPin. Bubbles pulled at the leash, trying to find the perfect spot for her morning pee.
“Look, Bubbles,” she whispered. “That might be one of them down the street.” Bubbles ignored her and squatted on the grass. She closed one eye to aim at the man taking out his trash a few houses down from hers and shot him with a finger  gun.
“Zombie down!” she whisper-shouted, then blew away the smoke. “Man, I’d be so great in the zombie apocalypse. Everyone would want me on their team, Bubbles.” The dog wagged her tail in response.
Jilly loved zombies. She owned the entire collection of The Walking Dead comics and watched the show religiously. George Romero was practically a god in her mind. She only wrote her book reports on zombie books. She annoyed her friends and family by constantly talking about Walkers. She just knew that one day she would experience the real thing.
Her parents knew it too, because they helped her put together a backpack full of survival gear and supplies. She kept it by her bedroom door to grab on her way out to join the rest of the apocalypse fighters.
Noisy activity on the block snapped her out of her daydreams. Neighbors streamed out of their houses, shouting at each other, showing their phones to each other. Jilly couldn’t make out their conversation, but it scared her. A few people threw stuff into their cars, buckled their kids in, and squealed out of the neighborhood.
Jilly’s heart pounded. It’s happening. I can’t believe it. Bubbles whined and tugged on her leash, pulling Jilly towards the house. “Stop it, Bubbles!”
“Jilly, come in right now!” Her parents stood on the porch, frantically gesturing her inside. Jilly ran up to them.
“It’s zombies, right? This is amazing!”
“No, Jilly,” her father said. “It’s not zombies. Get inside; we have to get to the basement right now.”
“I need my backpack. And I want to see a zombie first!”
Her mother grabbed Jilly by the shoulders and shook her. “Jilly! You know what is happening. We have discussed this and watched the news together so you would be prepared. Now, come on. We need to get downstairs immediately!”
Jilly finally realized the truth and screamed. “No, it’s zombies! It has to be!” Then she sobbed gently. “Please let it be zombies, Mommy.”
“Oh, baby—”
Bubbles, who had been whining and pulling at her leash, finally broke free and ran out of the front yard to the church graveyard across the street. “Bubbles, come back!” Jilly ran after her, ignoring her parents’ screams that there was no time to get the dog.
They started to run after their daughter when suddenly a white flash lit up the dawn sky. Just before the hot blast obliterated them, they saw their daughter’s skeleton, as if through an X-ray, crumpled up next to the graveyard fence.
Fiction © Copyright Sheri White
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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More from Author Sheri White:

When the Clock Strikes 13

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

Available on Amazon!

 

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

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

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!


Image_03

The Wasteland
by Christina Sng

Each night
I find myself
On a wasteland
In a ruby-red gown.
The rocks
Whisper secrets
That I cannot recall.
Then the drought begins
And the world begins to die,
But our community survives,
Until prom night,
When the ground suddenly
Pickles and dries.
And everything dies
But I, standing on the wasteland
Listening to the rocks cry.
Now I remember
What they whispered to me
All those nights.
They said,
“Kill everyone now
Or the world will die.”
Fiction © Copyright Christina Sng
Image courtesy of Nina D’Arcangela
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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More from Christina Sng:

A Collection of Nightmares

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

Available on Amazon!

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

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

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Making Quota
by Bailey Hunter

“…I understand, but this is a limited time offer, ma’am. I just don’t want you to miss out…”
The line went dead. Another hang-up.
Charlie threw his headset down on the desk and rubbed his temples. He was behind quota and the deadline loomed. He couldn’t afford not to make the quota tonight. He scanned the other cubes full of pallid faces, and fake cheery voices that surrounded him. Each one striving to meet the days goals.
The new boss was a serious hardass. He wanted everyone to call him Herman, as if somehow calling him by his first name would make him more approachable or something. It did not. Working in a call centre is not easy, chasing down leads, and cold calling takes a special kind of talent. Working for Herman took that tough job to a whole new level though.
He was always hovering, and the numbers they had to reach kept getting higher. Most of the staff hadn’t been home in weeks. Charlie couldn’t even remember the last time he’d slept.
His cube mate Davis didn’t make quota last week and was called in by Herman. That was last time anyone saw Davis in person. Instead they saw him every day at the beginning of a shift that never seemed to end. Herman played back Davis’ firing for the staff as some sort of warped motivation.
They were forced to watch as Davis stood before Herman, the Overseer, to listen to Davis’ screams as his body was engulfed in flames, to see his skin bubble and pop, turning red then black as the fire consumed him. All the while Herman stared, relentless, unblinking, only turning his great eye to the room at the end when nothing was left but charred bits of ash and bone.
Charlie swallowed the last of his cold coffee, took a deep breath, picked up the headset and put it back on. He had to make quota. He couldn’t quit, and being fired simply wasn’t an option.
Fiction © Copyright Bailey Hunter
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
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More from Bailey Hunter:
Bailey is a publisher with Dark Recesses Press.

DeadWomenInLoveCover_FrontDead Women in Love

Harvey Drago, Intangible Private Eye, is back in DEAD WOMEN IN LOVE.

Join him as he investigates the brutal death of a history professor, as well as the disappearances of several ladies of the evening. Both cases turn out to be related to the mysterious human-shaped piles of ashes being left around Nashville, and the decades-old theft of priceless Egyptian relics, including the mummy of a nefarious pharaoh. Supernatural Investigations Bureau agent Amy Marten weaves a seductive spell over our hero, as does the oddly rejuvenated Pam, his long-time occasional paramour. Is it his body they’re after, or his heart? Maybe his soul? Or is it something even more intimate than that?

 

DarkRecessesPress.com

 
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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Sumiko Saulson @sumikoska @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Image_01Rising Before Dawn
by Sumiko Saulson

The plan had been simple… to eliminate the undead by dumping cargo containers full of them to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. Cargo vessels docked at the shipping ports in the San Francisco Bay in Oakland and Alameda. Cranes lifted cargo containers that looked like brightly colored Legos. Crowd cheered. We drank champagne and toasted the end of the undead rebellion.
Then, we found out in the worst way… the undead had begun to evolve.
Gills, we imagined. But it was worse, they simply had no need to breathe at all. Perhaps their skins were nourished by nutrients in the air and the water through osmosis, the O in H20 absorbed through their rotting epidermis.
I was in my cabin below deck when they first resurrected. Along with the waterborne dead, I was rising before dawn on the morning it happened.
Angry fingers grasped at the side of the vessel for purchase. I heard their bony talons screech as they tore at the steel cargo ship in desperation, fingertips drenched in blood, fingernails ripped from the nail bed.  Members of the crew sat on deck with high-powered rifles, shooting them in the skulls to knock them off of the vessel. From the round window in my quarters below deck, I saw their bodies drop into the water. Hungry eyes stared at me from the other side of the portal, as a fresh batch of zombies used its ledges for purchase. They clung to seams and steel girders as they attempted to board.
Behind them, I saw the Golden Gate Bridge rise in the distance. On the towers above, trained snipers took shots at the zombies, knocking them back into the water. It was mayhem!
I’d been above deck on watch for four hours now. My job had been to shoot at the undead, blowing their brains out before they boarded. I handed my semiautomatic rifle off to the next watchman as I walked below deck.
Haunted by the image of a single hand protruding above the water, hungry fingers splayed, I retired to my cabin. Uneasy sleep bestowed upon my troubled mind dreams tinged with imagery that best remained in a Mary Shelley novel. The souls of the angry men and women who once occupied those undead bodies crackled overhead in the lightning. I heard their voices croak sour and malignant in the thunder. Ghosts wandered the decks in search of their reanimated corpses, dropped to the bottom of the sea.
Some of the zombies were too tired to launch their bodies into the ship. Instead, they patiently walked apace with the vessel. Their rotting bodies shielded by our shadow, cast against the sands of the Bay They followed our as it guided them ever towards the shore, a silent army, staging their invasion.
Fiction © Copyright Sumiko Saulson
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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More from Author Sumiko Saulson:
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Black Celebration

A collection of articles, essays and interviews with and by African American horror writers on black representation in horror, horror diversity, reviews of African American horror films, horror novels, weird fiction, dark fantasy and more.

Available on Amazon! 

 

 

 

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

The Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Suzanne Madron @suzannemadron @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

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Cemetery Gates
by Suzanne Madron

What had begun as a stupid child’s dare was quickly turning into the challenge of a psychopath. The crowd gathered and walked them through the headstones, following the pair to the gates. No one walked through the gates. Not anymore.
The crickets abruptly ended their nightsongs as they approached and even the owls in the old oak paused in their eerie calls to stare down at those gathered beneath their lightning-blasted perch. The congregated witnesses paused in their habitual breathing as the challenged man stepped up to the rusted wrought iron.
He looked at his companion and scowled. “It’s locked.”
The other man’s smile was too wide, showing his back teeth and black sockets where teeth once had been. “That lock is rotted through. A tap with a rock will knock it loose.”
One of the children, eternally the helper, offered up a piece of one of the broken headstones. “Will this work?”
“That it will!” crowed the smiling man. He tapped the rock on the rusted chain and the links crumbled. “Now we settle this for once and all.”
The other man’s scowl deepened. “No good will come of this, Zeke. I beg you to reconsider.”
The smiling man laughed. “I tell you again as I have said before, the danger is a myth.” He approached and swung wide the iron cage.
The gates screamed in protest and clanged to a halt over exposed tree roots. It was not the yawning exit point that Zeke had hoped for but it was dramatic. His smile returned as he looked at the crowd.
He tipped his hat to the ladies, gave a nod to his still-scowling companion, and took a tentative step over the threshold of the old churchyard. As his rotted boot came in contact with the ground on the other side of the gate, the sun began to rise over the horizon.
“Zeke, stop! This is madness!”
Zeke took another step and now he stood on the other side of the crumbling walls, past the old gates. He turned to his audience and something shining white shone in the light of the sunrise. His smile faltered as he realized it was a skeleton.
It lay sprawled just on the other side of the gates, hand outstretched as if the man had tried to crawl into the old graveyard. Zeke took a step closer. The mouldering hat on the ground next to the skull looked like his hat.
Another step. One of the fingers had a gold ring set with a ruby. Zeke held his own hand up and stared for a moment at the gold ring with the ruby adorning his own hand. It had been a gift from his grandfather and he never took it off.
One more step and the toe of his boot tapped the flapping sole of the skeleton’s boot. Within the ribcage of the skeleton, where a vest pocket might have been before the cloth rotted away, lay a tarnished pocketwatch half buried in dust. He bent down and picked up the watch, shaking off the dirt as he removed his own watch from the pocket of his vest.
The inscription on the back of the watches was the same. With a sinking feeling he clicked the buttons at the top of each watch and the covers popped open to reveal the same cracked glass. The skeleton’s watch had stopped at a quarter past seven.
Zeke looked down at his own watch. It read fourteen minutes past seven. He barely heard the screams of the others as the second hand approached the twelve.
Fiction © Copyright Suzanne Madron
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com 

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More from Suzanne Madron:

For Sale or Rent

The house across the street seems to go on the market every few months, but this time nothing about the sale is normal, including the new owners. No sooner has the for sale sign come down and the neighborhood is thrown into a Lovecraftian nightmare and the only way to find out is to attend the house warming party.

 

Available on Amazon!

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