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

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Nov_Image04The Rat Problem
by Tiffany Michelle Brown

Wormwood sat on a gnarled oak branch in the moonlight, licking her paw. The rat she’d ingested twenty minutes prior was not settling well in her stomach. Though she’d shaken the animal, snapped its neck, watched the rat’s life slink from its body, it felt as if the rodent’s little paws were pressing against Wormwood’s stomach lining.
A fresh spasm spiraled through the cat’s stomach, and she leaped to the leaf-covered ground. She began the trek home, mewling in pain. She wanted to curl up in a ball and let the indigestion pass, but her master was waiting. She wanted proof the beast is Wormwood’s belly was dead, and she would get it.
With each step, Wormwood’s stomach roiled more and more. It now felt as if the dead rat was scrabbling around in her stomach, trying to claw its way out.
A block away from her master’s home, Wormwood collapsed on the road. Agony bloomed deep within the cat, so intense and hot that she couldn’t scream. She could only pant, greedily sucking in oxygen, her tongue lolling in the dirt.
And then the swelling began. It was as if Wormwood was a balloon and someone was filling her with air. Her stomach distended painfully as she grew, and then something teared inside of her. The pain exploded throughout her body, one quick wave of agony, and then she couldn’t feel anything.
A human hand emerged from the cat’s stomach. Fingers gripped the pavement and pulled. The head was next, then a neck, a shoulder, the other arm. Within moments, a naked woman stood in the dark, her body slicked with stomach acid. The woman flicked her wrist, sending an arc of the stuff flying into the brush.
“Why did you send your familiar?” the woman whispered into the night. “I told you that nothing short of a family reunion will do.” She plucked a tuft of cat fur from her shoulder. “I guess I’m coming to you. Brace yourself, little sister. You’re about to have a rat problem.”
The woman lifted her hands to the sky and began chanting. Moments later, a rat scurried along the road, its coat wet and shining in the moonlight.
Fiction © Copyright Tiffany Michelle Brown
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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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!

Nov_Image03The House at the End of the Lane
by Rie Sheridan Rose

“See what I mean?”
“It is a bit odd.”
“Why would you have a door like that? It’s two feet up the wall. And what is that chute thingy for in the middle? If it went IN, I could see it as a mail chute, but it comes OUT. What was this place?”
“No clue. It doesn’t look like it’s been anything for a very long time. Look at the state of the plaster…”
“I wonder if Mrs. Brighthart would know…”
“Maybe. She’s been here longer than anyone.”
I didn’t like Mrs. Brighthart. She gave me the creeps, but Tony was right. If anyone would know it would be she. We walked down the road and knocked on her door.
“Yes?” came a wavering call from inside.
“Mrs. Brighthart? It’s Liam and Tony. We’d like to ask you a question about the house at the end of the lane.”
The door cracked open.
“You don’t want anything to do with that place, lovey. It was a charnel house during the Famine. Strange things happen there…and woe-betide anyone caught up in them.”
“Like what?”
“They say that if you see a skull appear outside it, you’re destined to die within the hour.”
“Have you seen it?”
“Am I standing here talking to you?”
Just another ghost story, I thought.
Tony was laughing as we walked back down the lane. “That old lady is wack! But the door makes a little more sense now. They could just drive the wagons up to the door-sill and unload…”
I shivered. “Gives me the creeps.”
“Lame!” Tony laughed. “Whoa…do you see that?”
We were close to the house at the end of the lane, but to me it looked just as it always did.
“What do you mean?”
“There’s a giant—look out!”
He shoved me, hard. 
I stumbled out of the street onto the walk…just as a car slammed into him. He was dead before he hit the pavement.
Stay away from the house at the end of the lane. It’s cursed.
Fiction © Copyright Rie Sheridan Rose
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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More from Author Rie Sheridan Rose:

Skellyman

“I have always preferred the supernatural in tales of horror, the knot between life and death. Rie Sheridan Rose’s Skellyman is cool and creepy. Her first horror novel is a chilling read.” — Charlee Jacob – Stoker winner, Best novel, “Dread in the Beast”

Brenda Barnett is trying to cope with raising her four-year-old daughter all alone after an accident tore her family in half. As she and Daisy go for a much-needed treat, the little girl spots a Skellyman on the corner.

This pivotal encounter leads to a wave of mounting terror as Brenda’s life begins to come undone around her. Who is the Skellyman? Why does he keep appearing? Can the sympathetic policeman Brenda turns to stop the madness before it is too late?

And why does Daisy insist that her dead brother is trying to tell them something important?

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!

Nov_Image02

I Saved the Last Bullet for Death
by Melissa R. Mendelson

I stoked the fire and stared up into the starry sky.  A star flashed overhead, chased by a wolf’s cry.  The night closed in as the rock hardened underneath me.  I waited for him.  Still, I nodded off maybe for a moment.  I jerked my head up, and he sat in front of me.  His long, white skeletal face looming against the black as his ugly, twisted horns curled out toward the distance.
“Took you damn long enough.  I’m freezing out here,” I said, dropping the stick by my boots.
“I almost did not come,” he replied.  His skeletal head tilted to the side.  “What do you want?”
“I tire of this game that we play.”
“Game,” he asked, and I could almost see a grin stretch out across that face.
“Yes, game.  Damn it.  Every time I’m shot, the bullet disappears, and it finds its way into the heart of someone I love.  I’ve been shot six times now, and I’ve lost six people that I care about.”
“Do you want me to weep for you?”
“No.  I want you to stop.  I want the next bullet to be mine.”
“No.”
“No?”  I reached for the gun in my holster.  “Why are you doing this to me?”
“Because of all the lives you took in your last one.”
“My last one?”
“You were a bad man once.”
“So, you are punishing me for something that I did in another life?”  I watched him shrug.  “When does it end?”
“When it is time to end.”  He eyed the gun now in my hand.  “Are you really going to shoot me?”
“I don’t know.  Will it kill you, or will it kill me?”  I could see that grin again stretch out across his face.  “You don’t think I’ll do it.  Do you?”  He laughed in response.  “I will do it,” I said.
“Then, do it,” he whispered.
I slipped off the rock that I was sitting on.  My boots hit the earth.  I aimed my gun at his head, and he waited for me to pull the trigger.  I stared into the orange glow of his eyes and could hear the whispers of everyone I lost.  I lowered the gun to my side.
“Then, the game continues,” he said.
“No, it doesn’t.”  I shot him in the head.
Fiction © Copyright Melissa R. Mendelson
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
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More from Melissa R. Mendelson:

nmkmmName’s Keeper

I got a one-way ticket out of hell. All I need to do is drive across country with a body in the trunk and run miscellaneous errands, but a lot of those errands come with a heavy price. And if I lose the body in the trunk, then I have to go back, and I’ll be damned if I return down there. I will fight to stay here, even if there is no rest for those wicked.

Available on Amazon!

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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!

Nov_Image01

So I Just Watched
by Terrie Leigh Relf

My neighbor was in the shower again, hot water misting up the window, pretty blonde hair clinging to her face and shoulders. She was banging on the window, screaming: “Please, somebody help! He’s going to kill me for sure this time!”
A shadow approached behind her . . . and then blood, all that blood splattering the walls, the window, dripping down her face. I knew she saw me, but what could I do? 
So this time, I just plugged in my iTunes and watched . . . After all, she’d been dead for months.
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 Christina Sng @ChristinaSng @Darc_Nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!


The Faerie Cat
by Christina Sng

The faerie cat always appears just before you’re about to die.

She sits on a tree branch near your window, in silhouette, watching the moon, asking it to give you another day of life.

Sometimes it is granted, sometimes it is not.

In the case of 15-year-old Lora Lee, she makes a fatal error.

Since she was a child, Lora has always longed for a cat of her own but her father never allowed it.

One day, a silver tabby kitten with bright blue eyes appears from beneath a tree and follows Lora home. She hides him in her bag and sneaks him into her bedroom. She names him Ben.

Ben is about a month old, an active, happy kitten who loves to curl up beside Lora to sleep. Lora manages to keep him a secret for a week before her father discovers him during a “routine inspection”.

He grabs Ben by the scruff of his neck and throws him out of the house. Lora pleads with him to let Ben stay but he turns to yell at her till she cowers and weeps.

Left alone outside in the unforgiving chill of winter, Ben mews plaintively, scratching anxiously at the front door as the cold rapidly seeps into his tiny body.

Lora’s father explodes with rage at the thought of his wooden door scratched to shreds.

He yanks the door open but before he can lay his hands on Ben, Lora rushes out, scoops the kitten into her arms, and dashes off the porch, staring at her father defiantly.

“You want that kitten, you stay out of my house forever!” he shouts, stepping forward to hit her.

“No!” Lora’s mother cries, grabbing his raised hand. He turns and smacks her head hard with the back of his hand. Lora and Ben watch, frozen in horror.

“Run!” her mother screams.

Lora hesitates, then flees with Ben. They hide inside an open garage belonging to one of their neighbors several blocks away, girl and kitten shivering in the bitter cold.

The faerie cat comes for Lora that night, but watching her shelter Ben against the blasting wind with her own thin body, she turns her attention to the creature who almost killed them.

It is not the first exception she makes and it will not be the last.

Lora and Ben sneak back home before dawn to collect her things, only to find an ambulance in front of her home.

She sees her father carried out in a stretcher, his eyes glassy and dead.

“Heart attack,” one of the first responders says, shaking his head. Another responder helps Lora’s mother out of the house.

Lora races to her. “Momma!” They embrace each other with relieved tears.

Overhead, the faerie cat smiles. Sometimes, a well-calculated fatal error works out for the best.

It is not the first exception she makes and it will not be the last.

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 Kathleen McCluskey @KathleenMcClus4 @Darc_Nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Nov_Image03Shamus
by Kathleen McCluskey

Shamus tried to control his panicked breathing as he looked passed the old tree. He was hopeful that the druid priests didn’t see which way he ran. Panting very fast but trying to keep quiet he carefully stepped out of the shadow of the old oak and into the muted moonlight. He frantically looked around to see if any priest was behind him. He began to run; not knowing where he was going. It felt like an eternity of fleeing when he came to an abrupt stop. Standing before him was an old, decrepit building with one door. He scanned the area and not seeing anybody he decided to investigate the building further.
Shamus broke a window and climbed inside. He had never seen a room so dark. With his hands out in front of him he blindly walked into the darkened abyss. He tried to find anything that would help him see in the pitch black. He tripped and landed on his knees. Now he was uncertain where he was in the room. The window, his point of reference was no longer visible. He rolled onto his back and thought, “Well, at least the priests aren’t after me anymore.” A loud crash made him sit up. He put his hand up to his eyes as a blaring spot light was placed onto him.
“You thought you would out run us?” The priest chuckled. “Oh, Shamus, this place is our church, we didn’t have to chase you. You came to us.” Shamus looked around, trying his best to make out any figures in the light or the dark. No definite details were shown to him only the dark cloaked figures that were coming towards him. He frantically looked around for a way out but there was none. His fate was sealed. The voice came again, “Now, is the time of the Samhain and you, dear are our sacrifice for the coming fall. We need your blood for the crops to come.” Shamus screamed. It was futile.
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 judgemental 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 consequenses that transpire in the first of THE LONG FALL series.

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!

Nov_Image02World on Fire
by A.F. Stewart

No one liked the painting.
Some critics called it derivative, a bad pastiche of Georgia O’Keefe. Some called it kitsch, and others too occult. Some even went as far as to label it blasphemous (possibly in a vain attempt to drum up controversy and a sale).
But no one understood the true meaning.
No one expected what was coming.
All they knew, all they felt, was that it disturbed them.
It began on New Year’s Eve, on the last day of the worst year the world had known in decades. The candle inside the painting flickered. Then it burned. Flames licked at the canvas, consumed the painting, then the gallery and the people inside. It spread along the block of shops, on to apartments, houses, government buildings. Country after country, continent after continent. Nothing doused the flames, nothing survived the fires.
Day after day, it kept growing. It kept burning.
Until the entire world was ash.
Fiction © Copyright A.F. Stewart
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
 

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More from A.F. Stewart:

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

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Nov_Image01
Woman at the Window
by Marge Simon

The bench inside is cold, the train station deserted. Trains don’t run here anymore, obviously. Earlier, he’d taken a couple of ‘ludes with some meth. Definitely coming down off it now. He feels sluggish and tired, good a place as any to crash. He looks at the bag on the floor. It had been pretty easy, almost too easy. Old man in that liquor store, he didn’t put up any protest while he filled the sack with bills. A shame this had to be the guy’s last day. The take wasn’t very much, but it’d buy him enough stash to make a profit.
Around him, the floor is littered with refuse –candy wrappers, used condoms, cigarette butts. He’s reminded of Delany’s Dahlgren, in which a city is cut off from the rest of the world by a mysterious catastrophe. He can never remember how it ends. Lighting a joint, he shuffles over to the window.  Just then, the panes begin rattling. Distant and low, then louder –the wail of a train. The floor quakes with the rumble of wheels on steel. It slows to a stop. With a start, he notices the doors to the platform are chained shut, but he grabs and shakes them anyway. Fuck! Well, there’s his answer. Trains are still running – at least, this one is. He doesn’t plan on leaving town just yet anyway.
The train starts up again and pulls away. Someone must’ve gotten off because there’s a figure outside the filthy window. He can see hands on the glass. A woman’s voice, “Please, let me in!”   Nothing he could do, even if he cared. He sure as shit doesn’t want company right now. He yells “FUCK OFF!” But she doesn’t leave.
Gradually her voice changes, deepens, continuing in a clear, hypnotic monotone. He decides he likes her voice. Suddenly, she’s beside him. Vaguely he wonders how she got in, but it’s not important. She is telling him not to worry, all will be so wonderful very soon. “What beautiful hands you have,” she says.  He puts one of his beautiful fingers in his mouth, sucks. It tastes delicious …
***
A squad car pulls up, two officers emerge.
Officer #1: “This is the place, all right. It’s known to be haunted, that’s why the boys were there, something about a dare. They swore there’s a corpse inside.”
Officer #2: “Yeah, the doors are open. Remember, they claimed it was already unlocked. All they did was give ‘em a push.”
Officer #1: “There he is, over on that bench. Looks young, maybe nineteen, twenty. Blood all over his hands and shirt. Those kids must’ve rifled his bag. At least they turned the money in. What’ll you bet it’s from that liquor store robbery and homicide the other day?”
Officer #2: “Yeah, –hey, what’s this in his mouth?” Henry reaches down and pulls something out. “It’s his index finger, ragged at the end. See? Looks chewed on.”
Officer #1: “Christ! But that can’t be what killed him. Looks like he’s just seen a ghost. Maybe a lady ghost, smell that perfume?” He starts to laugh, but the wail of a train horn cuts him off.
Fiction © Copyright Marge Simon
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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More from Marge Simon:

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The Demeter Diaries
by Marge Simon and‎ Bryan D. Dietrich

‘The Demeter Diaries’ is a record of love and longing and the inevitable horror that arises between the minds of Mina Harker and Vlad Dracula as they court one another in waking dreams. The dialogue, written in both poetry and prose, imagines a psychic connection that develops between the two even before Dracula arrives in England. As Dracula makes his way from Transylvania to Whitby on the doomed ship Demeter, the two would-be lovers transmit their thoughts across the waves and lands that separate them, alternately wooing and terrifying one another with the idea of love eternal and all the dark delicacies necessary to ensure it. Front cover art by Wendy Saber Core, interior illustrations by Luke Spooner.

Available on Amazon!

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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!

Nov_Image04Macabre Reminders
by Elaine Pascale

The ashes were barely enough to fill a snack-size zip-lock bag. I keep what remains of Louise in a vase on a shelf, surrounded by her trophies. While the trophies are a macabre reminder, they are also a reminder of Louise.
For years, I was clueless as to the origin of the items I would find on my front stoop in the mornings. There would be key fobs, socks, water bottles, and car deodorizers. The one constant was a satisfied cat sitting proudly beside her finds.
One night, I followed Louse and watched as she took post in a tree: a bullet-free sniper. From her ledge she “hunted,” watching car after car pass on the windy road beneath. Who could say what made her suddenly leap into the road at such a perfect angle that the driver had no option but to swerve. The dynamics of physics were on the feline’s side as the swerve would finalize into the boulder-lined shoulder.
That night, obviously, I tried to help, but it was beyond my efforts. I watched as the cat slithered her way through the wreckage, stepping over mangled bodies to pick her prize. I remembered reading of many accidents on that road and of the local government working to find both cause and a solution. The sirens that had often woken me from sleep were not part of my dreams at all.
One night, her calculations must have been off as Louise did not return home and my front stoop was bare. A kind stranger read the tag on the collar still attached to the bloody body and came to tell me where she could be retrieved. I decided on ashes as she had never been a stationary creature so burial felt cruel and I decided the ashes should remain amongst her collection.
Even after the ashes were instated, the trophies continued. In the morning I would find knickknacks on my stoop and my heart would be at peace.
Rumor has started about a ghost cat that can be seen on the road at night; the accidents continue.
While the accidents are a macabre reminder, they are also a reminder of Louise.
Fiction © Copyright Elaine Pascale
Image courtesy of  Pixabay.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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The Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Suzanne Madron @suzannemadron @Darc_Nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Nov_Image03

Door to Nowhere
by Suzanne Madron

The door led to nowhere. It was exactly thirteen feet from the ground and as far back as anyone could remember, it had always opened onto nothing. Not that anyone from the village had ever see it open at all.
The occupants of the building claimed there was a wall where the door should be located and not even a floor or staircase level with where the opening would be on the outside of the building. As far as they could tell, the door must not have been used for hundreds of years. And life went on, with the curiosity of the village’s inhabitants unsatisfied, though some of the villagers attempted to open the door through use of ladders and liquor-coated bravado.
The day the door opened was the day the villagers wished they had never spoken of it, never passed the rumors and stories on, never objected to the application of the building’s owners to wall up the door on the outside of the building, and never laughed at the suggestion of the group of drunk men with their ladder who claimed they would open the door.
It was too late for any of that, now. Too late to go back and erase the portal, too late to forget the stories, too late to stop the drunkards with their tools and ladder, and far too late to close that gaping black space in the wall of the building. Too late to stop the strange and long-legged creatures as they emerged from the shadows of the open door.
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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