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

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

003_APR_IMGThe Family Legacy
by Terrie Leigh Relf

When I was a boy, I discovered an old, red train engine in the woods behind our house. As the story went, Great-Great-Grandpa was a railroad engineer who died in a freak train accident. For some strange reason, Great-Great-Grandma had the engine moved to the property. Apparently, Great-Great-Grandma would visit the train every day until she died. My great-grandparents and grandparents, too.
My mother believed it was morbid and forbade me to hang out there. If she had her druthers, the train engine would be hauled off, but dad wouldn’t let her. “It’s part of my legacy,” dad would say, and mom would just stare at him with an odd expression.
I still hung out there. It was my place, somewhere I could go to just be alone. Sometimes, my head would fill with an odd clanging before I sensed a presence at the engine controls. I could almost see Great-Great-Grandpa, almost smell the smoke emerging from the boiler, almost feel the rumble and sway of the train as it moved along the tracks. 
After I returned home, my dad would say, “Best take a shower before your mother gets home.” He could always tell I’d been out at the train, as flakes of rusty red paint would cling to my jacket and jeans along with the acrid scent of smoke. It was our secret.
Years later when I came home from college, I headed into the woods. I was surprised to see my dad sitting on the train engine’s step. “Let’s take a walk. There’s something we need to talk about.” 
He was silent as we took the well-worn path encircling the train. “You see, Sean, that train’s special. The property is yours now, so promise you won’t have the train hauled off.”
“That’s what mom always wanted . . .”
“If you spend enough time here, you’ll meet more than just your Great-Great-Grandpa,“ he continued. “Since he passed, almost everyone in our family ends up here in spirit.”
“You mean it’s haunted?”
“It’s more like the family graveyard.”
We stopped walking, and I turned to him. “That’s why I can see you too now, right dad?”
Fiction © Copyright Terrie Leigh Relf
Image courtesy of Rie Sheridan Rose. 

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

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

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The Red Cap’s Passenger
by Marge Simon

On a Pullman train in the olden times, a dark-skinned man in a red cap is at work. Wearing immaculate white gloves and a beautiful smile, he helps a woman on board. She flaunts a ratty fox stole, her eyebrows plucked and penciled on a powdered canvas of wrinkles. Through lips firmly pursed in a perpetual scowl, she calls him boy.
 In the dining car with white tablecloths and shining cutlery there is an extensive menu with elegant service by a personable brown man. But none of it is to her liking: the knives and forks aren’t clean enough, there are crumbs on the carpet, her soup is too hot, her tea too weak, and in a strident voice she calls the waiter boy. In the smoking car, where passengers engage in convivial conversations, she intrudes her opinions, drinks too many Manhattan’s and calls the barman boy. When she chokes on a cherry pit, no one comes rushing to her aid. A voodoo spell, a shaman’s curse? There’s no evidence to tell, but her time upon this mortal coil expires.
A Redcap lays her body in a birth. He buttons up the heavy curtains, respectful of the newly dead – a woman damned to dreams of serving churly passengers with unaccustomed smiles.
Fiction © Copyright Marge Simon
Image courtesy of Rie Sheridan Rose. 

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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 Asena Lourenco @ElaLourenco @darc_nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

001_APR_IMGSwallowing Light
by Asena Lourenco

Streaks of white paint the frame,
Blindingly bright as they state their name,
Infinite black floods into the empty space,
Fighting competitively for first place,
But darkness swallows light when there’s not much left,
A useless fight or ultimate theft, 
But here it peeks through a small creek, 
Seeping into the black as a small leak,
Knowing it’s an uninvited guest,
It remains quiet and calmly at rest.
Fiction © Copyright Asena Lourenco
Image courtesy of Rie Sheridan Rose.

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More about Asena Lourenco:

Asena Lourenco is 13 years old. She loves reading, playing Scottish traditional fiddle music on her violin, dancing, and martial arts as well as writing her own stories.

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

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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Linda Lee Rice @darc_nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

001_APR_IMGThe Dark Room
by Linda Lee Rice

The darkness is creeping throughout the room, gobbling up all the light. It leaves the velvety feel of something touching me, like spiderwebs across my skin. The door is locked from the outside and I’ve pounded on it until my hands are bruised.
He said to drink the cup of foul-smelling brew and he’d let me out. The bread is gone but I’ve refused so far to drink from the cup. The liquid is clear but something within it…moves.
I was lost in the woods when I came upon this cabin. Seeking shelter, I stepped inside to perhaps warm myself and seek comfort. He came up behind me, shoved me inside, slammed the door, and locked me in.
The bread in the basket and the cup of liquid were sitting there as if waiting for me. He told me he had been watching me, so he had prepared this small feast. All I had to do was drink and I would be freed.
He looks in the window once the daylight has ceased and the moonlight glows. He whispers to the cup when he’s outside the window and it stirs. His eyes glow in the dark and I can hear his rumbling laughter as he sees me refusing the drink. His teeth look sharper than before, his nails now scrape on the glass.
He is waiting…and I am so thirsty…
Fiction © Copyright Linda Lee Rice.
Image courtesy of Rie Sheridan Rose.
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More about Linda Lee Rice:

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Linda Lee Rice aka Ruzicka has poetry published in Twilight Times, Dark Krypt, Fables, Descending Darkness, Writing Village, Spine, and Page, Muses Gallery, Bloodbond, Lycan Valley Press Publishers, Alban Lake, Highland Park Poetry, Rosette Maleficarum, The Siren’s Call, Edify Fiction and the June Cotner anthology, “House Blessings” and “Garden Blessings

She has short stories published in The Grit, and Reminisce, Haunted Encounters: Friends and Family, FrostFire Worlds. Plus, a personal essay at Mamalode. She also has various articles and blogs published online as a freelance writer.

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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Sheikha A. @Darc_Nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

003_APR_IMGSaturn, the Gardener
by Sheikha A.

He enters graveyards on train wrecks,
Cerberus at his heel. Earthly visions
haunt his memories of the Horseman
he watched sickle his way through
land’s chest; slit it wide and plant
seeds of these blooms – the one final
meal. They began to fall the way
moths do in the absence of flame –
hunger and home. He lived to last
watching the earth cocoon bodies
in a vine-grip and snatch them
into its embrace, dissolving skin,
bone and flesh as compost of life
for the eternal fire. The food of crop
never found his mouth – his hunger
dormant like centuries of evolution –
but he lived long enough to watch
the world birth and decay out of soil
red as carnage, carnelian as life,
and black as breath. Time elapses,
he watches the metal car creak
into the curb; this land people visit
for the beauty it hosts – hunger
for food, delicacies unheard of;
only his eyes see the truth of beauty,
the heedless desire for exotic places;
and the soil famed for richness,
growing blooms promising immortality.
They lumber out – masses of fodder;
Cerberus mewling in stirred patience.
His animal has been good.
He might leave him the bones.
Fiction © Copyright Sheikha A.
Image courtesy of Rie Sheridan Rose.

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More from author Sheikha A.:

Screen Shot 2019-12-17 at 10.57.17 AM.pngNyctophiliac Confessions:
Poems by Sheikha A. and Suvojit Banerjee

“The night is cold enough to inspire poetry,” says Sheikha A. in her poem, “Reading My Bones.” This is the basis of Nyctophiliac Confessions – poems that are introspective and luminal, poems that require a certain amount of silence and space to be fully formed and appreciated. Reading these poems, I imagined that they were the kind of poems that assert themselves unbidden during a bout of insomnia. (A nyctophiliac being someone who loves the night or loves darkness).

Nyctophiliac Confessions is the 17th installment of Praxis’ chapbook series and contains twenty-six poems written by two poets, Sheikha A. and Suvojit Banerjee, interspersed with abstract paintings by Robert Rhodes.

Available Here!

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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Angela Yuriko Smith @AngelaYSmith @darc_nina #LoH

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

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Here I am…
Recycled
by Angela Yuriko Smith

My remains remain
entombed here beneath the road
The runoff and I
running off as one.
My temporary shelter
becoming my tomb.
I saved my planet
and reduced my carbon print
by reducing me.
Reused to nothing—
ultimate eco warrior
I have left no trace.
Now a pile of rag
and flesh. The ants recycle
and put me to use.
Fiction © Copyright Angela Yuriko Smith
Image courtesy of Rie Sheridan Rose.

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More from Angela Yuriko Smith:

Angela Yuriko Smith is an American poet, author and co-publisher of Space and Time magazine, a publication that has been printing speculative fiction, art and poetry since 1966. Together we build a poem as a community each month. Visit “Exquisite Corpse” at SpaceandTime.net to submit.

Catch up with Angela here!

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

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

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Green is the Colour of Release
by Bailey Hunter

Millie eased herself down into the hard wooden chair and stared out at the world before her. The green was really vibrant today. Her thin fingers absently traced the names of those who came before her etched in the old desk and she closed her eyes to remember the feel of the breeze caressing her cheek, and the tickles of grass between her toes.
How long had it been since she’d been outside? She didn’t know anymore. A child ran across her view, and Millie stifled a scream.  She learned it was pointless.  The window nothing more than another way to torment her. Nothing but a screen.  She didn’t even know if it was real. The images could just as easily be recordings, or live feed from the outside that forgot about her.
What she did know was that she hadn’t had food in a long time. She was still given water, but food was becoming less frequent, the stretches in between the rancid gruel spanning days. At least as far as she could ascertain based on the day and night cycle shown in the faux window.
Perhaps the drugging and torture was becoming boring.  Now they, whoever “they” were, just wanted to watch her die.
Millie tore off another piece of the rag she wore, and pulled the makeshift quill from under a pile of bones they left. Her predecessors, she imagined.  She sharpened its edge on the stone floor before unwrapping the filthy cloth from her wrist.  She wasn’t going to let them finish her.  She opened the wound and dripped enough blood into the ink well to write her last letter. She dipped the bone quill into the blood and scribbled out the words “the window is a lie. I’m sorry you are here. Maybe you can escape, but maybe death is the only real escape.”  She wadded up the scrap of fabric and shoved it into the pile of bones for the next one to find before scratching her name into the desk.
Millie took a ragged breath, and looked out at the world one last time. 
“I wonder if my family missed me,” she whispered to no one, then plunged the bone quill deep into her temple, her final seconds surrounding her in cooling green.
Fiction © Copyright Bailey Hunter
Image courtesy of Rie Sheridan Rose.
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More about Bailey Hunter:
Bailey is a publisher with Dark Recesses Press.

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

DarkRecessesPress.com

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

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

004_APR_IMGStale Lord
by Alina Măciucă

I am the lord of the underworld.
My blood flows in rivers that pierce
the flesh of your Mother.
I am a peaceful lord. 
A stale lord.
I let water erode my veins.
And the water drips,
and the water drops
sculpt
the figures of monsters and gods
on the walls of my arteries.
I am the lord of the deep. 
Sometimes their feet slip,
when they descend into 
the caverns of my heart.
 
Their hands let go.
Tireless ones, fearless ones. 
Their bones break and crunch,
their flesh tears open,
their blood flows woven with mine. 
I am a peaceful lord.
A stale lord.
I only feast when bodies break
Fiction © Copyright Alina Măciucă
Image courtesy of Rie Sheridan Rose

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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 Alyson Faye @AlysonFaye2 @Darc_Nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!


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The Legend of Old Joe
by Alyson Faye

‘Mum can I climb up and play at being the engine driver?’ Ellie’s youngest squealed, scuffing at the black paint and rust tattoos with her sneakers.
Ellie, one eye on her phone and the other on the kids, sighed. ‘No, that rust will stain everything and won’t come out. Let’s go.’
As the family disappeared into the trees, the engine casing shivered, its metal skin rippling. Its ancient welded heart longed for love and steam, but it would accept skin and blood as sacrifices too.
Dusk crept over the woods and inside the engine house something stirred and awoke.
Voices drifted over to it – lights flickered amongst the trees, torches, the blazing orange of fag tips, and the glimmer of moonlight off flesh.
‘Whassa bout here?’
‘Yeah, fine.’
Rucksacks hit the ground, a lighter clicked and a fire flickered to life, bags of weed were opened and spliffs lit. The smell drifted in the languorous anticipatory darkness.
‘What’s that?’ A girl’s voice. High, but chilled.
‘Old Joe’s rusted out engine . . .’ a lad’s voice answered.
‘Who?’
‘He wassa the last engine driver ever in this town, and he died – by his own hand . . .’ the voice swooped down a gear, into spooky storytelling mode.
The rust stains on the casing began to liquidise and run, dripping reddish streams down the metal torso of the casing.
The voice continued, ‘ . . . Old Joe was found inside his wheel room, with his wrists slit – just bleeding out . . . or so’s I heard from me Granny.’
There was a collective intake of breaths, the odd ‘whoop’ and ‘fuck, no way,’ before the group of six teens settled into silence.
‘His blood had leaked all over the wheel, and the floor. Total blood bath.’
Behind the group, a few feet away, trickles of dark liquid seeped down the metal flanks onto the grass and a shape took form in the shadows of the interior. More fluid was oozing from the cracks and holes of the casing, coating the husk with a slimy, viscous skin.
A thin whistling shriek erupted from the wheel house, as though a breath was being expired.
‘What the fuck?’ A girl’s voice.
‘Who or what?’
‘Over there – look . . .’
A light glowed, dull red, and a figure stumbled down the steps – faceless, amorphous, slipping onto the grass and then, as though it could smell the kids, and their weed, it recalibrated direction, snaking toward the camp-site.
The first kid to be touched by the shadowy tentacles, collapsed screaming, grabbing his face whilst the skin bubbled and burned. The next kid made it a few feet before he was lassoed around his ankles and crashed to the ground, knocking himself out cold. The shadowy figure gobbled up his exposed facial skin. The remaining four teens, scattered, screaming and howling into the greenery.
The remnants of Old Joe could smell their sweat and fear, but it knew the woods better than they did. It/he was older, more experienced, so much more determined.
It fed on the organs and body fluids of the first fallen pair then slid onwards, tasting the air and welcoming its tangy feral scent.
Fiction © Copyright Alyson Faye
Image courtesy of Rie Sheridan Rose

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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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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Kendra Hale @DevourAllWords @Darc_Nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

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A Disturbing Temptation
by Kendra Hale

Who knows where and when the story started. The whispers of the adults in town which of course rang in the ears of the small children desperate to be in on what the elders spoke on. A sick, twisted game of telephone as the words spread from one mouth to the next and in each tale something else was different in the way the Being came to be. But the common factor was just that, that there WAS a Being. 
 
The Birch that surrounded this hole created by waste management years ago, had long since surrendered their bark. Stark white amongst the grass is what one should have expected to see, but with them in such a plentiful state the bark, papery and dead, covered the ground in this white skin. Even the water, stagnant and still, reflected the pale surroundings. 
 
It is no wonder that rumors began spilling forth from the lips of those who had watched as several children began to be gone from their beds in the morning. Never to be found again no matter how diligent the search. A dry and crackling hoarse laughter was heard the closer the search teams grew to the tunnel. The dogs would tuck their tails and whimper the closer they were to the tunnel. Digging in their haunches and refusing to go near the darkened hole. Some would go so far as to break free of their collars from their fear and would take off into any direction that took them away from what they were sensing. 
 
The adults would have been wise to pay attention to the warnings of their canine companions. In a place where even birds dare not perch, they would sign their fate. No bodies or bones would be found as the Being was of the belief of utilizing every piece of a kill. So considerate in its killing style that pain was not the intention but a side effect of what was always going to be the end result of curiosity. 
 
Soon things in the town would go back to normal and all would be but hushed whispers. The Being forgotten as a priority in the forefront of all the minds except for those of the curious children who wanted nothing more than to be the ones who would prove that it existed. The cycle would begin again and again throughout the history with the start always being a whisper and the result being the loss of children who could not erase the nightmares and instincts of knowing from their heads. 
 
Over the years not only did the tale span to other rural cities but other tunnels appeared under the guise of government stormwater detention vaults. As always, the Being remained constant in these tales and in each of the cities amber alerts would go out with no resolution for those poor families. But the Being was constant, forever and immortal. Both there and forgotten at the same time…what were we talking about? 
 
Oh look…a tunnel.
Fiction © Copyright Kendra Hale
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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More from author Kendra Hale:

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Just Emotions:
A Gothic Bite Magazine Anthology

A collection of poetry.

 Available on Amazon!  

 

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Please don’t forget to visit the other WiHM 12 projects taking place!

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