The Ladies of Horror
This has to be a joke, he’d thought when they’d apprehended him. There’s got to be some mistake, he thought when his sentence had been decided. What had happened to his constitutional rights? Due process? Did anyone even know this was happening?
They couldn’t. No one in their right mind would see something like this to the end. But then… all these people who’d come to watch… the line of officers holding their torches ready… were all these people out of their right minds? Had some kind of mass psychosis taken the world? How had things gotten so bad so fast?
At another’s command, the soldiers dipped their hands and the pyres caught. The initial smoldering created a thick smoke that had even the audience coughing and gagging, but it left those affixed to the hot, metal posts gasping desperately. Some tried to scream, but all their scorched lungs would allow was a series of high-pitched wheezes. Their toes and shins burned before the flames even reached their bodies, and then the seizing pain took them all at once. Searing flesh sizzled with boiling blood, denatured skin melting and blackening. Caps of fire caught on heads of hair. Eyes smelted shut.
The crowd distanced itself. Some people gasped. Some cheered. Did they even know what they were cheering for? The burning man considered the possibility that their onlookers had been just as ill informed about this as they had other recent events. After all, he was burning alongside the top journalists in their field, and they were burning for persisting in their efforts, despite the threats, to report as close as they could to the truth.
Fiction © Copyright Lisa Lane
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Lisa Lane:
This four-part collection includes the first three novellas to the dark, dramatic horror series, Jane the Hippie Vampire, as well as an exclusive novelette:
Love Beads: Jane crosses paths with a middle-aged man who’s encountered her kind before–but he seems happy just to have the company. Of course, appearances can be deceiving, and his secret might just prove to be the end of her.
Flashbacks: Jane must face demons from her past when she encounters a long-lost friend and a homeless Vietnam veteran with lingering demons of his own.
Hair: Jane goes south for the winter, hoping to find reprieve in the forests of the Blue Ridge Mountains. A supernatural stalker of the shape-shifting variety has different plans, however. Will her new-found ally–a park ranger with a painful secret–be enough to help her avoid a fate worse than undeath?
Flower Power: Jane teams up with an astral traveler in order to banish a dreamwalker from her past–and in the process, she must confront her greatest nightmare.
About the series: Jane has had one hell of a time ever since she happened upon the wrong guy during the Summer of Love, but she’s taken it all in stride. Wandering from town to town, she seeks out the needy and the broken in hopes of breaking the curse that’s left her bloodthirsty and forever seventeen.
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