The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
The Screaming Skull
by E.A. Black
The screaming began at 2 am. I awoke in a cold sweat, not sure of my surroundings as I lay in bed listening to dead silence. Then, more blood-curdling shrieking, coming from the top of the stairs. I fell out of bed and stumbled into the hallway to find the skull sitting on the upstairs landing.
It was a gnarled grey thing with stringy black hair hanging from it. The hollows where the eyes were glared at me, accusing me of a horrible crime. I was guilty. I deserved this torment.
Five hours earlier, I had buried it three miles away by the riverbed. I couldn’t bear to have the thing in my house, not after what I had done to its owner. He wouldn’t give up his farmhouse and the land to me so I poisoned him to make it look like an accident. As he lay dying he warned me to keep his skull on my mantelpiece in my bedroom facing my bed or he would haunt me forever.
He had no heirs so I bought his land cheap. Too fearful and superstitious to ignore his warning, I removed his head from his body and buried him in a pauper’s grave. I thought I was free from his curse until this night at 2 am. The noise would drive me mad! I snatched up the skull, which shrieked as I carried it, and ran with it to my bedroom where I placed it on my mantelpiece. The screaming immediately stopped. I returned to bed but could not sleep. The vile thing sat there, staring at me as I curled in fear into my pillow. I’d never be free of it.
Fiction © Copyright E. A. Black
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from E.A. Black:
When a strange outbreak occurs at a lakeside campground, Jake Walker and Lance Cameron investigate. Not only are they biologists, they’re lovers who share a passion for science.
The outbreak has locals terrified. Nine campers become sick; four die, and one victim reports an increase in her sex drive so serious, she attacks her best friend’s husband. Is this lustiness caused by the disease? What’s behind the odd rainstorm that falls over a small geographic area and the strange red dust around the cabins? Is this outbreak a new disease or something much more dire?
Together Jake and Lance must find the cause before others are infected … and before they come down with the plague themselves.