The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Stacey Turner
Clara watched as the ship capsized, the men aboard tumbling into the blue. She held back, watching them flounder and splash ineffectually. Silly, the water was much easier to navigate if you relaxed, cradled in its embrace. This wasn’t the first time she’d seen such behavior from land walkers. She circled underneath, eyeing their struggles with amusement, watching as they tired, slowly giving up. All but one. He seemed stronger than the others, younger, shapelier. He tread the water gracefully, trying to hold another’s head above the surface. Failing, of course, as each swell sent water lapping over the man’s face.
Clara swam up next to him, breaking the surface about four feet away. The man startled, relaxing his grip on his companion. She dove and brought the other man back up, cradling his head on her shoulder.
“Where did you come from?” he asked through chattering teeth. Was the water cold? She hadn’t noticed.
She smiled. “I live here. Where did you come from?”
“Live here? No one lives in the middle of the ocean. There hasn’t been land for miles.”
“I don’t live on the land,” she whispered, winking at him.
“But mermaids aren’t real.”
She could tell he was beginning to tire and wouldn’t be able to keep himself afloat much longer.
“Oh, we’re real enough all right. But so very different from your fairy tales. I don’t long to walk on the land because I can if I want to. I can change forms at will. And I’ve never fallen in love with a human, prince or not,” she giggled a little at the ridiculous notion. “Although, my sister fell in love with a werewolf.”
His face registered surprise.
“Oh my, you didn’t think they existed either, did you?”
He shook his head.
“Long story,” she continued.
“Um, could we get on with the part where you save me?” he asked. “I’m exhausted and I can’t keep doing this much longer.”
Clara through back her head and laughed. She reached out and stroked his face. “This isn’t a rescue mission.”
He frowned. “Then what is it?”
“Grocery shopping,” she growled, the change tingling through her limbs. Fangs burst through her gums as she reared back and then sank them into his companion’s throat. Through the noise of her feeding she could hear his sweet screams. The younger ones were delicious.
Fiction © Copyright Stacey Turner
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Author Stacey Turner:
Short Story Feature: The Lake
Metamorphosis occurs every day as caterpillars become sweet fluttering butterflies, tadpoles become gorgeous frog princes and chameleons become one with the beauty of nature – but you won’t find any of that here.
The transformations you’re about to witness are unnatural, sometimes gruesome and deeply psychological. They will make you question reality and take your mind places it was never meant to go.
Cover art and design by Greg Chapman
Terrifying Tales of Transformation from Greg Chapman * Roy C. Booth & R. Thomas Riley * Terri DelCampo * Dave Gammon * Nancy Kilpatrick * Rod Marsden * Jo-Anne Russell * M.J. Preston * Stacey Turner * Tina Piney * Suzanne Robb * Franklin E. Wales * Donna Marie West * Suzie Lockhart * Cameron Trost * Daniel I. Russell * Simon Dewar * Amanda J. Spedding * Ken MacGregor * Erin Shaw * Gregory L. Norris * Nickolas Furr