The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
The goddess was livid in her anger. How dare they misuse the gifts she gave them; the world she allowed them to live in? She lashed out with searing bolts of lightning, setting fire to their structures. The young trembled in fear, hiding their heads, but the old waved it off and said it would pass.
As her skies filled with smoke, they fashioned themselves masks of wet cloth to aid in breathing the foul air, still saying it would pass.
She stopped the already infrequent rains. The fields dried into brown, crumbling bits and the trees refused to leaf out; no longer offered fruits and nuts. They became blackened sticks, reaching as though imploring her with their jagged finger-like branches.
Hunger abounded and still those tiny beings refused to acknowledge her power and send up prayers to her. Still they dug into the precious earth and raped the streams with their refuse. They consoled one another with words of “It will pass.”
Next she sent birds of omen to torment them with pecks and rasping cries day and night. The men killed those with rocks and sticks carved from the dead trees; they roasted the carcasses and sated their hunger. Then they created fans from the feathers to stave off the heat of day. Again they chanted that hated mantra, “It will pass.”
Finally, she opened the gates to Hell. They swung outward on rusted hinges with great screeches of metal on metal. The dead relegated to this dark horrible place streamed out, instantly overwhelming the fragile humans in a night.
Looking down on their corpses, she spat, “You, too, shall pass.”
Fiction © Copyright Kim Richards
Image courtesy of Pixabay.