The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
Through the Veil
by Selah Janel
She was only going to the stupid party to see Brendon, only took the back road because it was supposed to be faster in the long run.
It wasn’t supposed to storm – It wasn’t storming, was it? Then why was there lightning…
Candice tried not to move – you didn’t move if you were in a car crash, right? The old Toyota had missed the turn and gone right into the ditch, almost like it had been willed to do so. Stupid, stupid owl. Stupid me for getting freaked out. Still, it had come out of nowhere and nearly dove headlong into her windshield.
No one was around and although her fingers twitched, she couldn’t quite reach her phone…wherever it was. The road ahead, hell, the field ahead looked completely barren. The perfect setting for Halloween. Except for the whole crash thing. She knew she was supposed to turn off the engine, and she tried, really she did, but her hand was so heavy. She hurt, but it couldn’t be that bad. It was cold, though, which was weird because she’d had the heat on.
Her thoughts were fuzzy and she blinked her eyes to clear her mind. Someone will come. Soon. It’ll work out. It always does. She’d get towed, get patched up, and maybe Brendon would come see her and really see her for once…
The lightning made her jump, except she couldn’t. Her eyes fluttered, and when she opened them, everything was different. More vivid, though tinted, as if looking through a filter. The moon was massive and ominous, though she couldn’t quite read the signal it was trying to send her. She wanted to run, but she couldn’t. Her breathing tried to speed up, her heart was probably hammering in her chest because why wouldn’t it be, and yet…She came back to herself, eyes focusing on the tableau forming outside the vehicle.
She wasn’t alone.
Good. Help. Her thoughts were fuzzy, and she tried to work her mouth but couldn’t. It occurred to her that the gathering crowd was hazy and not quite defined, like the shadow people she’d read about in creepy urban legend books. Maybe if you’d be less interested in weird shit and get out more you’d have gotten stupid Brendon to ask you out by now. Though the more she thought about it, the less she cared. She was too tired to care.
When she opened her eyes again, the eyes were right there, larger than anything. The owl. Or something like it. Something not quite animal, but not human. Not…anything.
How lucky you are to see beyond the veil this night. We’re always looking for new arrivals to join the gathering.
Candice was yanked through the windshield and out into the field before she could react, and it was only once she was in the middle of the ghostly figures, only once she began to discern features and form in them that no mortal would be able to, that she recalled from all her late-night reading what the owl was an omen of.
Fiction © Copyright Selah Janel
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Author Selah Janel:
Like many young men at the end of the 1800s, Bill signed on to work in a logging camp. The work is brutal, but it promised a fast paycheck with which he can start his life. Unfortunately, his role model is Big John. Not only is he the camp’s hero, but he’s known for spending his pay as fast as he makes it. On a cold Saturday night they enter Red’s Saloon to forget the work that takes the sweat and lives of so many men their age. Red may have plans for their whiskey money, but something else lurks in the shadows. It watches and badly wants a drink that has nothing to do with alcohol. Can Bill make it back out the shabby door, or does someone else have their own plans for his future?