The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by E.A. Black
Jerry had spent the last six months renovating the Victorian. Influenza had taken little Sarah Deacon in this second floor bedroom over 200 years ago. He had lost his own son Eddie at six weeks.
How would a child haunt a house? Would she giggle, expecting newcomers to play hide and seek? Did she write on the walls as she had done while alive? Or would she curl up where she had laid sick, with only the sound of her suffocated breath masquerading as a breeze? Flu seemed like such a minor thing with modern medicine. It was hard for him to imagine how devastating the disease was in 1917 when Sarah had died.
Jerry swung the pickax until plaster behind the radiator fell in a dusty heap at his feet. Wallpaper hung in strips like tattered flesh. The lathe was stuffed with insulation. As Jerry pulled out the foam, he spied a flash of pale blue. He reached inside, grabbed what felt like cotton fabric and pulled. The child’s dress he pulled from the wall must have been a vibrant hue when new. Was this Sarah’s dress? He knew people often stuffed lathe in old houses with newspapers and fabric to act as insulation. He’d already found a magazine dating back to 1916 with news of The Great War.
He draped the dress across his arms as if he held the child. Sadness overwhelmed him. This dress only reminded him of the gaping hole in his life. He wished he could speak to Sarah, to tell her all would be okay. She no longer suffered. Like Eddie. Daddy was here. A tear rolled down his cheek as the window slowly shut on its own. Hair rose on the back of his neck as he turned to see the door close and lock, but he felt no fear.
He was no longer alone.
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.
If you like The X Files, The Andromeda Strain, and Outbreak, you’ll like Roughing It.