Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Leah Lederman @leahbewriting @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!


The Wooden Flower
by Leah Lederman

The wooden flower bloomed again. Half sunrise, a ligneous seashell; she had been here before.
A timbered whine expelled from the stairs at her first step. She hadn’t realized she’d taken it, and dread washed over her as she saw herself one footfall closer to the door at the top. What was waiting for her there? It drew her. It moved her thighs like pistons and lifted her knees and pushed down on her heels like she was some sort of marionette, strings attached. Jaunted out, levered up, until she felt her hand on the cold metal of the doorknob.
The wooden flower bloomed again. Half sunrise, a ligneous seashell; she had been here before.
There had been blood. The shrieks were silent but the blood was real. It was unforgiving and unrelenting, streaming forward from wounds she had created. What had she done?
The wooden flower bloomed again. Half sunrise, a ligneous seashell; she had been here before.
It had a particular smell, the house. When so much dust has layered for as many years, it gives an odor reminiscent of a life once lived. A life she had taken. Whose was it?
The wooden flower bloomed again. Half sunrise, a ligneous seashell; she had been here before.
Sunlight came in from the windows at the top of the stairs and she remembered his voice, calling to her. He was weak. The dinner she’d cooked for him was doing its work, and he was crying out to her for help. There’s nothing to help you now, she’d said and the horror transfixed into his face. He froze, looking that way. He died looking that way. It was the worst thing for him, caught looking anything other than dashing.
The wooden flower bloomed again. Half sunrise, a ligneous seashell; she had been here before.
Sometimes she wanted to get to the top of the stairs.
The wooden flower bloomed again. Half sunrise, a ligneous seashell; she had been here before.
He had hurt her. So many times. It wasn’t always tangible, certainly not always outwardly visible. But the years of the turned-down smile when she spoke, the twitch of disgust when she tried to explain what she meant. His silence. His overarching disappointment in all that she was. Eventually they all agreed with him. She was a waste of space. She had nothing to offer.
The wooden flower bloomed again. Half sunrise, a ligneous seashell; she had been here before.
They had laughed so often together once, in the before time.
The wooden flower bloomed again. Half sunrise, a ligneous seashell; she had been here before.
It was a distinct smell, the burning flesh. The shock consumed him before the flames had completed their work but it was just another way she had introduced him to his death.
The wooden flower bloomed again. Half sunrise, a ligneous seashell; she had been here before.
She had hoped the baby would change things but the baby never came. Instead a flood of red and nights spent sobbing on the toilet, alone. She looked to him with her tear-streaked mess of a face and saw only the turned-down smile fading around the corner of the bathroom, retreating into the darkness of the hallway. She was nothing. She had nothing to offer.
The wooden flower bloomed again. Half sunrise, a ligneous seashell; she had been here before.
Fiction © Copyright Leah Lederman
Image courtesy of Marge Simon 

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More about Leah Lederman:

Leah Lederman is a freelance writer and editor from the Indianapolis area, where she lives with her husband, their two sons, two cats, and puppy. Since obtaining her Master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Toledo in 2009, she’s busied herself with writing, editing, parenting, and teaching (though not always in that order). She started her own parenting column in The Toledo Free Press, and has had her short stories published by Bloodlotus Online Literary Journal, The Indianapolis indie magazine Snacks, and in Scout Media’s anthology A Matter of Words. Her most recent work will be released by Indie Authors’ Press in Issues of Tomorrow. Several other pieces are awaiting rejection. As an editor, she’s worked on dozens of indie comic scripts and has been featured on the comics news sites “Creator Owned Expo,” “The Outhousers,” and the podcast “Comics Pros and Cons.” In addition to her work in comics with writers like Dirk Manning, Howie Noel, Bob Salley, and Kasey Pierce, Leah has edited short story collections, children’s books, dissertations, and several novels.

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About Nina D'Arcangela

Nina D’Arcangela is a quirky horror writer who likes to spin soul rending snippets of despair. She reads anything from splatter matter to dark matter. She's an UrbEx adventurer who suffers from unquenchable wanderlust. She loves to photograph abandoned places, bits of decay and old graveyards. Nina is co-owner of Sirens Call Publications, co-founder of the horror writer's group 'Pen of the Damned', and if that isn't enough, put a check mark in the box next to owner and resident nut-job of Dark Angel Photography.
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4 Responses to Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Leah Lederman @leahbewriting @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

  1. afstewart says:

    A superb story, I loved it!

  2. Marge Simon says:

    A very fine flash!

  3. Thank you! I had a lot of fun with this one.

  4. Pingback: 2018 Accomplishments and 2019 Goals – Leah Lederman, Author and Editor

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