The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
The voices moved like water, rippling around her, bending the light. She’d eavesdropped long enough to find the words boring, so she let them fade. She didn’t remember going downstairs, but the fever had sent her sleepwalking the night before. She’d startled awake, finding herself shivering alone in the dark, moldy basement. Too disoriented to place where she was, all she could think to do at the time was scream. At least she knew where she was this time.
The room seemed to shift, and she steadied herself against the dense mahogany railing. The voices flooded over her, thrusting her forward a pace. A chill rushed up from her bare feet, as if a cold, invisible fog had rolled in, and a sense of dread overcame her with the cooling air. Her heart sped up, fluttering angrily. Felt like it might tear its way out of her chest. The racing beat became audible, drumming out what remained of the voices.
Something brushed by her arm, and she spun with a shriek. Nothing but blackness spanned behind her, and the blackness was spreading…. reaching, creeping. Coming for her.
She skittered up the steps, stumbling over her own feet more than once and nearly toppling back down. As soon as she reached the landing, she dashed up the hall. When she neared her room, the voices reached out once more like tendrils of smoke permeating through the door. Still, she had to listen hard to hear them: Please don’t go.
She froze, uncertainty holding her hand at the knob. She put her ear to the cold, finished wood as the words fell into whispers. The hallway grew dark, the growing chill rushing forward. Now or never.
Her eyes squinting shut and her breath held, she opened the door.
Fiction © Copyright Leigh M. Lane
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Leigh M. Lane:
Finding Poe is a riddle to be solved, and this edition caters to those who feel up to the task. If you’re a Poe fan, you’ll already know he was the father of the deductive detective story. Many scholars will argue that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes series was inspired by Poe’s Detective Dupin stories.
This book asks the reader to assume the hat of the deductive detective. Throughout the text, there are numerous clues to direct the reader toward an alternate speculation about Poe’s untimely death. Before you set out to solve the riddle, however, you must first find the question….
About the story: When reality and fiction collide, there’s no telling what horrors might ensue.
In the wake of her husband’s haunted death, Karina must sift through the cryptic clues left behind in order to solve the mystery behind his suicide–all of which point back to the elusive author, Edgar Allan Poe.
Karina soon finds that reality, dream, and nightmare have become fused into one as she journeys from a haunted lighthouse in New England to Baltimore, where the only man who might know the answers to her many questions resides.
But will she find her answers before insanity rips her grip on reality for good? Might a man she’s never met hold the only key to a truth more shocking than even she could have imagined?
Finding Poe was a 2013 EPIC Awards finalist in Horror.
“Atmospheric, lush, and lyrical, Leigh M. Lane’s Finding Poe is a haunting Gothic novel which will delight anyone familiar with the works of Edgar Allan Poe, as well as anyone who enjoys an evocative and classic tale of terror.” –horror/mystery author Dana Fredsti.