The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
Best Served Cold
by Naching T. Kassa
The King grinned as he stared through the tower window. Beyond the castle lay a series of hills. They had not existed a year ago.
No one questioned his construction of the hills. No one wondered why wagons loaded with earth trundled past the keep for over a year. The devoted workers never spilled his secret. They never spoke of the massive grave nor the thousands which lay beneath the mounds.
The dying sun shed blood-red light over the King’s handiwork. He stretched. Darkness would fall soon. He needed sleep.
He dropped the drapery over the window and turned toward his bed. The servants had already turned back the covers. Something lay upon the clean white sheet.
The object was fashioned of glass and shaped in the form of a globe. Round and warm, it filled his hand.
He studied the sphere, staring into its depths. Something lay at the center. Something with a large black pupil and a sapphire blue iris.
A chill climbed his spine as the eye gazed upon him. The more it examined him, the colder he grew. The eye emanated hate. It seemed to know him and accuse him.
Who had brought it to him? Who had placed it on his bed? Loyal acolytes surrounded him. They believed in what he did. Explained away each murder, each perversion, each lie. He was their king. He could do no wrong in their eyes.
The King snatched the sphere up. He hurried to the window and, pulling back the drape, hurled the object through it.
The orb plummeted to the stones below. It shattered on impact and the sound rang out over the land like the clang of a great bell. It reverberated through his being, through the stone, and earth below.
The hills, once shrouded in shadow, now swarmed with pinpoints of light. They resembled torches as they moved toward the castle.
Had an enemy army arrived on his doorstep?
The lights drew closer and closer. No footsteps of marching feet, nor of shoed horse accompanied them. A grave-like silence was their only companion.
Below, servants lit torches on the parapet and armed men patrolled. No one noticed the approaching lights. Not even when they floated through the outer walls and into the courtyard.
It was then the King realized his folly. The lights were not torches. They were eyes, thousands of shining eyes. Each belonged to a wraith swathed in black.
The King backed away from the window and stumbled toward the bell rope near the bed. Before he could close his fingers around it, cold air blasted through him. Dark forms floated through the bedroom walls and took hold of his ankles, wrists, and neck. His screams were choked off by the hands reaching into his mouth and down his throat.
Skin and sinew split as they pulled him apart.
“Do you like your present, Lorynda?”
The girl looked up from her place beside the Christmas tree, the unwrapped gift in her hands. Tears filled her sapphire blue eyes and she nodded.
“Your father knew of your desire for it.”
“I wish he was here, Mother,” Lorynda replied.
“I do as well, my child.”
“The King killed him, didn’t he?”
“We do not know that. He may yet live.”
“What if he is dead? What if the King killed him and buried him under the hills?”
The eyes of Lorynda’s mother, as blue and beautiful as her daughter’s, grew cold.
“Then, a curse I place upon him. He has torn our hearts to pieces. May the spirits of the dead rise and tear him asunder.”
“A good curse, Mother. I thought the same thing.”
She turned back her present. The crystal orb glowed in the candlelight. At its heart, black forms swarmed and blood flowed.
Lorynda smiled through her tears.
Fiction © Copyright Naching T. Kassa
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Naching T. Kassa:
Halloween, every horror writer’s favourite festival and every reader’s wish that the writers find something new to say about it. . . look no further than this startling new collection of Halloween Horror! From the first very nasty little story to the final lengthy one outlining the history of the pumpkin, there is horror entertainment all the way. Enjoy!