The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
Dead Roses for a …
by Mary Ann Peden-Coviello
She gazes out the bedroom window into the night. Lost in thought, she touches her upswept hair, the browning roses that decorate the crown, twists a blonde curl around a pink-nailed finger.
“It should have been so perfect, Andrew. Our night. Prom Queen and King. I worked so hard to make it our own special prom, you know. I leaned on Taylor and Brooke till they agreed on Moonlight and Roses for the theme. I picked our song, ‘Red Roses for a Blue Lady,’ for our royal dance. I know it’s old, but I love it so.
“And I bought this lovely dress, spent a small fortune getting my hair done and a total package at Tranquil Harmony Spa. A total package, Andrew.
“But you dumped me on prom night to take that slut Paige. I was so humiliated.”
She turns to the bound, silent boy lying on his bed. “It’s your fault she’s dead, Andrew. One hundred percent your fault. It’s your fault your parents are dead, too. If they’d gone when I told them to, I wouldn’t have killed them.”
She glances down at her prom dress, a lavender and lace confection, now blood-splattered and torn. She pats her upswept hairdo, and a decaying rose slips down beside her ear. She pulls it out and rubs it to pieces between her fingers. She sings quietly, “Dead roses for a screwed lady . . . “
She wanders to the bed, sits next to what’s left of Andrew, picks up the wicked knife she used on him. A cold smile curves her lips. She dabbles her fingers in the blood pooling on his unmoving chest. “Paige wouldn’t want you now, would she?”
Flashing red and blue lights strobe the window. “Oh dear, the cops have arrived. Do they think they’re gonna save you and arrest me? Too late.”
She slides another dead rose from her hair and places it in the gash she’s carved, ear to ear, in Andrew’s throat. “You look like you’re holding my rose in your teeth.” She breaks into high-pitched giggles.
Shouts from downstairs. Heavy boots thunder up the stairs.
She sings again, “Dead roses for a screwed lady . . .” and plunges the knife deep into her heart as the cops kick in the bedroom door.
Fiction © Copyright Mary Ann Peden-Coviello
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Mary Ann Peden-Coviello:
Women write horror and have written it since before Mary Shelley wrote FRANKENSTEIN. This anthology is to highlight the fact women write great horror and to kill the fallacy that they aren’t in some way up to standard. They are. Read here stories by Elizabeth Massie, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Lucy Taylor, and a plethora of other great writers as they work on your nerves, get inside your head, and bang out some of the scariest tales written today. I’m proud to present these women for your consideration, as Rod Serling might say, as I ask you to step into FRIGHT MARE. Lock the door and windows, put on a light, and remember, it’s not real. It’s not real. Midnight awaits, monsters scheme to take you away, the strange and weird wait in the shadows, but it’s not real. Is it?
Edited by Billie Sue Mosiman, the author who brought you the SINISTER-TALES OF DREAD collections and her latest suspense novel, THE GREY MATTER.
Be sure to check out the other fantastic events and people participating in
Women in Horror Month 9