The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Selah Janel
She’d done the right thing. There was no reason for her to be stuck here, waiting for the principal, her teacher, her parents. She’d done what she’d been told.
She’d listened. Followed instructions. Wasn’t that why she’d just been praised on her report card? Excellent at following instructions. Wonderful listener.
Maybe that was why she was here. Maybe she was going to get a prize for being the only one left in class.
She wanted to get good grades, make her parents proud, grow up to do grand things.
There was no reason for her to be here, waiting. Frustration built, confusion made her feel tangled. She tried not to cry. She’d done what she was told! She was so good at listening, especially to her parents and what they instructed.
Remember, don’t ignore your teacher.
“I didn’t,” she whispered, though no one noticed. And she hadn’t. “I didn’t do anything wrong!”
She tried not to cry. She was too old to cry. Still, she was alone and small and the bench was hard and the hall was cold and she’d worn her favorite dress but it still didn’t matter. “I didn’t do anything wrong,” she whispered, voice trembling.
The door opened a crack and she caught the very end of hushed whispers – she was good at hearing those, even when they were subtle. “…horrific. Blood all over the walls, skin ripped down to the bones. Amazing she’s still here. No one knows how it happened!”
They were talking about what had happened in the classroom.
“Can’t we just talk to her first? She can be in her own world but maybe…I mean she was the only survivor.”
“She isn’t talking to us, unfortunately.”
“Try with us here. She listens to us.”
She hopped to her feet when Mr. Dillon came out, the pale faces of her parents right behind him. He managed a tight smile as he got to his knees – adults always had a hard time getting up and down. “Do you know why you’re here, Sarah?”
She fought the twisting in her stomach. “I didn’t do anything wrong.”
His face softened. “No, of course not. But the police are on their way and they’re going to ask questions. We need to know what happened so we can help you. We don’t want you to be afraid.”
“I’m not. I did what I was supposed to.” She stared down at her shoes when her eyes burned again.
The principal frowned and behind him, her parents were just as confused. “What were you supposed to do, sweetie?” her mother asked. “You can tell us.”
Sarah raised her head, and under her dark bangs, her eyes were black and a strange, sharp smile slowly spread across her face. “What I told her to do,” an inhuman voice hissed, and before the adults could scream, she was on them.
She was, after all, very good at listening.
Fiction © Copyright Selah Janel
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Author Selah Janel:
Like many young men at the end of the 1800s, Bill signed on to work in a logging camp. The work is brutal, but it promised a fast paycheck with which he can start his life. Unfortunately, his role model is Big John. Not only is he the camp’s hero, but he’s known for spending his pay as fast as he makes it. On a cold Saturday night they enter Red’s Saloon to forget the work that takes the sweat and lives of so many men their age. Red may have plans for their whiskey money, but something else lurks in the shadows. It watches and badly wants a drink that has nothing to do with alcohol. Can Bill make it back out the shabby door, or does someone else have their own plans for his future?
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Women in Horror Month 9