The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Mercedes M. Yardley
Lolly really was an ordinary little girl like any other. Just wait and her mother will assure you of this, over and over, her fingers twisting nervously around each other and touching a wedding ring that was no longer there. Lolly loved telling stories and playing outside. She lost herself in books. She didn’t really care for dolls, but nobody in their family did anymore, not after…
This is where Lolly’s mother laughs too brightly. The forced gaiety is brash, loud, and you cringe for her, but since you’re such a gentle person, you hide your expression well.
“What else does she like?” You ask with a smile, trying to get the conversation back on track. It was a bump in the road, this uncomfortable breach of etiquette. It was nothing, trivial, already forgotten.
The mother’s smile stretches wide, too wide, far, far too big and toothy for her face. It shouldn’t be physically possible, this grin she presents, but her smile takes over her face and nearly wraps around her head. Her eyes, however, skitter in fear. They try to look at you, but one spins, pinwheel-crazy, while the other stares straight ahead.
“Rabbits,” she says. Her voice comes from somewhere deep inside, but her lips don’t move, the smile doesn’t break. “Anything pink. Not pain and death and fear. Certainly not that.”
Strange tears, milky white, creep from her eyes. You’d never mention a fungal infection running down her face, but that’s what it reminds you of. You remember being forced face-down into the dog bowl as a child, licking up rotten, chewy milk, knowing you will kill your parents someday, oh yes you will, just you wait.
You gasp and sit back, breathing hard. Lolly’s mother nods sympathetically.
“That,” she whispers, still grinning, “is what she likes best.”
Fiction © Copyright Mercedes M. Yardley
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Mercedes M. Yardley:
The Wolf is roaming the city in this Bram Stoker Award-winning Psychological Horror novella, and he must be stopped.
Grim Marie knows far too much about the wolves of the world, a world where little girls go missing. After all, she had married one before she/he showed his claws, and what that wolf did to her little girl was unforgivable. Grim Marie isn’t certain if she can ever forgive herself for putting her Little Aleta in harm’s way.
When Grandmother becomes ill, Aleta offers to take the bus through the concrete forest to Grandmother’s house to bring her some goodies. She knows the way. What could possibly go wrong?
In this modern day retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, the wolf takes to the city streets to capture his prey, but the hunter is close behind him. With Grim Marie on the prowl, the hunter becomes the hunted.
Wolves pad through the darkest kind of fairytale: one that can come true.
Proudly brought to you by Crystal Lake Publishing – Tales from the Darkest Depths.
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Women in Horror Month 9