The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
“See? Whaddid I tell ya?” Petey whispered, handing me the binoculars, and pointing into the darkness.
I looked through the eyepieces. It was hard to focus them at night, but the full moon helped a bit. I wished it was after my birthday, because my uncle Tom was getting me a pair of night-vision goggles from the surplus store…but that was months away. We had to make do.
And I could see a light on in the old Scarborough house—even though it had been abandoned before I was born. It shown through the branches of the big old oak that stood alongside the house—naked in the January evening.
“Should we check it out?” asked Petey eagerly. That boy was scared of nothing…not bright enough to be, I always guessed…
I hesitated. It was tempting…on the other hand, I did have a healthy dose of caution bred into my bones.
The flickering quality of the light from the house decided me. Probably just some tramp or something, but it looked like they had an open candle or lantern up there—maybe even a fire. That was dangerous. They could burn the house down. As an Eagle Scout, I had a responsibility to deal with this.
“Okay. But stay behind me, and don’t say anything stupid if there really is someone up there.”
Petey stowed the binoculars in his backpack, and we started up the hill.
The Scarborough house had been a showplace once upon a long time ago. It was two full stories and some crazy attic thing tall.
The light came from the front room in the far righthand corner of the house, as you faced out the window. I dunno why that’s important, but I noticed details like that about buildings. I hoped to be an architect one day.
Inside, the house was pretty trashed. Beer bottles and fast food wrappers were everywhere on the bottom floor—and it smelled like someone had peed in the corner.
We hurried upstairs as quickly as we could.
On the second floor, there was a weird smell of jasmine—my mom is a florist, so I recognize a lot of flower scents. It was better than the piss downstairs, at least.
The light spilled out of the far room to paint the floor with a flickering gold pattern. As dry as the wood was, I was more determined than ever to get rid of that flame.
We crept forward, my hand clutching my heavy flashlight—just in case. Petey had his phone out. Dunno what good that was supposed to do. Everybody knows that the hill is a dead zone for cell service. Then, I glanced over and saw that he had the camera up. Documentation, I guess.
Cautiously poking my head around the jamb of the door, I saw a girl about my age sitting in front of the fireplace, rocking back and forth on the floor in a white nightgown. I could see the vague outline of her body as the fire shone through the gown. That was kinda embarrassing.
Debating what to do, I was stumped. She shouldn’t be in here. Especially not at night, with a fire going.
“Look, Miss—” I started to say.
She turned to us then, and her eyes were black holes in the center of her face. Her mouth opened, and a scream pierced the night.
I felt it begin to dissolve my very bones.
“Get out of here!” I ordered Petey, and he decided to be sensible for once—turning and running down the hall.
His phone fell out of his hand about halfway to the stairs. That was a good thing. It allowed me to record this story. When I am done, I’ll toss it out the window into the grass. Maybe someday, someone will find it, and it will collaborate Petey’s story.
I hope they don’t lock him up for telling it. It’s the truth, after all.
We found a hell-ghost in the house on the hill. She was lonely…so she made a mate.
Guess I’ll never be that architect…
Best thing anyone could do is burn this cursed place to the ground. Maybe then, we can rest…but no matter what—stay away from the house on the hill…
Fiction © Copyright Rie Sheridan Rose
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Author Rie Sheridan Rose:
“I have always preferred the supernatural in tales of horror, the knot between life and death. Rie Sheridan Rose’s Skellyman is cool and creepy. Her first horror novel is a chilling read.” — Charlee Jacob – Stoker winner, Best novel, “Dread in the Beast”
Brenda Barnett is trying to cope with raising her four-year-old daughter all alone after an accident tore her family in half. As she and Daisy go for a much-needed treat, the little girl spots a Skellyman on the corner.
This pivotal encounter leads to a wave of mounting terror as Brenda’s life begins to come undone around her. Who is the Skellyman? Why does he keep appearing? Can the sympathetic policeman Brenda turns to stop the madness before it is too late?
And why does Daisy insist that her dead brother is trying to tell them something important?