The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
Echoes in dark aether. I ask the magic mirror to say my name and tell me the future. Sometimes my reflection whispers back, eyes glinting gold instead of my cornflower blue. Every night I follow my own footsteps down the dirt path, toward the empty red house. I pause at the seventh fence post when I see him. The fox, eyes of onyx and coat of sinuous flames. He stares at me before the world melts away. I enter the woods from the west. I say woods, but they’re really just a few acres of pines to the east of the empty red house. A girl lives here. She lives behind the trees. She has unknowable form with edges of fire, made of salt and glass. You can see her if you have the right eyes and know the trees. I bring her offerings. She prefers the bones of sparrows, but most birds will do if stripped of their feathers and skin. Once I found the remains of a heron down by the marshes, sun bleached and smoothed over time. I took them to her, but she refused. She would have liked the heron’s feathers, but the bones were for another time, another place. I buried them back in the marsh and sprinkled the ground with sawdust. Sometimes I hide dolls made of string and twigs among the trees for her to find. She loves to play, but you must watch out for her thorns. She’s told me his name—the great dragon of crimson and jade that waits for me beneath the waves, his golden eyes glowing amongst the detritus on the sea floor. I acknowledge my fear, but also accept his presence and purpose in my world. He seeks the reflection that whispers, both myself and not me. The waves never lull me to sleep; I wait for the lightning to call my name. Where does the red fox go when I close my eyes?
Fiction © Copyright Ashley Davis
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
Poetry by Ashley Davis can be found featured in the fall 2017 issue of
The Horror Zine