The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
Old maps, curling at the edges. I’m frantic, full of fear. Somehow I don’t retain the reading skills of my other self. My brain recognizes this and struggles with an obstacle it has never known. I’m trying to find something, but coming up empty. The shadow birds know, but they wouldn’t dare tell. Besides, if you were close enough to hear them speak, you’d know what they really were. You don’t want to know what they are. I know, but their true form isn’t supposed to be revealed here, in this place, in this timeline. Dust motes in an empty back room at an old, forgotten library. Stone walls, wooden tables, dirty windows filled with slanting sunlight, ever darkening. My blue eyes aren’t as fast as my green ones, and the gold ones are something else entirely. How can I know which ones to trust? So much about this doesn’t make sense. Why do I carry a lantern and not a flashlight, but wear modern clothes? Why does my grandfather’s voice soothe me, yet I don’t even question who my parents are? When the waves touch the trees, all will be revealed. What does that mean? Why do I know that? But I know I’ve known it all my life, as well as I know the freckles on my own face. At least in this identity my blindness is gone and people are real instead of colorful impressions. My eyes are clear and wide. A straight nose, but distinct. Full lips. Long lashes brush the freckles that dot my skin. I would never wear makeup, because it masks the truth of our beauty; why do I feel like my mother told me that? I don’t have a mother. I don’t know what I am, and yet I’m comfortable with the ambiguity as long as I exist. She isn’t. My other. She must know what she is, which is everything. I don’t think there’s enough room in my body for that. She says my brain isn’t yet mature; I don’t know myself yet. Her voice is clear and strong while I am barely standing. But if I don’t know myself, how do I know that the dark clouds mean my hair is blonde and I can smell salt? How do the toughness of the gritty sand and cold, choppy waves feel like home? How do I know fear and true acceptance rather than just complacency? After all, her sight is limited by synesthesia while mine is not. Though she holds many secrets in her creased white hands. Secrets inaccessible to me. Sometimes I think I must be real, dreaming of her, but I always change my mind. She says she knows the truth. And if I do not know even what I am, who am I to argue? We both know the storm is coming. Before the last candle darkens.
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
Issue #40 of The Sirens Call – As Summer Leaves, Autumn Falls
Stories of disaster influenced by horrific intent.
Whether it be Mother Nature’s wrath or a devilish ghoul, a sprite most wicked or a stumbling fool, tell us a tale of disaster that happens as summer ends and autumn begins.
We are looking for stories, flash fiction and poetry of horrific happenings that take place in the summer months that lead into fall. As long as the piece is primarily horror/dark fiction, we’d love to see it!
Your piece can be creepy, sullen, emotive, freaky, elegant, bizarre, have a dark-humor edge to it, or simply be flat out scary as hell!
REPRINTS ARE WELCOME
Submission Deadline: August 10, 2018
Circulation: Approximately 35,000
Full page/single book cover ads for individual authors are available at $10 per ad. Please contact Nina@SirensCallPublications.com for advertising information.
All short story, flash, and poem submissions MUST be submitted to: Submissions@SirensCallPublications.com for consideration.
Visit our web site for more details: SirensCallPub.com