The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
She haunts the inner parts of the windless woods, shimmering through trees and shadows between twilight and dawn. She’s adorned herself with the feathers and bones of long-dead birds—my offerings. There are no birds in these woods anymore but crows, and they flock to her, the sheen on their onyx feathers lending fire to her sparkle, and they bring the sea fog with them. The woods weren’t always like this, she tells me. Once they were normal woods and she was a normal girl, until death and sacrifice consumed her and she claimed this place. Now it rains here all the time, even when it’s sunny. Sometimes it snows in the heat of summer, but only within the ring of trees. Sometimes we see impossible things. Sometimes we only see them on the inside. There’s magic in this forest, both light and dark. The sparrows are lured to her by the red fox, coat of crimson and eyes of darkest night. They’re her favorite, except for our game. I make dolls of scraps and twigs and hide them with magic words. It usually takes her several days to find them, and then they join her collection, hidden away in a thicket of thorns to the north. If I don’t play the game the right way, the dolls end up smashed on the rocks at the base of the northern cliffs, where her family’s blood has been spilt before. I wonder who or what carries the dolls there? She told me she can’t leave the forest, or she’ll turn into mist. She’s cursed, she says, to spend eternity in this wood. She searches for something, but will not tell me what it is. Only the crows know her secret. Ebony and ashes.
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