The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by E.A. Black
She wandered through the abandoned house, undisturbed in her sadness. Moonlight shined on her cobalt blue stained glass arms, reflecting a rainbow of colors against the walls. Her glass body chinged as she walked across the parquet floor to the back door. The sound of wind chimes accompanied her when she moved. She was both the night and the breeze that tousled your hair.
Trapped in the stained glass living room window by day, she freed herself when the sun set because the light held her captive. She meandered through thickets and along the stream that ran behind the house in search of… she wasn’t sure what. Maybe she sought a truth that lay beyond all that lead and tinted glass. Some say she haunted the house. She only haunted herself.
What would happen if she stayed outside until dawn? She yearned to watch the sun rise. Oh, for something different to happen. Her days were the same no matter what she did. Wander empty halls, look out broken windows, wander the woods, cry in a plaintive voice no one heard.
Or so she thought.
By the time sunrise kissed the horizon, she was too far from the house to make it safely back. She stood on a cliff with the forest behind her, watching the sky brighten as day broke. The rising sun warmed her face and arms, and she closed her eyes and smiled at the pleasant sensation.
Then, the burning began. Vivid cobalt blue faded. Vibrant reds and mossy greens washed out. The colors fled her body and reappeared in the trees, leaves, sky, and water. She was nothing but clear air and an outline of lead. Screaming, she backed up, desperate to hide in the forest.
Hands grabbed her shoulders and yanked her from behind. She felt rough bark on her back as the tree’s branches wrapped around her. A voice whispered in her ear.
“We’ve been waiting for you. You’re one of us now.”
She faded into the tree, leaving only her confused expression on the trunk and outstretched oak arms reaching for the sky. From now on, her curse was that she faced east and would watch the sun rise each morning, trapped inside wood instead of glass, able to wander no more.
Fiction © Copyright E. A. Black
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from E.A. Black:
What horror anthology on body enhancements wouldn’t include gross-out fiction? This book has it in spades. But, this collection of stories goes far beyond that. Here you will also find science fiction, surreal fiction, fantasy, and even a full serving of dark humor. Disturbing, perverse, often gut-wrenching (pun intended) stories—all between the covers of this anthology!
Nineteen chilling tales by some of the best horror and suspense writers today. Definitely not for the squeamish!
“Hardcore horror that ranges from the socially relevant to the scatologically repulsive—the shock here is like ‘The Scream’ made flesh.” — Mort Castle, editor of On Writing Horror: A Handbook by the Horror Writers Association
“In Zippered Flesh 3, Editor Weldon Burge has done a masterful job of combining work from well-known masters like Jack Ketchum and Graham Masterton with newer writers. But it is the original work by newcomers like L.L. Soares and Meghan Acuri that stands out for me. … Highly recommended.” — Gene O’Neill, author of The Hitchhiking Effect: A Retrospective Collection
“‘Closer by Charles Colyott is a wonderfully poignant and romantic story. … ‘Going Green’ by Christine Morgan is so original, timely, and well-written it deserves special mention. … Kudos to Burge for putting together another fine anthology of cutting-edge fiction.” — Paul Dale Anderson, author of The Instruments of Death series