The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Naching T. Kassa
I stand in a world no one knows, near an ocean no one sees.
From your point of view, dark clouds blanket an azure sky. They’re reflected in storm-driven waters. Waves crash upon the beach. The wind whispers around the ivory tower which stands on a sliver of black rock. The lighthouse beam welcomes and warns.
In my world, the beach is built on scorched black bone. Skeletons reach toward the dark clouds, which roil across the sky and obscure the crimson sun. The lighthouse is a ruinous tower, topped by ghost-light.
Thin fingers clutch at my legs as I move toward the lighthouse. Sightless eyes and gaping mouths seem to plead with me. They beg me.
I cannot keep away.
Whispers lose their sweetness here. Voices, thick with menace, fill my ears.
“Take another step and we will rend you, rip you, tear you. We hunger for your flesh. Come. Come to the tower so we may taste your death.”
I keep my eyes on the light.
Soon, I’ve crossed the beach. I’ve reached the tower. Shaking off the last man of bone, I push the door open and mount the spiral stairs.
When I reach the top, she greets me with a silent scream. I stare into her pale face, her shadowed eyes. The scarlet ribbon lies jagged across her throat.
Have I been here before? This scene has filled my mind’s eye so many times. It can’t be real.
I approach and kneel beside my finest work. Her marble skin is cold. A day ago, it was soft, warm, and pliant.
I lift her hand. Rigid fingers. There is no thrum of life within her wrist. Dark and placid pupils fill the iris of her eye.
Your voice breaks the silence and startles me.
“How many more, John?” you say.
I hesitate. My handcuffs cut into my wrist as I lower her hand to the dusty floor.
“Twelve. Maybe, thirteen.”
“Where are they?”
“In the sand below.”
You come close and kneel beside me. I can almost hear the rush of your blood. You smile in sympathy but it does not fill your steel-gray eyes. I turn away.
“She was special…wasn’t she?” you say.
“We’ll take care of her. Will you lead us to the others?”
I look into your dark face. What would you look like if I placed the ribbon round your throat? I think it would fit you well.
The policeman at your side takes a step forward. Did he read the intent in my eyes?
I return to my greatest treasure. Her cold skin makes me shiver.
If only you saw the world as I do.
Fiction © Copyright Naching T. Kassa
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Naching T. Kassa:
It’s the Final Masquerade and it’s your turn to dance.
The evening is ending and the guests are ready to leave, but the final event of the evening is just beginning — the unmasking.
Welcome to Final Masquerade where no one is who they seem.
Stories written by Daniel I. Russell * Ken MacGregor * J.C. Delisle * Joshua Chaplinsky * Lori Safranek * D.S. Ullery * Samantha Lienhard * Thomas Kleaton * Josh Strnad * Naching T. Kassa * Roy C. Booth & Axel Kohagen * Sheldon Woodbury * Craig Steven * Gregory L. Norris * Jay Eales * Dale W. Glaser * R.K. Kombrinck * Jonathan Cromack * Brian C. Baer * Adrian Chamberlin