The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
I stood still for what seemed like an eternity, cradling my new found treasure in my hands as if it were a royal Fabergé. A black, wrought iron Victorian Era hand mirror was quite the find, and would fit in perfectly with my collection of antiques and oddities. I ran my fingertips over the crimson, tassel-like flower that ran above the top of the mirror. As I leaned down to place the mirror in its case, it slipped from my grasp, upside-down onto the carpet. I hurriedly picked it up and squinted closely when I noticed an inscription carved into the back:
“A mirror within a mirror
Locked within my past;
A prisoner forever
Encased behind the glass.”
I read the strange words aloud and turned it over for one last inspection. A spot caught my eye that looked warped, and as I glanced closer, the image of a woman’s face screaming in terror materialized before me. Before I had a chance to react, the looking glass began to pull me in violently, until I was the one stuck inside, watching as the other woman now stood in my home. Horrifying screams swarmed my brain as I watched the woman stand eerily still. It was only a matter of minutes before the woman’s skin appeared to harden, petrifying her. Her legs fused together and planted firmly into the floor, her arms transformed into branches. The long, blood-red flowers sprouted from her ears, eyes, and mouth.
The crimson flowers of Love Lies Bleeding began to grow around my home, like an arachnid wrapping its limbs around its prey. As weeks turned to months, and months turned to years, the mirror found itself a new home, with a new unsuspecting victim, and I was released. I had no recollection of where I had been or what happened to me. The doctors diagnosed me with severe amnesia, just like everyone else who showed up after disappearing here, and so the proverb of my home was born:
“Welcome to the home of the lost and found
Where you disappear without a sound;
For the crimson beasts are breeding
Among the flowers of Love Lies Bleeding”.
Fiction © Copyright Tawny Kipphorn
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Author Tawny Kipphorn:
Fall—a season as beautiful as it is foreboding. A Shadow of Autumn takes you back to childhood nostalgia while peeling away the mask to reveal things that haunt your worst nightmares. Within these pages, you’ll find the usual denizens of the holiday—demons, witches, ghosts, and bloodsuckers—along with strange and unknown creatures lurking everywhere from innocuous cornfields and pumpkin patches to basement hatches and high school dances. These fourteen tales of fall magic and Halloween horrors will keep you looking over your shoulder long after the last light of October has waned. Don’t say we didn’t warn you…