The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
She held the crystal chalice out to me like a benediction. The liquid in the glass was a red so dark it looked nearly black.
I hesitated. The girl was gorgeous, and I really wanted to get up in there…but there was something surreal about her ebony velvet gown, and that deep red liquid in the clear crystal.
“Drink,” she murmured, her voice molten sex, her eyes smoldering with promise.
Gulping down my reservations, I reached for the glass.
Her lips curled into a smile, batting her lashes coquettishly.
Licking my top lip anxiously, I brought the glass to my mouth. A heady aroma blending spices and fruit rose from the chalice. Taking a moment, I savored that bouquet. I could feel all my cares and inhibitions fading away before I even took the first sip.
“Drink,” she whispered urgently.
Taking a deep breath, I downed the contents of the chalice in one long gulp.
Fire exploded in my throat, and I dropped the crystal with a gasp, barely registering the tinkle of its breaking. I fell to my knees, hands clutching at the pain.
She threw back her head and laughed, the sound sharp and jarring. As her eyes once more met mine, I saw that their green was now streaked with black, and her hair was no longer red but a snowy-white. Her features had become those of a crone.
“W-what…?” I croaked.
She shrugged. “I run low of essence. You will refill my store.” She picked up a dagger from the table behind her. “Didn’t your mother ever tell you not to accept drinks from strangers?”
As my sight faded, I felt the slash of her dagger across my palm. Blood flowed into a basin she set beneath.
“Mine taught me never to drink anything I didn’t bottle myself.”
The world slipped away.
Fiction © Copyright Rie Sheridan Rose
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Author Rie Sheridan Rose:
“I have always preferred the supernatural in tales of horror, the knot between life and death. Rie Sheridan Rose’s Skellyman is cool and creepy. Her first horror novel is a chilling read.” — Charlee Jacob – Stoker winner, Best novel, “Dread in the Beast”
Brenda Barnett is trying to cope with raising her four-year-old daughter all alone after an accident tore her family in half. As she and Daisy go for a much-needed treat, the little girl spots a Skellyman on the corner.
This pivotal encounter leads to a wave of mounting terror as Brenda’s life begins to come undone around her. Who is the Skellyman? Why does he keep appearing? Can the sympathetic policeman Brenda turns to stop the madness before it is too late?
And why does Daisy insist that her dead brother is trying to tell them something important?