The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
There was a field of wildflowers at my childhood house, things bloomed off and on all year long. In spring, vines overcame from the skeletons of dead cats to discarded children’s toys or broken bottles and barrettes. The detritus of civilization, yet there were mysteries here –a scrap of yellowed paper, lines of a love poem in faded ink. From her window next door, Crazy Silvia watched me vigilantly, as if she thought I was looking for something she’d hidden. Rumor was that she’d gone batty after her little girl was abducted many years ago. Sadly, the child was never found. To us kids, she looked just like the witch in a fairy tale, like Hansel and Gretel. On Halloween, we were afraid to trick or treat at “the Witch’s house”, for she did resemble a gray haired warty old crone.
I slept with my bedroom window open except in winter, enjoying the smells of the night air, the charms of the dark, drowsing off to the music of voices in strange languages. But one night, I heard a child’s voice, calling for its mother. There, in the ferns and wildflowers, I spotted a tiny form below. Its eyes appeared oddly pale, and moonlight formed a glowing crown around it.
At sunrise, I dressed and ran outside to the field, for I knew that pretty doll must still be somewhere in the field. But to my surprise, Old Sylvia stood there clutching the doll, rocking it back and forth in her arms and whispering to it. Tears streaming down her cheeks, she told me her baby had come home at last. Then she hurried off with the doll.
Twenty years later, headlines in our local paper: House Razed, Child’s Bones Found in Cellar, and there was a photo of that doll next to the bones. Someone had taken a knife and scratched out its eyes. Pinned to its chest a faded note: “From Mama with love”.
Fiction © Copyright Marge Simon
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Marge Simon:
Satan’s Sweethearts – a collection of poems by Marge Simon and Mary Turzillo featuring the most monstrous, evil women throughout history!