The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
A quiet gravesite in an out-of-way corner,
ventured by those who cannot accuse, with tongues
forming squawks and trills, a chatter of flight-risk
testimony — no statements or symbols a court
might accept. And them bones, them poor bones,
well, they ain’t talkin’.
Half buried, half not, arest in ill-at-peace pieces
of solemn repose. Watchful, awaiting the chance
to bare it all for one glance of an interested eye,
an inquisitive gaze with deeper thoughts than those
that chirp or buzz. And them bones,
alas, them bones ain’t walkin’.
This is where the luck ran out: this forest path
near a lonely route, an empty road too seldom used
once a town went under deep as a tomb.
An above-the-ground catacomb. The highway
tiptoes by with a rare flash of paint. And them bones,
them bones should no longer worry . . .
After stopping for a stroll in sunless Pines,
to stretch her legs at a wooded place on the side of
a lengthy trip. By luckless chance, such random fate,
she had to pick that very spot a hunter shot his gun
to claim the life of a gentle Deer. Now them bones,
them bones are in no hurry.
Can’t take a bullet back when fired. Can’t apologize
if it crashes through a wall of twigs and leaves
to break the wrong heart, punch a hole through the chest
of a pretty lady. Sad enough if he killed the Doe . . .
but the cretin heard her cry and knew. So he left —
he just left the girl to bleed!
His truck roared to life on an access lane as she
lay dead beneath manmade steps. The hiking trail
has overgrown, its park deserted yet protected land.
She fed the earth, scores of worms and beetles;
trees of nagging unsympathetic birds. The bones don’t lie,
tucked in dirt and Jimsonweed.
Every moonless night a grisly shadow must haunt
the silver band with a crimson crest. Revenge can fuel
the tamest breast to fright the wits and daylights if
a poacher she meets. Cause an accident, spook his aim
to veer and crash, bash headfirst, hood-first against a trunk.
Her bones would rattle and cheer.
Or so the legend croons down a godforsaken patch,
where a spirit roams distraught against the dusken swirl,
a soul unable to cross the brink. How many lives
will it take to appease? Though her death spared another
and a mother survived. Them bones, ah yes,
them bones abide right here.
Fiction © Copyright Lori R. Lopez
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Lori R. Lopez:
Trouble with a capital C! The tale begins when a car stops and a body is tossed into the Corn. But this is not just any crop. It is the battleground of a legendary creature who haunts fields along desolate highways, only when stalks are tall and the blood of brothers has been spilled in the soil — rising above the Corn like a burly Scarecrow.
A novelette of betrayal and retribution, “Cornstalker” pits a female truckdriver and a man with blood on his hands against a mythical beast summoned by a band of men wearing feathers and paint.
Jane is searching for her younger brother, who disappeared along a highway bordered by many ears. The last message on a sputtering cellphone had been something about a monster. So she took over his rig, coincidentally called “The Monster”, a heavy-duty black beast with a long snout, double chrome stacks and a reinforced grill. Anxiously prowling the roads of The Cornbelt, she picks up a stranger who could be dangerous. Our heroine may need to unleash her own demons to emerge from the Corn once she goes in.
First appearing in the 2014 anthology DEAD HARVEST, “Cornstalker” is part of Lori’s SPOOKTACULAR TALES collection.