The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
Clara looked up from the old book she found, chanting, “Dollies, dollies, arranged in a row. Their bows and buttons, all aglow.”
Above her, the line of cloth dolls swung from their strings on the barn rafter, the sun from a window shining on their yarn hair.
Clara smiled and read another passage. “Dollies, dollies, all with their frowns. What are those stains over their gowns?”
Small drops of red dribbled from the hems of the dolls’ dresses to the hay on the barn floor. When their heads turned to the sunlight, they showed the world painted on scowls.
Clara smushed the hay under her foot. “Dollies, dollies, on high where you sway. Hanging above me with nothing to say.”
A cold wind blew through the barn and the shutters slammed shut, blocking out the daylight. Clara shivered as the dolls creaked on their strings. Back and forth they moved, the rustle of the string rhythmic. Clara listened, enchanted by the moving dolls, as the sounds from outside faded away. Then tiny whispers broke the quiet stillness of the barn like thunder.
“Clara, Clara, there’s nowhere to run. We’re coming down to have us some fun.”
Slowly the dolls twisted in unison, their coal-black eyes staring at Clara. Then they all smiled, their little mouths opening to reveal rows of sharp jagged teeth.
Fiction © Copyright A.F. Stewart
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from A.F. Stewart:
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