The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
The night is long and dark in the heart of summer.
These are the nights Tessa stays up late to make new dolls, sewing each one from head to foot and embroidering their faces with buttons and cotton thread.
Sometimes she adds a hair or a nail clipping inside. These dolls whisper words of affirmation and encouragement to their owner.
Only on one occasion has a doll stabbed someone to death. Tessa hears they died, eyes wide and in terror. She smiles.
This evening, she lays to rest her ex-husband and the woman he left her for. It feel strange walking back into her former home and greeting their former friends but Tessa holds her head high and carries herself with grace.
After everyone has left, she searches the house and the coffins for the doll but finds no trace of it. Still, she does not worry. A doll cannot enchant someone without the person’s hair or nail cuttings buried in its stuffing.
Across the street, a child with quick fingers at a funeral home talks to a doll he stole. It tells him many dark and terrible things, and how he can change the world.
Fiction © Copyright Christina Sng
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Christina Sng:
A Collection of Nightmares
Hold your screams and enter a world of seasonal creatures, dreams of bones, and confessions modeled from open eyes and endless insomnia. Christina Sng’s A Collection of Nightmares is a poetic feast of sleeplessness and shadows, an exquisite exhibition of fear and things better left unsaid. Here are ramblings at the end of the world and a path that leads to a thousand paper cuts at the hands of a skin carver. There are crawlspace whispers, and fresh sheets gently washed with sacrifice and poison, and if you’re careful in this ghost month, these poems will call upon the succubus to tend to your flesh wounds and scars.
These nightmares are sweeping fantasies that electrocute the senses as much as they dull the ache of loneliness by showing you what’s hiding under your bed, in the back of your closet, and inside your head. Sng’s poems dissect and flower, her autopsies are delicate blooms dressed with blood and syntax. Her words are charcoal and cotton, safe yet dressed in an executioner’s garb.
You’ve already made your bed.
The nightmares you have now will not be kind.
And you have no one to blame but yourself.