The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Naching T. Kassa
TD dangled from the makeshift wash line above the kitchen table, his paw pinned to the cord, fur matted with moisture. The muffled wails of a little girl sounded from the hall and his ears pricked up. It was his girl, Mary Elizabeth. He strained to make out the words.
“Mama, I can’t sleep without him!” the girl cried.
“TD is soaking wet. You can’t sleep with him now,” Alice replied.
“I want him. I want TD!”
“If you’d listened to me, you’d have him right now. Why on earth did you drop him in the water?”
“He told me to.”
“Bears don’t talk.”
TD sighed. He had told Mary Elizabeth to toss him in the water. Why didn’t Alice believe anymore? As a little girl, she’d heard every word he’d said. He had been her protector first, long before she had given him to her daughter.
He looked up at the lifeless paw clipped to the line and studied the stitches which had reattached it to his arm. Did Alice remember what had happened? He doubted it. In all probability, her adult mind had reduced the memories to nightmare state and nothing more.
A soft rapping on the backdoor turned his thoughts to the present. He listened to the sentry’s code, nodding as his mind deciphered each word. It repeated and the night fell still once more.
The Evil One had returned.
With his free paw, TD reached up and unclipped himself from the rope. He hung there for a second like a circus acrobat before dropping to the table with a wet thud.
Alice’s muffled voice drifted up the hall and through the kitchen. It carried words from a storybook, one he knew well.
A small scuffle sounded outside and the pet door, long unused, lifted. The head of a stuffed rabbit tumbled through it.
TD’s breath caught in his throat as blood oozed onto the snow-white linoleum.
His sentry was no more.
The pet door remained open. Something slipped inside and it thumped back into place.
Before the kitchen light went out, TD caught sight of a pale face with lips the color of blood and eyes of amber. It skittered into the room on an arachnid’s body and melted into the shadows.
A strange clicking filled the air.
TD shimmied down the table leg, his water-logged body dragging him to the floor. He slogged toward the hallway entrance and stopped.
The clicking ceased.
Moonlight streamed through the window above the sink, illuminating the floor before him. TD surveyed the area, his button eyes searching for movement. They scanned the letters arranged in a jumble on the fridge and found a message in the chaos.
“I WILL FINISH WHAT I STARTED.”
The demon stepped into the moonlight and revealed its horrific glory. It had grown since last he’d seen it and the shiny black body contrasted with the white of the kitchen. Flashes filled TD’s mind and like a movie, played back before his eyes. He saw the thing on Alice’s chest, saw its spider-like arms holding her mouth wide as it pushed its way inside. In desperation, he’d grasped hold of the only weapon he could find, the crucifix on her bedroom wall. He’d stabbed the thing with it and lost his paw in the process.
A giggle sounded from the hallway, breaking TD’s reverie. The demon’s eyes took on a hungry gleam. It took a step forward and TD did the same.
“I saw you skulking about yesterday,” the bear said. “I’m ready for you this time.”
A smile spread across the human face and it rushed him.
TD stood his ground and welcomed it, arms wide. It hit him hard, knocking him backward to the floor.
Human teeth sank into TD’s neck. The bear wrapped his arms about the creature and squeezed.
It tore out his throat.
Steam rose from the demon’s mouth. It spat fur and stuffing into TD’s face and screamed. TD tightened his grip and the glistening body burned.
As blood flowed from TD’s wound, his arms grew weak. The demon’s face swam before his eyes and he felt it slip from his grasp. He reached for it.
The thing crept away on unsteady legs, headed for the hall. It glanced back in triumph.
And, then, she appeared.
Her foot came down hard, crushing the chitinous body. She lifted her shoe once more and bone crunched as she ground the face beneath her heel.
Alice came to TD’s side. She picked him up and cradled him in her arms.
“I should’ve known,” she said. “Mary Elizabeth is a good girl in church. She would never throw you in the font. Never throw you in the holy water. Not unless you told her. Not unless it was back.” She held him close. “I’m so sorry, TD. Sorry, I forgot.”
Alice was his girl again.
She would always be his girl.
Fiction © Copyright Naching T. Kassa
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Naching T. Kassa:
It’s the Final Masquerade and it’s your turn to dance.
The evening is ending and the guests are ready to leave, but the final event of the evening is just beginning — the unmasking.
Welcome to Final Masquerade where no one is who they seem.
Stories written by Daniel I. Russell * Ken MacGregor * J.C. Delisle * Joshua Chaplinsky * Lori Safranek * D.S. Ullery * Samantha Lienhard * Thomas Kleaton * Josh Strnad * Naching T. Kassa * Roy C. Booth & Axel Kohagen * Sheldon Woodbury * Craig Steven * Gregory L. Norris * Jay Eales * Dale W. Glaser * R.K. Kombrinck * Jonathan Cromack * Brian C. Baer * Adrian Chamberlin
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Women in Horror Month 10