The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
Imanja hid in the old shed where she could watch the things from between the dilapidated boards and remain in darkness. She saw what they did to the neighbors. Her husband and children were nowhere in sight; she had an idea of what happened to them. As horrifying as it was, she didn’t dare come out to look for her family. A small woman like her stood no chance against the razor-like fangs and jagged claws of beasts thrice her size.
I am a mouse, she told herself. Be mouse small; mouse quiet; mouse cautious.
Impotence? You bet. She grit her teeth and concentrated on making the shakes leave her muscles and calm her body. Anger? It burned from her scalp to her toes. What good would it do here…at this moment…other than get herself killed too? Grief? That’s a thing for some other time, when survival isn’t all important. If Hermano and the children were dead now, they’d still be dead later. She couldn’t afford a hitch in her breathing or a stray tear to blind her sight. She guaranteed herself there would be time for tears later…much later.
Imanja forced herself to breathe, slow and steady. In through her nose; out through her mouth. In and out; in and out. She allowed herself to blink.
The sudden stench of wet animal and feces hit her hard. She stifled a gasp just as she saw black fur covered haunches ripple past—just inches beyond the boards she hid behind.
I could reach out and… No, she couldn’t…without dying for her curiosity.
The thing snorted, sending a cloud of its breath smelling like decayed flesh her way. Whose flesh? she wondered and then shook the thought out of her head.
She pressed her lips together hard and held her breath…just long enough for the gag reflex to pass on by along with the beast. Thankfully it moved on. She heard its feet shuffling among the autumn leaves outside.
Suddenly, her shoulder exploded in hot pain as the boards before her flew apart. She looked up into a blood red eye, zeroed in on her face. She struggled to pull away but her flesh was caught in the thing’s curved claws. Her blood poured down over the clawed hand and down her torso.
She opened her mouth to cry out but couldn’t because a second clawed hand grasped her about the throat.
As it pulled her from the shed wreckage, she shed a single tear.
Fuck. It had a mate.
Fiction © Copyright Kim Richards
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
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Women in Horror Month 10