The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
You fed your bear a little of your chocolate birthday cake—so kind of you to share, but Bear has other appetites.
Still, his face smells of chocolate, fills your sweet birthday sleep with chocolate dreams.
Your soft birthday belly, empty now, snarls like a little bear.
“There’s more cake,” Belly says, with Bear’s voice, “in the kitchen.”
It’s warm under the blankets, so you reach to hug Bear, but he’s gone.
Belly groans again, “If you’re hungry, go to the kitchen.”
Bear was hungry, you remember. Always growling hungry. It’s why you gave him cake, though he’d spit it out. But maybe he’s changed his plush mind, wants something sweet after all.
“Sweet child, come to the kitchen,” Belly rumbles in Bear speak.
The floor is cold under your birthday toes, the hall long and dark. There is nothing but grumble breathing from Father’s room.
There is a glow in the kitchen, and there is Bear—between you and the cake.
And between you and Bear there is a growl all appetite.
Fiction © Copyright Sarah Read
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Sarah Read:
He’s run away home. That’s what they say every time one of Charley Winslow’s friends vanishes from The Old Cross School for Boys.
It’s just a tall tale. That’s what they tell Charley when he sees the ragged grey figure stalking the abbey halls at night.
When Charley follows his pet insects to a pool of blood behind a false wall, he could run and let those stones bury their secrets. He could assimilate, focus on his studies, and wait for his father to send for him. Or he could walk the dark tunnels of the school’s heart, scour its abandoned passages, and pick at the scab of a family’s legacy of madness and murder.
With the help of Sam Forster, the school’s gardener, and Matron Grace, the staff nurse, Charley unravels Old Cross’ history and exposes a scandal stretching back to when the school was a home with a noble family and a dark secret–a secret that still haunts its halls with scraping steps, twisting its bones into a new generation of nightmares.
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Women in Horror Month 10