The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
“Did you hear something?” Vince whispered breathlessly.
“Quiet.” Dane moved forward on the balls of his feet, silent on the dusty concrete floor.
The hallway was like all the others they had cleared—concrete walls scrawled with graffiti; windows open to the night air still not dissipating a raw stench that clawed at the throat; and a looming square of deeper darkness at the far end…the potential lair of their elusive quarry.
But this hallway was different. Dane could feel it. An energy lent a subtle vibration to the air. Something waited in those shadows.
“Wait here,” he told Vince tersely.
A wry smirk flickered across his face at the alacrity with which Vince nodded, hunkering down with a thumbs up.
Taking a deep breath, Dane moved forward alone. His gaze raked left to right, taking in more details: a bunch of sticks sharpened at one end—a poor attempt at defense from what they guessed about the invaders; a footlocker with military stencils—still padlocked…never opened.
He chambered a round automatically. They were not the first squad through here…and their predecessors hadn’t even had time to open their supplies.
What the hell is in that room?
No one had ever reported actual contact with the invaders. All that was ever found were piles of dust—sometimes containing bits of metal or ammunition that argued their military origins. One site had offered up three sets of dog-tags. Dane had known two of those soldiers.
He’d volunteered to search for the invaders as soon as the details of that failed mission had come out. This was their thirtieth search. He had known by the third that Vince was useless. The man had pissed himself when a rat ran across their path.
Dane tensed as he reached the doorway to the dark chamber. The stench was stronger here…animalistic and yet metallic at its core… He could hear ragged breathing inside the blackness.
Raising his rifle, Dane flipped on the flashlight attached to the stock. The room was bathed in a stark white light that banished all shadow.
“W-what are you?” he breathed.
Intense pain crackled through every cell of his being as the light shifted to a brilliant blue.
His rifle clattered to the floor to rest in a pile of dust as darkness reclaimed the room at the end of the hall.
Fiction © Copyright Rie Sheridan Rose
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Author Rie Sheridan Rose:
“I have always preferred the supernatural in tales of horror, the knot between life and death. Rie Sheridan Rose’s Skellyman is cool and creepy. Her first horror novel is a chilling read.” — Charlee Jacob – Stoker winner, Best novel, “Dread in the Beast”
Brenda Barnett is trying to cope with raising her four-year-old daughter all alone after an accident tore her family in half. As she and Daisy go for a much-needed treat, the little girl spots a Skellyman on the corner.
This pivotal encounter leads to a wave of mounting terror as Brenda’s life begins to come undone around her. Who is the Skellyman? Why does he keep appearing? Can the sympathetic policeman Brenda turns to stop the madness before it is too late?
And why does Daisy insist that her dead brother is trying to tell them something important?
Be sure to check out the other fantastic events and peeps participating in
Women in Horror Month 10