The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
The feeling of dread washed over me as the heavy wooden door scraped against the aging floor. I peered into what looked to be a cellar, but all I could see was the face of darkness staring back at me. My steps were weary as I made my way down the rickety staircase, down into a sea of pitch black. As I attempted to scan my surroundings, I was pushed to my knees by an icy hand upon my back, and a feeling of great sickness. I opened my mouth to scream but there was no sound. I looked down to see a swirling, black mass being purged from my body.
This inky blackness hovered around me and throughout me with a fluidity that seemed impossible, unnatural. When I finally managed to stand on my feet once more, I ran as fast as I could. I had no idea where to run, only that I’d feel safe once I was out of this place, beneath the glow of the full moon. I had just enough time to catch my breath when I heard approaching footsteps from behind me. I turned around expecting to see someone who could help save me from this hell I had found, but instead the person I saw was me, only she wasn’t me.
She looked just like me, except her limbs were sewn to her body. Her mouth had been stitched closed. Her eyes were massive pools of emptiness. Her face bore expressionless features. This horrific demonic version of myself was relentless in its pursuit of my soul. Before I had much time to think, I grabbed an axe and swung like a madwoman at my beastly twin. I can recall screaming the entire time until I saw at my feet, a vision of absolute gore.
There were severed limbs scattered before me, but instead of blood, there were massive pools of the inky black matter. I had no way of knowing on this day that I’d slay my biggest demon, the dark within myself. The final showdown with the woman in the mirror. A warped and insidious reflection. The day of reckoning. The day of my redemption.
Fiction © Copyright Tawny Kipphorn
Image courtesy of Nina D’Arcangela
More from Author Tawny Kipphorn:
Fall—a season as beautiful as it is foreboding. A Shadow of Autumn takes you back to childhood nostalgia while peeling away the mask to reveal things that haunt your worst nightmares. Within these pages, you’ll find the usual denizens of the holiday—demons, witches, ghosts, and bloodsuckers—along with strange and unknown creatures lurking everywhere from innocuous cornfields and pumpkin patches to basement hatches and high school dances. These fourteen tales of fall magic and Halloween horrors will keep you looking over your shoulder long after the last light of October has waned. Don’t say we didn’t warn you…
A terrific story.