The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Naching T. Kassa
The sky cracked above the lonely highway and the earth shook beneath it. Marie Slate glanced into the rearview mirror as chunks of gray rock and clouds of ash erupted into the sky. She stepped on the gas and the car surged forward.
The speedometer needle rose as Marie’s breath grew ragged. Curves in the road forced her to stomp the brake and a glimpse of ocean beckoned beyond the cliff. It reflected colorless sky as she sped by.
The ash rained down, silent as snow, and her windshield grew muddy beneath the wipers. A different needle climbed as she continued down the highway. It entered the painted red of the danger zone as steam billowed from beneath the hood. Marie groaned as the car lost power and the speedometer needle dropped.
When the Pontiac coasted to a stop, she pulled the silk scarf from about her neck and tied it about her mouth and nose. She threw the door open and leaped out. The morning sky grew dark and a coat of gray covered the lush foliage around her.
The car continued to steam. She studied the misshapen fender on the driver’s side. Blood stained the metal. A scrap of tapa cloth fluttered.
Shadows of the past appeared within her mind’s eye. Moments of clarity flashed by like a dream.
The golden interior of a tiki bar rose before her. Several girls stood on the stage singing karaoke, their voices off-key. The cute bartender winked as he poured the third drink.
Words were whispered in her ear. A warning not to drink so much. A warning of a woman who walked the road at night. A woman with a name which hung at the on the tip of Marie’s tongue and then vanished.
A blast of fresh air greeted her as she stepped outside. She stumbled on the way to the car and scraped her knee.
The glow of headlights on the road as she weaved across the center line. An old woman walked at the edge, dressed in the same flower print which now waved from the mangled metal. Her face twisted in a silent scream on impact.
Blackness and then the rim of a volcano and the flight down the mountain to wind up here.
The world rumbled around Marie. She fled.
An ice-cold hand gripped her heart as she ran. Something tugged at the edge of her consciousness, commanding her to turn. And, like Lot’s wife, she did.
A pillar of ash filled the sky, stretching from the fractured volcanic cone to the heavens above. It swirled and danced, like the funnel of a tornado. Something flashed above, but it wasn’t lightning.
Dark eyes filled with fury, filled with vengeance. They belonged to an old woman who had lived a scant few hours before, but no longer.
A huge hand, devoid of color, reached down toward Marie. She turned and ran as its massive shadow fell over her. Heat and ash choked her and before the sound of crunching bone filled her ears, she screamed the name her terror had found.
Fiction © Copyright Naching T. Kassa
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Naching T. Kassa:
Crescendo of Darkness
Music has the power to soothe the soul, drive people to obsession, and soundtrack evil plots. Is music the instigator of madness, or the key that unhinges the psychosis within? From guitar lessons in a graveyard and a baby allergic to music, to an infectious homicidal demo and melancholy tunes in a haunted lighthouse, Crescendo of Darkness will quench your thirst for horrifying audio fiction. HorrorAddicts.net is proud to present fourteen tales of murderous music, demonic performers, and cursed audiophiles.