The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
Tell Our Story
It wasn’t much of a sound. Just a series of quiet footfalls in the corridor.
But it was enough to shatter the silence that had enveloped them for who knows how long.
Pairs of lights began to awaken. There was just enough to barely illuminate the eye sockets in which they were ensconced.
“Did you hear that?” came a voice from the darkness.
“Probably just a rat. They’re everywhere,” said another voice.
“Shut up!” came another. “I’m trying to hear.”
There was a snicker. “With what, Frank? You ain’t got no ears no more.”
“Well, you’re hearing me.”
There was a pause, then, “Oh. Yeah.”
The door latch lifted on the outside, and all of the lights went out.
“Now remember, leave it to me. I have a plan.” That was Frank again.
Someone was about to say something, probably sarcastic, when the door creaked open. A beam of light cut into the dark, and was soon followed into the vault by a living being.
The denizens could hardly believe their eye sockets. This was the first mortal they’d seen in many years.
The explorer’s light danced around the room as he examined every wall. When he came to the collection on the shelves at the back, however, he froze in place.
On every shelf were neat rows of human skulls. They filled the entire back wall, floor to ceiling.
As he gaped at the sight, one of them suddenly began to glow. Before the explorer could move, the light burst from the eye sockets and enveloped him. He shrieked and stumbled backward, tripped over a box, and fell.
And there he lay, unmoving.
After a minute or two, the voices started again.
“Brilliant move there, Frank.”
“Yeah, just great.” A skull near the ceiling lit up, the fire in its eyes glowing a brilliant red.
Frank’s voice came from the body. “Okay, I didn’t think of this. But you shut up, Harold. I have a body now, and once I get this guy up off the ground, I’m going to kick you down the hall.”
The body finally jerked up, and the man groaned.
“What the hell…?” He looked around, then remembered the skulls.
That got him moving; he stumbled to his feet and ran like the wind out of the vault.
There was a lengthy period of quiet. All of the skulls watched as their first hope in years raced away from them.
Harold broke the silence. “Now what? Ol’ Frank just got out, and we’re still stuck here.”
“I think he has a plan,” came a new voice. This one was soft and female.
“Yeah, Nancy, you’re just sweet on him.”
“No, really. Wait.”
The explorer ran without thinking, and found himself in one of the asylum’s many derelict ward rooms. Dizziness suddenly hit him, and he collapsed on a moldy old bed. As the dust wafted up from the horrid thing, he started to see images—memories that were not his to have.
People filled the ward—nurses, doctors, patients. There was someone pushing a cart down the corridor, on which was a large vat. The smell that came from it was delicious—a soup of some sort. The man doled out bowls of it to patients as he came to their rooms, and when the explorer got his, he found himself suddenly very hungry.
As he raised a spoonful to his lips, he was suddenly transported to another room. Scores of workers were very busy, and the man found himself close to vomiting at the sight.
The workers were cutting up human bodies. Some were shaving off hair, and others were tearing clothes from the bodies and feeding the fabric into huge furnaces. There were several large cauldrons, out of which hung various body parts. Skulls, boiled and dried, were taken into the vault and stored neatly on the shelves.
“Tell our story,” said a voice into his ear.
He screamed, and found himself back on the bed. The asylum was dead and empty again.
But now he found a diary in his hand. After looking through it, he jumped up and ran out of the room, then straight out into the night. He didn’t stop until he got back into town.
As for Frank, he was returned rather nastily to his skull.
“Well, here’s hoping, guys. I did what I could. Once the evidence is uncovered, we’ll be free.”
Silence fell again. The lights in the eye sockets flickered out again, and the door closed on its own.
Fiction © Copyright K.R. Morrison
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Author K.R. Morrison:
Lydia’s faith in God is strong – at least on paper. But what happens when that faith is tested? Turned into a vampire by the worst – Vlad Drakul – she feels that God has abandoned her. But the opposite is true. God rescues her from a fate worse than death, and brings her into the plan He has for global redemption. With the help He sends, she feels like nothing can stop her. But when Vlad torments her again, and then her family, the temptation to run and hide is almost too strong to resist. Her answer to God’s call is the deciding factor in the battle that pits the angelic powers of God against the demonic powers of Hell.