The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Suzanne Madron
The children used to come to her and play in her garden. They would bring bouquets of her flowers home to their mothers, but that was so long ago. The men would visit her, never entering her home, and ask for potions of love, salves for hair growth, and charms for luck. She would oblige and smile at their fear of her. The women came to her in the night, long after their families had gone to sleep, and seek guidance and truth. She provided them with all they needed to know.
Now, her garden was long gone. It had been reclaimed by the marsh surrounding the detoured river. The children had grown up to become men and women who had grown up to raise another generation of men and women. Wars had started and wars had ended on her crumbling doorstep.
The machines woke her from her sleep. She had embraced the silence for years since the town had become populated by ghosts.
She sat up, struggling through the murk of slumber. She rubbed at her eyes with gnarled treeroot hands and glared in the direction of the commotion. She smiled a cliff crag smile when she saw the children, returned from the cities and their new towns and families, gathered once more in her overrun garden. They coughed the concrete and dust from their lungs in shouts and chants.
Next to her bed of moss and marsh, a man in a hard hat turned. She climbed to her feet and looked around her.
“Who the hell is this?” the man cried.
It was the last thing he said. Soon, the children would play in her garden again, and the men and women would return to her.
Fiction © Copyright Suzanne Madron
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Suzanne Madron:
The house across the street seems to go on the market every few months, but this time nothing about the sale is normal, including the new owners. No sooner has the for sale sign come down and the neighborhood is thrown into a Lovecraftian nightmare and the only way to find out is to attend the house warming party.