The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by A.F. Stewart
In the twilight, two figures approached the crumbling ruin silhouetted against a burnt crimson sky, their footsteps stirring the smell of decaying loam into the chilly air. They walked in silence, carrying the weight of two black bags, stopping only when they tramped through a broken archway and past a partially collapsed wall.
The woman nodded at her male companion. “Let’s get set up.”
An unpacking of the bags commenced, and equipment arranged on the half-dead grass surrounding them. Soon the woman faced the man, artificial lights illuminating the area in a soft diffused glow. She took a breath and slowly exhaled.
“Lost in time and retelling, her story forgotten with time—cut!” Katherine Jenkins lowered her microphone and cursed under her breath for the flub. She sighed. “Damn. I thought I had this down.”
Her cameraman, Jake, shifted his equipment, replying, “Are you sure about this one? Maybe we should rethink the shoot. This place gives me the creeps.”
“Don’t go squeamish on me now. This story is ratings gold. A nun accused of witchcraft, haunting the ruins of her old nunnery, supposedly to drag hapless souls to Hell. It’s a winner. The fans will love it. Now get some mood shots while I get refocused.” She moved away, rehearsing her lines.
“I guess. It’s just something about this place.” Jake adjusted the camera, panning wide to shoot some background shots. He frowned as movement in the shadows caught his eye. “Is someone there?”
Katherine turned. “Stop messing around, Jake, I—”
“The Devil calls for you.”
The words drifted across the darkness.
Both of them jumped and Jake automatically swung the camera towards the sound, gagging on fear when he spotted a translucent figure behind Katherine. The apparition stared at him and grinned. Red eyes peered from a transparent face half flesh, half skull. She wore dark robes similar to a nun’s habit.
Jake shouted, “Oh, my God!”
“What the hell?” Katherine turned to stare behind her, as the robed figure grasped Katherine by the shoulder.
“The Devil calls for you.”
As Jake watched and the camera filmed, Katherine Jenkins spontaneously combusted, screaming until her vocal cords seared beyond speech. Within minutes her body collapsed in a pile of ash and bone.
The robed ghost turned to Jake. “The Devil calls for you.”
He dropped the camera and ran.
Fiction © Copyright A.F. Stewart
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from A.F. Stewart:
Hell’s Empire: Tales of the Incursion
A unique anthology of two thrones at war as the forces of Hell assault an unsuspecting Victorian Britain.The cry went out to theologians and engineers, to artificers and antiquarians, to every name which could be named. By telegraph where lines were still intact, and by volunteer riders where they were not; smuggled along the coast in fishing smacks, semaphored from hill-tops. It came without royal sanction, issued jointly by the Lords of the Admiralty and Marquess Lansdowne, the new Secretary of State for War:”In God’s name, help us. We are losing.”