The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
And She Will Live Forever
by Naching T. Kassa
When Desmond Canterwell first found his lady, she was a desiccated husk lying on a slab of stone. The Hungarian sun had treated her unkindly and animals had gnawed upon her bones. Desmond could only imagine how beautiful she must’ve been.
He took her bones across land and sea, greasing palms as he went. No one dared check the casket he kept her in, no one disturbed the silk lining nor laid eyes on her in that undignified state.
He took her to his home, to the laboratory beneath the sands of the Mojave. A thousand pairs of eyes watched from within their glass jars. Machines hummed about them as he transferred her to her new bed of glass.
Years passed. By day, he designed the machines which would replace the muscle and bone she’d lost. By night, he hunted neon streets, harvesting the organic material she would need to live. He would’ve called her Galatea, but she already had a name.
A clear November night marked the end of her build. He adjusted the gears and hoses one final time before setting her beautiful face into place. Then, he stepped back to admire his handiwork.
He had constructed her to look as she five centuries ago and she didn’t disappoint. It had taken a year to find a woman with her face, he had searched all of Transylvania to find the right one.
She was not a child of lightning. No volt of electricity would be needed to restart her cold heart. He lifted her off the table and set her to rest in the tub. Then, he pressed the lever on the pump.
The thick liquid filled the tubes and spattered her body with scarlet. It flowed into the tub, covering her body. She vanished beneath a pool of red.
Time ticked from seconds to minutes. He remained in place, as still as a statue, rehearsing the words of welcome in his head.
When minutes became hours, pain filled his heart. Had he failed? Perhaps the blood was too old. He knew it should’ve been fresh. Maybe—
A ripple appeared. And, she stirred. Her hand reached out toward him. He gripped the slick, crimson palm as she rose from the bloody depths.
“My Lady,” he cried, kneeling before her. “How long I have waited.”
“Where are the chains? The walls?” she asked. Her words came in her own language and he slipped into it easily.
“The march of time has destroyed your prison,” he replied. “And, I have freed you.”
“What manner of witchcraft is this?” she asked, waving her hand toward the machines and tubes which filled the room.
“It’s science, my lady. Science has brought you back from beyond the grave. Now that the blood has regenerated you, there will be no need for it.”
“No need for blood?”
“You will live forever, my beautiful Elizabeth. The machine within you will make it so.”
She gazed into his eyes and placed a hand on the side of his cheek. He kissed her palm and his heart grew light. He had waited for this moment all of his life.
“My love,” she whispered. “Thank you for giving me life. However…”
She leaned forward.
“I like the blood.”
Her lips found his throat and she tore into it.
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.