The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
Into the Blackness
by Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi
Black scorpions crawl from her maw,
as she mesmerizes my mind with her
graphic darkness and bleak time obsession,
laughing at my dilemma of living with ghosts.
She tries to speak but shrill sounds emanate
and yet, I can still understand her pleas.
Her energy is suddenly rushed and manic and I stare,
waiting as the hands on the clock rhythmically tick by.
Her hands, with long stretchy ancient fingers,
reach out toward me mere inches away
but not quite close enough to grasp my throat.
She tilts her head in question, with wandering focus,
and hollow eyes.
I rip off my clothes and throw them toward
the bin, then dive naked into the pool to escape
the cloud of dread pushing in on me.
Tendrils of mist float toward and around,
slowly tapping on my claustrophobia.
I feel the lap of water cool around me,
run my hands through it, feeling alive and real
but know seconds away from always drowning;
feeling relief, but also inescapable sadness.
She’s followed me; I can hear her clock ticking.
I turn around and her mouth spews blackness onto my face,
engulfing me in pain and numbness,
and I sink to the bottom of the pool,
where there is nothing but the sound of her cackle
and the perfect tick of time.
Fiction © Copyright Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi
Fiction Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi:
It’s the one-year anniversary of the publishing of my debut dark poetry and short story collection, Breathe. Breathe. Much of it tells my life’s pains and haunts and fears poured, sometimes savagely, onto the page. However, there is also legend, folklore, and fantasy as well.
Breathe. Breathe. is a collection of dark poetry and short fiction exploring the surreal depths of humanity. It’s a representation of how life breaks us apart and words put us back together. Purged onto the pages, dark emotions flow, urging readers into murky seas and grim forests, to the fine line between breathing and death.In Act One, readers are presented with a serial killer in Victorian London, a lighthouse keeper with an eerie legacy, a murderous spouse that seems to have walked right out of a mystery novel, and a treacherous Japanese lady who wants to stay immortal. The heightened fears in the twilight of your minds will seep into the blackest of your nights, where you have to breathe in rhythm to stay alive.
In Act Two, the poetry turns more internal and pierces through the wall of denial and pain, bringing visceral emotions to the surface unleashing traumas such as domestic abuse, violence, and illness.
In the short stories, you’ll meet residents of Valhalla Lane whose lives are on a violent parallel track to collision, a man who is driven mad by the sound of a woodpecker, a teenage girl who wakes up on the beach and can’t find another soul in sight, a woman caught in a time shift pitting her against the Egyptian goddess Anuket, and a little girl whose whole world changes when her favorite dandelion yellow crayon is discontinued.
Amid these pages the haunting themes of oppression, isolation, revenge, and madness unfold through folklore, nightmares, and often times, raw, impulsive passion crafted to sear from the inside out.
With a touching foreword by the Bram Stoker nominated author Brian Kirk, Breathe. Breathe. will at times unsettle you, and at times embrace you. Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi, a veteran writer and editor of the written word, offers up a mixed set of pieces, identifying her as a strong, new voice in dark fiction that will tear the heart from your chest, all the while reminding you to breathe.