The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
What Gave Them the Right?
by Rie Sheridan Rose
I was a good girl. I listened to me mum and da. I did as I was told. I went to church every Sunday…even when I’d had to work till midnight the night before. I never stole a dime from the shop’s till…even when they’d dock me wages because they said I’d spilled something or broken a cup. I worked extra when the Mistress wanted to go and play with her lovers of an afternoon, or when the Master said the shop needed a good “spit and polish,” but it wasn’t the shop he wanted me to polish. I managed to distract him with a bit of slap and tickle instead…but I was still a good girl.
Everything went on. I brought home a bit for the family, and bought a sweet or a book for meself now and a time. Shouldn’t have gotten used to things. Shouldn’t have let me guard down. Should have said, “No,” when the Master give me the package to deliver. It was after closing, after all, and not part of what I was paid for…but he give me an extra shilling, and there was a new Dickens novel I had me heart set on.
So, I took his coin, and the box tied with string, and I went through the cobbled streets with the gaslights flickering… It was cold, I remember. I could still feel then.
The house were in the center of town. A mansion more like. Four stories of stone, and steel. The knocker was a gilded sprocket that tapped against a field of gears. I thought that was amusing…then.
When the door creaked open, I went inside. No one was behind it.
“Hullo?” I called, and the house echoed it back. “I brung—brought—a package from Mickel and Pierce. I-I’ll just leave it here on the table, then.”
I set down the package, and backed toward the door.
It slammed on its own, making me jump a foot. Turning on my heel, I ran to open it, but it was solid as a rock. I fumbled with the knob, looking for a key…
…and then I was here. Trussed like a Christmas turkey, with all these tubes flowing into darkness. There’s a clicking when I turn my head, and I can’t bend my neck to see my body, but I don’t feel a thing. Just cold…and I see what is flowing through those tubes. It wasn’t theirs to take. Whoever “they” are. All I have left are tears…and they are flowing too.
What gave them the right…?
Fiction © Copyright Rie Sheridan Rose
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Author Rie Sheridan Rose:
“I have always preferred the supernatural in tales of horror, the knot between life and death. Rie Sheridan Rose’s Skellyman is cool and creepy. Her first horror novel is a chilling read.” — Charlee Jacob – Stoker winner, Best novel, “Dread in the Beast”
Brenda Barnett is trying to cope with raising her four-year-old daughter all alone after an accident tore her family in half. As she and Daisy go for a much-needed treat, the little girl spots a Skellyman on the corner.
This pivotal encounter leads to a wave of mounting terror as Brenda’s life begins to come undone around her. Who is the Skellyman? Why does he keep appearing? Can the sympathetic policeman Brenda turns to stop the madness before it is too late?
And why does Daisy insist that her dead brother is trying to tell them something important?