The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
They Didn’t Listen
by Rie Sheridan Rose
Mattie Lou stood in the doorway to the basement playroom, clutching that ratty old bear of hers under one arm, all four fingers of her other hand in her mouth. She removed the damp appendages long enough to ask, “Whatcha doin’?”
Terrance raised an eyebrow at his little sister. “Aren’t you supposed to be in bed, runt? You know you’re not allowed down here. This is my space.”
“It’s scary upstairs. Momma’s at work, and there’s a storm comin’.”
He relented with a smile. “Okay. You can stay down here if you will sit on my bed and be quiet. My friends are coming over, and we’re going to…play a game.”
“Kin I play?”
“Not this time. It’s…a grown-up game.”
“You ain’t growed-up.”
“Just sit on the bed and be quiet.”
Mattie Lou obediently clambered up on to the bed tucked into the corner, and stuck her hand back in her mouth, watching intently as Terrance set up a card table in the center of the floor and put the dining room chairs around it. He covered it with a black cloth with a funny design drawn on it in gold—it looked like a fancy star to Mattie. Then he put candles on the table and lit them.
“We ain’t supposed to play with fire!” she cried anxiously.
“Don’t worry about it. I’m watching them.”
The doorbell sounded upstairs.
“Just sit still—and be quiet,” Terrance cautioned her, flipping off the light as he went to answer the door.
Mattie Lou hugged her teddy to her, blinking back tears as the candles flickered, and the air seemed to grow cold around her. “This ain’t a good game, Terry,” she whispered. “You should play Yahtzee…”
There was an excited clatter on the stairs, voices talking over each other as Terrance and his friends burst into the room.
“This is so cool, Terry,” purred Melissa. “It’s great your mom works nights so we can use the basement.”
Mattie Lou didn’t like Melissa. She fancied herself Terry’s girlfriend. Momma didn’t like her either. She’d be mad if she knew what was going on… Peter and Donna were okay, but they shouldn’t be here either. None of this should be going on!
The teenagers arranged themselves around the table. Melissa pulled a board out of her shoulder bag. “Here’s the Ouija.”
“Cool!” Terrance crowed, dropping a kiss on her proffered cheek. “This will be so awesome.”
“You shouldn’t, Terry! You shouldn’t” Mattie Lou groaned.
“Be quiet, Mattie, or you’re going upstairs.”
She bit back a sob, huddling in the bed with tears flowing down her cheeks. “You shouldn’t,” she whispered.
The teens ignored her, giggling as they put their hands on the planchette in the center of the table.
“Who is here?” Terrance intoned, in a sepulchral voice.
The wind began screaming outside the house, and the windows upstairs rattled like someone was trying to break into the house.
“I said…” Mattie Lou moaned, as the house disintegrated around them.
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?