The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Elaine Pascale
Grandma was a collector.
When we teased her about the crazy relics she lugged home from rummage sales, or the objects she ordered from the internet, she told us they were “lovies.”
“They each have a personality,” she would say. “And some are so very real,” she would punctuate with a wink.
When she passed, I was tasked with dealing with her “lovies.”
Oddly, the lovie she seemed to prize the most was stashed in the back of the attic. It was a porcelain angel that looked as if it were meant to top a Christmas tree, only this one stood beside a carousel horse. Her face held a pleased look: she had enjoyed her time rhythmically climbing and descending to the Calliope music. I had caught grandma kneeling in front of that statue many times, cooing. As she grew older, I had to reconfigure the pull-down ladder so that Grandma could easily ascend into the attic. She swore she needed to get up there every day: her special lovie would simply die if she didn’t.
I didn’t coo when I found myself in front of the statue. I was out of breath and hot and a bit frustrated that my cousins took the easiest tasks when it came to dealing with our inheritance. I picked up the angel and brushed her off; she had collected dust in the two weeks since Grandma had last visited her. As I turned her over, I found a key and a note attached to the underside of her skirt.
“Please feed her…and I’m sorry.” The sight of Grandma’s handwriting caught me off guard. And her edict made no sense. How was I to feed a statue?
It wasn’t until I was putting the statue down that I noticed the lock in the wall. It had been concealed by the statue and it was a perfect fit for the key.
“Oh, Grandma, what now?” I sighed as I opened the small door that led into a much larger crawl space that seemed to curve around the house. The first thing my phone flashlight confronted was a panel from a box that had been sent to Grandma, courtesy of Paranormal Pets. The second item encountered was the pile of large bones that had been broken and chipped, as if gnawed upon.
The smell in the space was indescribable. As much as I used to shout warnings to characters in horror films, I couldn’t help myself: I called out, “Lovie?”
I heard a growl before my light landed on the third and final clue: razor-sharp teeth.
Fiction © Copyright Elaine Pascale
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Elaine Pascale:
The Blood Lights
They victimize all…
Jezzie Mitchell is in anguish; with her brother’s murder still on her mind, she’s noticed strange behavior among the girls in the residential treatment center where she works. Is there a connection between the contagion on Cape Cod and the deadly Bahamas vacation that changed her life?
Jezzie reaches out to former lover Lou Collins, a scholar who has chased proof of the lights for decades. Will he be able to solve the mystery of the lights in time?
Intensely competitive, reporter Bridgette Collins knows the lights are a way to secure fame in her career. And while it’ll put the final nail into the coffin of her ex-husband’s career, she vows to know the secrets of the lights. Even if it means unleashing a world-wide epidemic…