The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Melissa R. Mendelson
“Mom, why can’t I go outside?”
“It’s not safe,” her mother replied. “We have to stay here.”
“In this dark, dusty library? Can’t I just open the window and get some air?”
“No!” Her mother started to cough, and the coughing was bad. “Listen to me. I need to leave, and you can’t go with me. There is something that I have to tell you.”
“Another story? I’m too old for stories, Mom.”
“This one could save your life. Please, come and sit beside me.”
“How could a story possibly save my life,” but she sat beside her mother. “Mom, you’re so cold.”
“It’s fine. Let me tell you the story.”
“A long time ago, it was a regular day like any other day. I rode the bus to school.”
“What’s a bus and a school?”
“Just listen,” her mother snapped. “Please. Just listen. It must have been around ten in the morning. I was in Math class, and all of a sudden, me and the other kids heard this horrible screeching sound. We ran to the windows, followed by the teacher, and the trees were filled with all these sparrows. The sparrows were screaming, and the trunks of the trees had these horrible, ugly faces. And they were screaming too, and the next thing that I know was that all these orange and white snakes filled the room, passing the teacher, but attacking the students. One wrapped itself tightly around my neck, trying to kill me.”
“Why didn’t the snake kill you,” she asked.
“Because I gasped that I was here to save them, and the snake believed me. But the snakes killed all the other kids in my class, and they killed all the other students in the school. Only the teachers and I were spared, and later, I found out that this, the snakes and the trees and the sparrows covered the whole entire country. Anyone under the age of eighteen that was in school was killed, and the snakes filled the streets, looking for those that escaped. And the screaming went on and on for weeks.”
“I don’t hear any screaming,” she said.
“Because,” her mother answered. “They don’t know about you. At least, they didn’t.” Her mother stared at her. “I told you not to go outside.”
“How do you know that I went outside?”
Her mother moved away from her. She wobbled on her feet, using the bookshelves to balance herself. She pushed a couple of old, dusty books to the side. She reached into the back and pulled out an orange and white snake. The snake hung limply in her hand, and she dropped it to the ground. Then, she slowly rolled up her sleeve, revealing an angry red snake bite.
Fiction © Copyright Melissa R. Mendelson
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Melissa R. Mendelson:
Better Off Here
We always look to the greener pastures, thinking our lives would be so much better over there, but if we were over there, what if all we wanted was to go back? Instead, we found ourselves trapped with the darker side to our fears.
An intriguing story.
Thank you. :0