The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
Andie Lee Eames
My family has been heavily involved in the occult since before I was born. Personally, I think they’re all mad. There’s been a rumor circulating around the brood that there are a set of books that grant whatever the owner wishes. They’ve been searching for these books for centuries but haven’t found them. The legend goes as follows: The books were made from the bodies of six family members chosen by a lottery. The unlucky ones had their bodies torn to pieces during an arcane ritual to put their combined lives, knowledge and power into it.
Their blood was used as ink mixed with the contents of their spilled bowels. The paper had been made using their flayed flesh then cured so it could be written on. Their bones were used for the spines, some of their faces were used to construct the front of the book while their hair was used on the back. The reason I know of this lore is because one of them got away and took the books with him when the sorcerer fell into a deep slumber drained from performing the task of making such books. In the wrong hands this book can unleash untold evil into the world which is why I have to find it first and destroy them.
I took a job as an archeologist assistant who traveled the world with this peculiar man with a fedora and Cuban cigars. He didn’t look like a professor at all but looks are deceptive; it’s how I’ve survived so long in my family. We were on a dig in Egypt when we came across them after searching for months. He was looking for old relics while I searched and found the books. They were even more gruesome than I had imagined or prepared for. There are eyes – blinking eyes – on the corners of each book to alert the creator of the book but she’s been dead for age, my great-great grandfather was said to have slit their throats as soon as the books were made while they slept.
Just holding them I felt the surge of power held within the air pulsated and the cave system we were in was starting to collapse in on us. So, we made haste and got the hell out as fast as we could. A few of the excavators died during the crash when their bodies were uncovered their faces were contorted in dread. I knew the book had taken it’s first strike to protect itself.
It couldn’t or wouldn’t harm me for some reason and I didn’t trust it. I had to get it back to my home where I had everything, I needed to destroy it. I hadn’t deluded myself that this would be easy or that I couldn’t end up dead these books will do whatever it takes to survive. They are alive make no mistake about it. It seemed to take forever to get back to the States but once home I began.
This ritual required life’s blood in other words period blood because it was the most powerful next to that of an innocent which I would never use because it would defeat the purpose of me getting the book in the first place. There was a secret room behind the books in my library, that’s where I would put an end to this and free myself from the madness of this family.
I made sure to protect myself by writing symbols in my blood and reciting incantations. The temperature of the room dropped significantly as I recited the words. A foul smell took my breath as the pages flipped wildly. The voices and screams of those who made these books were deafening they shot through my head like invisible bullets. I reeled grabbing the sides of my head with my hands making sure it wasn’t about to fall off, that’s how severe the pain was.
I saw shadows crowding the walls and closing in on me with maniacal laughter and shrieking as they closed in on me. I broke out in a cold sweat as the battle between me and those books intensified. Invisible scratches appeared all over my body they felt like being cut with razor blades. There was a sonic boom then bright light flooded the room standing in front of me was the original creator of these books—my great- great -great grandmother Rose. All I knew about her was the family feared her and an old portrait of her.
Her voice broke the atmosphere. “It appears no one told you not to search for these books. Now that you’ve found them you think that I’ll allow you to destroy my life’s work and sacrifice?” Before I could breathe my next breath, she used her boney hand to rip my soul out of my body. I stood there watching her hold my flesh in her hands before she devoured it all in one gulp.
“You were the final piece to my puzzle and now you will ignite this book and I will finally get what I deserve. With that she shoved my soul into the final book no one knew about now that her collection was completed, she placed them into a satchel and vanished. I was now trapped with those taken before me…there’s no hope for me!
Fiction © Copyright Andie Lee Eames
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Author Andie Lee Eames:
Abstract Murder is a disturbing psychological suspense tale told from the view points of various characters. The characters speak directly to the reader taking them into the dark recesses of dangerous minds while calling into question the validity of good and evil. If you liked “Pulp Fiction & Silence of the Lambs” then you’ll love Abstract Murder which is told in flash forwards, backs, and present time. A high concept thriller not for the faint of heart and one hell of an emotional rollercoaster ride. There are three different killers and you’ll get to see what made them that way.