The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
Black, Red, Black
by Scarlett R. Algee
Far off down the boulder-strewn plain, she sees them coming, arcing black shapes against the greenish light of the mist-shrouded sun.
He gurgles. She looks down; she’d thought him gone already, and picks up her crimson skirts to step back from the darker flood that’s escaped his throat. Another upward hitch of the vermilion silk, bunching it around the blade still dripping in her hand, and she plants one bare foot flat on his chest, then the other. Under her left sole something creaks and yields; his noises grate the air and die away.
He should have known better, really. Should have listened, should have had the sense not to go looking in the dark corners of the house that she’d forbidden. Then he wouldn’t have found that door in the cellar.
Or the six graves full, with the seventh grave waiting.
She lifts the knife to her ruby lips and licks it clean, feeling gore stiffen and dry down her chin. In the sickly light his face is slack and soft-eyed, his mouth relaxed now into something that’s not quite a smile, and she shifts her weight, a Kali balancing atop Shiva.
The first crow screams, approaching. She drops her skirts and lifts her arms, silver blade and crimsoned smile flashing in the face of the waning sun, and calls back a hoarse raw welcome to the feast. The birds stream around her, midnight plumage and jewel-bright eyes, claws and beaks tearing fabric and flesh alike. She only laughs and casts the knife aside, stripping the blood from one scratched forearm with the edge of her hand and shoving her fingers into her mouth.
Above her, above him, the birds wheel, and gather, and then descend.
Fiction © Copyright Scarlett R. Algee
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from author Scarlett R. Algee:
The Lift: Nine Stories of Transformation, Volume One
The hall is dark and the overhead light flickers. Sounds echo, and there’s a creaking and clanging that gets louder as you stand in the semi-dark. The elevator opens and you’re offered a ride. Step inside and ride it to the story chosen for your transformation. Don’t be afraid, for Victoria, the mysterious girl who operates The Lift, waits to guide you. Set in the same world as the award nominated audio drama, The Lift’s first written anthology features nine all new stories by fan favorite writers and special bonus content by creators Daniel Foytik and Cynthia Lowman. The collection is brought to life with beautiful illustrations by Jeanette Andromeda for each story.