The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
A Seeing Night
by Nina D’Arcangela
Sitting before a low table on a pile of cushions, she prepares herself in the company of her four-footed companions. The atmosphere is one of calm anticipation. This is a seeing night, a night when she will leave behind her own world and step into another’s. The dim light cast by the mica wall sconces along with the candles flickering throughout the room, bounce an eerie glow off the collection of oddities surrounding her. The thick lustrous smoke curling upward from the burning incense takes on a nearly animate quality in the strange light. Here, in this place, none can touch her, but she can reach outward and touch so many.
Choosing a vial from the many she keeps stored in this protected sanctum, she pours a small measure into the silver chalice before her. Lifting the cup and holding it close to her body, the drops warm and grow in volume, filling the over-sized goblet just enough to reflect her glittering eyes as she peers into its surface. She watches through the viscous liquid as he steps from his truck. Her vision distorted by the tremble of the precious fluid held captive in the vessel, she observes as his would-be attacker crouches in the darker shadows.
Her heart quickens with expectancy of what is to come; she watches through amber tinted vision as the assailant silently approaches.
A brief but brutal spasm of pain shoots through her head followed by the gut wrenching memory of the last seeing. It draws her to her knees. The peace and serenity of the past now forever tainted. A flash through time, her mind reels; his eyes peer back into hers, the chalice is thrown, the fluid within betrays her trust. A warning forgotten, perhaps dismissed, arrogance assures her safety in this hallowed realm. Never has she been so wrong.
As she watches, the assailant approaches his target in the dark abandoned lot. A struggle ensues, but ends in a mere blink; the violence feeds her hunger, holds her in its thrall. She misjudges; allows the corridor to widen, permits him to see her watching. For a brief moment, the portal opens on both sides. She sits stunned as he jabs the narrow pig sticker through the wavering fluid and into her left eye.
Now, when it is a seeing night, she seeks only the most remorseful; souls in need of comfort and caring, not the heart-pounding excitement of an outcome unknown. Now, when it is a seeing night, she sees with only one eye – the other forever clouded and dead to the word. Knowing better, she no longer reaches for the vials containing drops of venom. Having learned her lesson well, the wasps’ sting will forever be with her – but always more so on a seeing night.
Fiction © Copyright Nina D’Arcangela
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Nina D’Arcangela:
A dank basement, shadow filled hallways, the deep echo of a metal latch being thrown while faint screams are heard… These are the things you might experience in a place where the unspeakable happens, where conscientious action and moral turpitude turn a blind eye in the interest of advancing one’s own personal pursuits in the most deranged and unjustifiable manner. The type of place where power corrupts, and depravity runs rampant among those imbued with it. A place where the unfortunate are abandoned to the devices of those who convince themselves their actions are in the best interest of science.
Mental Ward: Experiments is a collection of ten short stories that demonstrate the worst of humanity’s ambition in the interest of ‘civilized’ advancement. Step into a world where sanity is left behind, and horror is what the doctor ordered!