The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
A Little Friendly Competition
by Scarlett R. Algee
It looks like a nice street to die on, he’d said.
Nice. That’s a good word, she decides, studying the stretch of cobblestone beneath her boots. Not to her taste, exactly: a little too affluent, too bright, too open to too many side streets yawning mouths that offer escape. But still. It’s nice.
She slips one hand into his. It’s not a thing, they chat and stroll and kill and have tea together but they don’t have a thing, it’s just comfortable, feeling their gloved fingers squeak together. “Down there, right?”
They stand still beneath the one faulty streetlight, its lamp cracked and flickering, and he follows the line of her gaze to where a closing pub is disgorging yellow light and the last of its patrons onto the cobbled street: the stragglers, the ones going home to lucid spouses and sullen children, the ones not going home at all.
She sticks a leather-covered finger in her mouth and bites down on the knuckle, studying the last trailing figures. The final one slumps in his coat a little, staggers, reaches to steady himself against a concrete bollard. Shakes his head and looks around, with the half-blind slowness of the deeply intoxicated.
“Him,” she says.
Her partner scowls, if only with his voice. “No sport in it. He’s too drunk.”
“We have rules now?” She lets out a hitching little laugh and disengages their still-clasped fingers. “The sport,” she answers slowly, “is that I’ll get to him first.”
He chuckles and then swears, because she’s already gone, slipping in and out of shadows, eyes on her target. Already picturing pulling the drunk man into an alley, steel in her hand sinking into flesh, turning the body to direct the blood away from the lights and the cobbles because it is, really, a very nice street.
She hears her partner’s footsteps behind, but doesn’t slow. This one is hers, although maybe she’ll let him help.
Or maybe not. Make it a little friendly competition. They are, after all, not a thing.
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.