The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
The Last Day of Christmas
by Scarlett R. Algee
From above, again, the noise.
Angelica stares down at her carpet and realizes she’s about to need a lot of ammonia.
The blood is soaking outward in a giant, vaguely angelic stain around the shiny black boots and the fur-trimmed suit. She lowers the axe and grasps an edge of the red velvet to wipe the sides of the blade clean; it does the job, but the hues don’t match.
Still, six years. Six years. He’s disappointed her daughter for the last goddamned time.
The lantern-shaped snow globe on the mantel is liberally drenched. Setting the axe beside the fireplace, Angelica reaches for a clean handful of red velvet and scrubs the acrylic faces clean, then fumbles for the ON switch. The tiny, crooked city inside comes to life in a burst of LEDs and a swirl of plastic snow pellets, accompanied by a tinny instrumental version of “Frosty the Snowman.”
Angelica takes a few deep breaths to calm down, humming along for five seconds. Then she grasps the boots, tugging their occupant toward the kitchen and its linoleum floor, smearing the carmine angel outline into a sticky, sodden mess. At this point, she decides, cutting out the carpet and scrubbing the concrete beneath will be easier—
She drops the booted limbs with a thud and looks over her shoulder. “Serena?”
“Uh-huh.” Blonde Serena peeks around her mother’s legs and squeaks, eyes wide. “Does this mean I’m still not getting a pony?”
Angelica sighs and starts to wipe her forehead, then realizes she’s still holding a scrap of bloodied velvet. “‘Fraid so, kiddo…”
She trails off, remembering the noise, and looks ceilingward. It’s soft, but Angelica catches the hint of a snort; then, more distinctly, the impatient thunk of hooves.
Multiple sets of hooves.
Angelica squats to her daughter’s level. “Get your coat and let’s go outside, okay? I think we might find something more interesting than that pony.”
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.