The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
Let it Snow
by Sheri White
George looked over at his next-door townhouse neighbor who was shoveling snow off his steps.
“Oh, hello…um… I’m sorry, I can’t remember your name. I’m so embarrassed.”
“You know, it’s weird—I can’t recall your name either.” He shrugged and chuckled. “Anyway, I’m Alan.”
“I’m George. Nice to meet you, I guess?” He grabbed a broom leaning against the stair rail and swept snow off his porch. “That’s odd, Alan—you have a lot more snow than I do, and our porches are only several feet apart.”
Before Alan could answer, an older woman walked her little yappy dog in front of them. The dog barked at the men, baring its teeth. “Hercules, hush!” The men snickered at the mention of the dog’s name. “I’m sorry, gentlemen.”
“No worries, ma’am,” George said. “I’m sure he’s just protecting you.”
“Isn’t this glorious?” The woman turned her face up to the falling snow and stuck out her tongue like a little girl. “Ugh!” She coughed, bending over and spitting on the sidewalk.
Alan and George rushed over to her. “Ma’am, are you okay?” George asked.
She coughed again but nodded her head. “I’m Bess.” Another cough. “I’m fine. It’s just that the snow tastes nasty. Feels weird too. Like pellets. Don’t you feel it?”
Alan held his hand out and watched snowflakes bounce off and hit the ground. “Has this happened before? I can’t remember if this is normal or not.”
“It’s not even that cold, is it? I mean, we’re not wearing coats or gloves, yet I feel fine. Don’t you?”
The three of them stood there, hands out, watching the snow bounce. Hercules yipped and yapped around them. Doors opened and closed nearby as other neighbors joined them outside. They looked at each other in bewilderment, somehow strangers to each other although they shared a neighborhood.
Suddenly the ground under their feet rumbled and swayed.
“Earthquake!” some of them screamed. They tried to run, but the shaking got rougher. The snow flew furiously through the air, pelting their skin as they fell to the ground. Bess cried, helpless, unable to keep hold of her dog’s leash. Hercules slid down the sidewalk, yelping and howling.
Then the swaying stopped and a hush fell over the neighborhood.
“Hi, Daddy! I’m glad you’re home. I love our new Christmas decoration!”
“Anna, get back inside. It’s freezing out here. Mom has dinner waiting; she just texted me.”
“Okay, but watch this first.” She grabbed the Victorian streetlamp by the pole and shook it back and forth.
“Anna, no! Don’t do that again; it will break. Let’s go get dinner.”
“Okay. But look at the little people inside, Daddy—they look like they’re screaming!”
Fiction © Copyright Sheri White
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Author Sheri White:
When the Clock Strikes 13
Tick – tock
Tick – tock
Tick – tock
Your time is running out. When the clock strikes 13, all manners of hell will break loose.
When the Clock Strikes 13 is a collection of thirteen short horror stories by some of the best horror and dark fiction authors writing today. Inside, you will find stories to frighten, shock and gnaw at your inner fears, and take you places that belong only in the dark recesses of your mind. There are monsters on these pages; some are human, some are not.