The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Sonora Taylor
All around Matilda, the carnival was slate. She remembered the merry-go-round as a world full of color and light. Now though, she walked through the abandoned fairgrounds and only saw steel and shadow. A forgotten wooden horse stared at her with beady eyes of black. What had happened?
She only remembered walking through a tent with faded red and yellow stripes. The one with the clown that beckoned her from the entrance. Matilda had never been afraid of clowns. She had no reason to fear this colorful figure’s invitation, no reason to anticipate the sharp blade that pierced her shoulders the minute the tent flap closed behind her.
When the pain receded, Matilda wandered back outside and saw the carnival abandoned. She looked for her mother, and then for anyone. No one was there. When she reached the merry-go-round, its horses still and grey, she stood on the platform and began to cry.
A whirring noise stopped her tears. She opened her eyes and saw bright lights surround her. The platform beneath her feet began to turn. The horse began to move up and down.
Matilda reached for its saddle of slate and hoisted herself up. She held the pole and felt its chill beneath her fingers. The carnival stayed awash in grey, and no music sounded from the merry-go-round. Even so, she felt a wave of calm roll upon her as the horse with its eyes of black moved up and down, up and down, lulling her into a sleep filled with shadowed dreams.
Fiction © Copyright Sonora Taylor
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Sonora Taylor:
Little Paranoias: Stories
Is it a knock on the door, or a gust of wind? A trick of the light, or someone who’ll see what you’ve done?
“Little Paranoias: Stories” features twenty tales of the little things that drive our deepest fears. It tells the stories of terror and sorrow, lust at the end of the world and death as an unwanted second chance. It dives into the darkest corners of the minds of men, women, and children. It wanders into the forest and touches every corner of the capital. Everyone has something to fear — but after all, it’s those little paranoias that drive our day-to-day.