The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
Still of Winter
by Melissa R. Mendelson
“Thank you for picking me up. It’s freezing outside.” The middle-aged woman did not respond but gave a short nod. “I should have checked the battery, but I didn’t.” Again, no response. “Interesting necklace,” and I reached for the weirdly shaped necklace dangling from the rearview mirror.
“Don’t touch,” and the tone of her voice made my hand snap back.
“I’m sorry.” I blew into my hands, trying to warm them up. “You driving into town?”
“Yes,” she replied, and her voice sounded different. She glanced at me and pressed her lips together. “I am,” and she continued to drive.
“Well, again, thank you for picking me up.” I got the sense that she was in no mood for conversation, but the car was cold and quiet. Even the radio couldn’t break the uncomfortable silence. “It’s coming down pretty good.”
“It’s February,” she replied.
I sat back in my seat, watching the snow fall. I blew into my hands again. My fingers twitched. My feet were numb. If I wanted to run, I wouldn’t get too far, but why would I think that? She seemed harmless enough, focused on the road, and I shouldn’t have been out in this weather. But I was. My car was left dead on the side of the road.
I looked out the passenger-side window. I saw a girl dancing in the snow. Must be my imagination, but she danced as we drove, never disappearing from my sight. She looked at me, and an ice pick plunged through my heart. She opened her mouth to say something, but she didn’t have any teeth. She pointed at the necklace, and the woman beside me snapped her fingers. The girl burst into flames. She barely made a sound as she burned, but she still pointed at the necklace.
“Damn it,” she hissed as a deer dove out in front of the car.
I don’t know why I did it, but I grabbed the necklace. I pulled it from the rearview mirror and jumped out of the car. I ran as fast as I could away from that woman, clutching the necklace in my hand. The necklace was ice cold and felt familiar. I looked down at it and realized that it was made from teeth, and I thought of that girl. I thought of how she burned, and I reached into my pocket, pulling out a lighter. I set the necklace on fire and dropped it into the snow.
As the necklace came apart, burning a hot white, I felt something on my cheek. I thought it was snow, and I wiped it away. My hand was red, and something ran down my chin. My mouth felt hot. I exhaled steam out into the air, chased by a red river, and I reached into my mouth. My teeth were melting, and my fingers met vacant spaces. I spun around, and the middle-aged woman was behind me, laughing. She had no teeth. The smell of death poured out of her hideous cavern and over me, and I fell to my knees. I watched her pick up my teeth from the snow.
“I’ll have to start again,” she said. “Maybe, I’ll make a bracelet this time.”
The woman turned away from me, and I tried to scream. My mouth was sealed tight. Snowflakes floated around me, making me dizzy with their patterns. I felt myself moving, and I was. I was dancing in the snow, in a dark, cold, cramped space, chasing after the car as she searched for her next prey.
Fiction © Copyright Melissa R. Mendelson
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Melissa R. Mendelson:
I got a one-way ticket out of hell. All I need to do is drive across country with a body in the trunk and run miscellaneous errands, but a lot of those errands come with a heavy price. And if I lose the body in the trunk, then I have to go back, and I’ll be damned if I return down there. I will fight to stay here, even if there is no rest for those wicked.
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