The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Kendra Hale
The tea was always too hot, I remember hating that. I remember everything about those moments, others would flit away and fade away in the bin where those things would go in my mind, but those moments stayed. A stain upon my brain that I could never remove no matter how I longed to, no matter how many memories I jammed in to make my brain forget. That sickly smell of overheated floral tea and the pungent smell of the lemons. It always signaled a conversation that would lead me down into the dark recesses of my mind that I wanted nothing more than to forget and dispose of forever. Funny how our minds work, the happy memories can be pleasant and kind but the dark memories can rock our cores and demolish any work we may have done to repair… All it took was a single whiff of Jasmine.
The invitation down to the library was always something innocent and carefree. A gentle reminder of not having dined together in a while or not having spoken. It had been too long with words that caressed the air with enough longing to make a siren envious. The song was always to the same tune but the lyrics would change to suit the occasion or the need to lash out and feel the power that holding something over one did. In this case it was love. It was hope. It was always the same. But when the world tells you what it expects and places those shackles upon your body…it is not only hard to decline, nay, it is impossible.
One is left with an avenue of extreme measures, of ways out of the insane cycle. The beating of the heart pulsating must have been what so many have written of previously. That agonizing sound, the pulsing of blood. Flowing pure but fast, steady to the rhythm laid out in its own course. The one that was set before it, even amongst the twisting and intertwining of the veins. It always flowed…and tonight so would the tea. The difference would be the peace to my ears as the only breath would be mine own, the voices quieted by the hands that had been bound so long that freedom itself was a maddening lightness.
To move forth without the qualms, the cacophony of endless yelling down from the high pedestal. The Gods in their infinite wisdom had given freedom of choice and tonight…I had made mine. The Matron of this house, the siren whose voice had kept me bound to here with false hopes of love…was silent. That night her eyes were clouded over as I looked at her across the kettle. There were no lemons that night, though the honey coated my lips in a way I am sure hers once were. Before life had made her bitter and her anger at how life mistreated her had been torn free and with the preambles gone… free to lick at my flesh, each wound one that had never been free to close.
Her eyes, though clouded over, still held that bit of shock. I relish the memory of it as I sip my tea, heated correctly and now with the warm scent of cinnamon. She had never seen the blade coming, how could she when all she thought of me was less than dirt. Ah, but Mother dear, that is the folly that comes with power. Those so drunk on it refuse to see their failings and yours were so plentiful that it was a wonder you had not toppled off that tower sooner. I raise my cup in a final salute, this is the end of the line for you Mother, I am moving forward and the memories shall not remain.
I will smile as your ashes are spread to the four winds and I will no longer hear the siren’s call but the flutter of the wings of freedom.
Fiction © Copyright Kendra Hale
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from author Kendra Hale:
A Gothic Bite Magazine Anthology
A collection of poetry.