The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Sonora Taylor
Michaela hoped the woods would clear her head. Thoughts buzzed in swarms through the angry hive of her anxious mind. Slights both real and imagined, dangers entirely imagined, all of it tried to bog her down. She couldn’t take it anymore, and her morning hike seemed to do nothing but add tripping or being smashed by a tree to her worrying.
She approached a clearing and saw a small waterfall pouring into a lake. The rushing water drowned out the noise in her head, and she felt a fleeting sense of peace. As the sound pulsed in her ears, she felt a strong desire to drink from the rapids. She ran towards the waterfall and cupped her hands beneath it.
Michaela heard nothing but rapids, and tasted nothing but water as she quenched her thirst. Her thoughts quieted and her head felt light.
She opened her eyes. Brackish water flowed through her fingers and palms. Michaela screamed, then gurgled through a gush that surged out of her mouth. More of the brackish water fell over her hands and into the stream.
One by one her worries faded. She lost a sense of danger, fear, familiarity. Tears fell from her eyes and left muddy streaks that pooled in the corners of her mouth. She didn’t know what to call the muck that flowed from her eyes and her mouth. She didn’t know what to call the space she was in. She didn’t know what to call herself.
Michaela collapsed into the lake, where polluted rivulets surrounded her body. Water flowed from her eyes and her mouth, pouring eternally into the lake, even after she herself turned to moss.
Fiction © Copyright Sonora Tayor
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Sonora Taylor:
Abby Gillman has discovered that with growing up, there comes a lot of blood. But nothing prepares her for the trail of blood she sees in the hallway after class – or the ghost she finds crammed inside an abandoned locker.
No one believes Abby, of course. She’s only seeing things. As much as Abby wants to be believed, what she wants more is to know why she can suddenly see the dead. Unfortunately, they won’t tell her. In fact, none of them will speak to her. At all.
Abby leaves for her annual summer visit to her uncle’s house with tons of questions. The visit will give her answers the ghosts won’t – but she may not like what she finds out.