The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Naching T. Kassa
They called him “Scratch” and he moved through the world like a wolf among sheep. His eyes, shaded against the yellow glare of the sky, scanned the highway for prey. The vintage Harley, a machine of pure heavy metal, hummed beneath him as he traversed the blacktop. It roared passed the rest stop, garnering a few nervous stares from the family inside the Winnebago. Scratch grinned. What would they say if he pulled up beside them? Would they admire the smear of crimson which marred the Harley’s finish? What would they think of the faded swastika he’d hand-tattooed on his right hand? If he smiled, would they shit their pants? He considered stopping, but the sight of the mother put him off. She wasn’t his type at all. A woman of advancing years with lank blonde hair, jowls, and frightened eyes. It’d be easy to tempt her away from her mouse-like husband. Too easy. She might even enjoy what he did to her.
He traveled on.
The next car he saw appeared two hours later. It rippled out of the heated air like a ghost.
A dark figure sat behind the wheel of the silver Vette.
The bumper bore signs of a feminine occupant. A sticker with the legend, ALWAYS A LADY and another with a pink dreamcatcher, piqued Scratch’s interest. He followed.
Twenty miles passed beneath their wheels. Several times he tried to get a look at the driver, but every time he did, the car sped up. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t get along side. At one point, they’d been traveling at well over a hundred miles an hour when a semi had come along in the other lane. It’d forced him back behind the Vette and he’d almost collided with the car’s bumper. He’d quickly regained control, and when he glanced up, glimpsed a feminine gaze in the rearview mirror. A blue eye winked at him and then the car had streaked ahead. It vanished over the next rise.
When Scratch reached the spot, he found the highway ahead empty. A plume of dust from a nearby dirt road, indicated the direction the car had taken. Scratch turned off the highway.
Several tall cacti stood sentinel along the road. Their dark shadows cooled the thick air.
He found the Vette parked off to the side a few minutes later. He brought the Harley to a halt behind the car. There was no sign of the driver. Scratch flipped the kickstand down and stepped off the bike. He hiked up his jeans. When he looked up, he found two beautiful legs hanging out the driver’s side window. The driver wore white canvas shoes with broad laces.
The gravel crunched beneath his feet as he approached. When he reached the window, he found a young brunette reclining across the front seat. She wore a red blouse and black capris.
“You’re new to the desert, aren’t you?” she said.
Scratch didn’t answer. He removed her left shoe.
No light of panic shone in her eyes as he removed the right. Her eyes didn’t widen in shock or fear as he pulled the knife.
“Watch out,” she whispered. “I sting.”
He jerked the car door open. Her bare feet fell to the sand. When they touched the earth, something strange happened. Her feet fused together. Her legs followed.
Terror bloomed in Scratch’s mind as her legs became a giant tail. A strange venomous spike grew from the end of it.
Before he could move, she whipped the tail up between his legs. Agony pulsed through him as the spike pierced the spot between his shoulder blades. He wanted to scream but could only manage a small groan.
Fire flowed through his veins as the woman lifted him off his feet and into the air. His limbs, now paralyzed with venom, had undergone another change. To his horror, he watched them grow limp as though the bones had liquified beneath his skin.
The woman pulled the boots from his feet, then bit the toe off his right foot and spat it into the sand. Her eyes, once so enticing, had gone black and dead.
“Told you I sting,” she whispered.
Fiction © Copyright Naching T. Kassa
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Naching T. Kassa:
Crystal Lake Publishing proudly presents Arterial Bloom, an artful juxtaposition of the magnificence and macabre that exist within mankind. Each tale in this collection is resplendent with beauty, teeth, and heart.
Edited by the Bram Stoker Award-winning writer Mercedes M. Yardley, Arterial Bloom is a literary experience featuring sixteen stories from some of the most compelling dark authors writing today.
With a foreword by HWA Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient Linda D. Addison, you are invited to step inside and let the grim flowers wind themselves comfortably around your bones.