The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Elaine Pascale
Lift the unwounded knee. Push it forward. Drag the other leg to meet it…
This was how I talked my way through the biting snow, instructing myself to crawl with the half of my body that still worked.
I was leaving a crimson trail. It would be easy for the Winter Witch to find me. I knew she was simply toying with me. I was a mouse trapped between her cat-like claws.
Lift the unwounded knee. Push it forward. Drag the other…
The light from the chapel window has shifted from impossibly far away to within reach. It is my only hope.
Lift the unwounded knee. Push it forward. Drag…
Hot air blows over me. It is painful on my frozen skin. The Winter Witch is playing with me: a simple mouse who has already tasted her razor-sharp claws.
The chapel is closer. It smells like lavender and honeysuckle. My mouth waters just as if I were a starving child stumbling upon a gingerbread cottage in the woods.
Lift the unwounded knee. Push it….
Without looking, I know the ice has trapped some of my skin. I am leaving it behind; I want to leave it all behind. I have survived the receiving end of the Winter Witch’s talons. I can survive this last mile, last yard, last foot of unforgiving snow.
The light is a beacon in more ways than one. It sings of safety and of a balm for my wounds. I believe I know what sanctuary will taste like.
Lift the unwounded knee…
A stabbing shriek ruptures my ears. The Winter Witch is having fun, forcing her auditory fingers into my raw and bleeding orifices. Somehow, I manage to focus on the light.
I am so close. Close enough to know that I am being helped along and that my callow crawling did not give birth to this progress. Close enough to see that it is not a light: it is a fire meant to roast me. The Winter Witch has finished her games; she has no more use for her claws.
She wants to use her teeth.
Fiction © Copyright Elaine Pascale
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Elaine Pascale:
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Jezzie reaches out to former lover Lou Collins, a scholar who has chased proof of the lights for decades. Will he be able to solve the mystery of the lights in time?
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