The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Michelle Joy Gallagher
Mia poured hot water from the kettle into her favorite mug like she’d done thousands of times before. This time was special, because it was for her supposed master. She’d flung the oleander seeds playfully into the hot water right in front of him. He didn’t know what they were.
She’d been taking some courses on self help to rid herself of bad memories and a broken sense of worth. She could see on day one the leader was a hack but continued out of morbid curiosity. She’d always wanted to observe a malignant narcissist up close.
The introductory courses had been softball stuff. Fluffy feel good shit to convince you the system worked. 3 months in, she was given the “secret” system. The curtain was drawn back, and she saw what she had intuited about the system was right. It was built only to subdue and drain them, all in service to him.
Being a observer was fine but they started to demand action. Then the master demanded private time where conversations rambled to nowhere. He insisted she was “so beautiful” and he was “a big fan” of what she did, which was provide a small news publication with the occasional op-ed piece. He said she distracted him from his duties and it would be better if she personally assisted him. She flinched. As worldly as she was the words felt good. She knew from the ones who escaped, that his definition of “assistance” became more and more personal and depraved.
Her first show of faith was this ceremony. He sat on the floor crosslegged, trying on his best enlightened pose. He sipped the tea slowly.
He had felt resistance from her and was suspicious she was going to leave, but now a sense of relief spilled over him. Some of the others left in the night about 3 weeks back and contacted the police. Nothing had come of it though, why would anyone believe them?
Suddenly, his vision fogged then blackened, and he felt the contents of his stomach rising into his throat.
“I’ve learned a lot from you after all.” She said as he collapsed, lifeless.
Fiction © Copyright Michelle Joy Gallagher
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from author Michelle Joy Gallagher:
This collection of twelve stories and artwork by women is truly a collection of the macabre. Make a reservation for terror and get ready to delve into the deepest, darkest fears of some of the best writers and artists in the fiction game. Leah McNaughton Lederman has collected an anthology of the truly strange… a tome of the weird. Take a seat and order a cup, you’re dining at Café Macabre!