The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
Hand in Hand
by Stephanie Ayers
Bella looked at the picture behind the bar. The lone ballet slipper, the single lace glove, and the strand of pearls reminded her of her sister. Fresh tears slipped out, and her heart began aching anew. She looked at the glass of steaming tea in her hand. The bokeh lights faded in the background as she raised it for a refill. The fingers of her other hand toyed with two small red capsules resting within her palm. It had taken her a couple of days to secure them. “Pain Killers” was the street name for them, and promises of numbness flowed behind every sale. She had wanted more, but they refused to sell more than two at a time. The rules were explained during purchase– do not mix with alcohol; do not take the open the capsules; do not take more than one at a time. The penalty for rule breaking could result in death. She understood.
Bella stopped toying with them and placed them on the white cocktail napkin beside her refilled glass of wine. She swatted at the tears wetting her face and looked at the picture once more before closing her eyes. Her twin sister, Mirielle, danced in Bella’s memories, a smile on her unblemished face, and laughter spilled from her lips. They spun together in a circle, faster and faster until their hands slipped from each other’s grip, and they fell, laughing, to the green carpet of grass beneath their feet.
“What are you waiting for?” Mirielle said, her face once again twelve, the best year of their lives. Childish laughter echoed between the trees that surrounded them.
Bella smiled. Life had never been the same since Mirielle died. She opened one capsule and poured the contents into her glass. She could feel a lightness taking over her body, filling her soul with peace. She split the second capsule open and dumped its contents into the glass. She refused to let her thoughts wander, choosing, instead, to let Mirielle fill them. She sighed then drank from the glass, emptying it in four gulps.
As her eyes closed, Mirielle reached out to her. Hand-in-hand they started walking toward the edge of the tree line.
“Born hand in hand, died hand in hand.” She said with her last breath. “Maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to be.”
Fiction © Copyright Stephanie Ayers
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from author Stephanie Ayers:
The 13: Tales of Macabre
Can you survive all 12?
Killer watermelons, murderous jewelry boxes, centenarian sea whisperers, creatures of myth/legend, and more…
This supernatural story collection will make you reconsider everything you thought you knew. At night you’ll hover under your covers while looking over your shoulder in the day. Down, down in the depths they fell; bodies in the dark of a liquid hell. Can you survive all 12?
This is the second collection in The 13 series. Will you survive all 13?
With forward by JM Ames and poetry by Stacy Overby.