Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author R.A. Clarke @RAClarkeWrites @Darc_Nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

by R.A. Clarke

Janna’s Journal Day 1:
I arrived today. Pharmantis set me up in a private room with a soft, warm bed and three gourmet meals a day—a huge step up from the shelter. 
They promised I’d be beautiful again. That the burns covering my body, and the crash that caused them, would become worries of the past. My hair might even regrow.
I know there are risks… untested drugs and all that. But more than anything, I want my life back. To feel normal. To walk in public without staring or laughter. I have nothing to lose. 
I still can’t believe I got selected!
Every participant in the trial (30 of us) has to wear tiny monitors and report daily to the testing lab for skin cream application. Pretty straight forward.
Day 2:
It’s odd not having any windows. I mean, I get why—no outside access equals no leaked information. But it’s still weird. 
The cream tingles, but no allergic reactions. So far, so good.
Dare I hope?
Day 5
Holy shit, it’s a miracle! My scars are gone—like, GONE! They just sloughed off like snakeskin. I can’t stop staring in the mirror. 
Pharmantis says full treatment is required to ensure lasting results.
Fine by me!
Day 10:
Something’s not right. My skin looks pale, almost grey, and I’m exhausted. No! 
The Pharmantis doctors assure me these side effects will dissipate after full treatment. 
I’m trusting they know what they’re doing.
Feeling uneasy. 
Day 12:
Pain meds are useless. I’ve had a pounding headache for two days and I’m too nauseous to eat.
What’s worse, my skin looks darker every day, and the doctors keep saying it’s all part of the process. Seriously?
They won’t even let me make a phone call!
This is so messed up. I’m walking.
Day 13:
WTF! I tried to leave, but Pharmantis said, “The trials are going as planned. As per contract, you can’t revoke consent unless something goes wrong.” I lost my shit. 
I kicked and screamed as they held me down to apply the cream.
Day 14:
They’re watching us all very closely now, limiting participant contact.
But we’ve got a plan.
Day 16:
Today we revolted, storming the doors. It was a solid attack, but it’s like Pharmantis knew. They used stun guns, and now we’re all confined to our rooms.
This headache is making my eyes bulge. I swear my limbs are elongating, there are two nubs forming on my back, and… I’m growing a tail!
What am I becoming?
I’m freaking out.
Day 18:
Everything hurts so bad. All I feel is rage. They had to sedate me to apply the cream.
Memories keep fading. I can’t remember where I grew up. 
These “drugs” are messing with my head.
Day 20:
My fingers fused overnight. I planned to use these new pincer-like appendages to my advantage—but Pharmantis is always one step ahead. They fired a tranq dart through the slot in the door. 
I feel so helpless…
Day 22:
My eyes popped out, finally. They’re huge and turning black like my skin, but at least this horrendous headache is fading.
I worry I’m running out of time. Unwanted thoughts keep sneaking in… horrible thoughts.
I need to escape… before it’s too late.
Day 23:
Today I smashed the mirror, stabbing broken shards into my wrists. I’d rather die than become a monster. But my skin was too tough—hard, like a shell. I don’t know what to do anymore.
Sometimes I don’t know who I am.
I have so little energy.  
Day 24:
A plateful of grasshoppers slid under my door this morning. They looked disgusting… yet, hunger gripped me for the first time in weeks. 
I couldn’t help myself… 
They tasted so good.
Day 25:
Wow, I slept all day—must’ve needed it. I feel refreshed, yet also confused. Why are the first 23 pages of my journal missing? Why can’t I remember what I wrote?
And, where am I?
Day 26:
All this food has given me strength. I feel amazing—powerful. Yet still so hungry. I crave the taste of something bigger. Something I can hunt. 
My caretakers promise that all my questions will be answered soon.
I have this bizarre feeling I should hate them, yet I can’t imagine why… 
Day 27:
My wings finally sprouted! They’re so gorgeous, I actually cried. The creators even gave me a special name to celebrate: Butterfly.
They think I’m beautiful.
Day 28: 
Today, I met 29 others just like me. My family. I’m not alone anymore. 
The creators say our insectile DNA makes us special—superior warriors. 
My stomach growls as they explain our sacred duty.
Let the cleansing begin.
Fiction © Copyright R,A. Clarke
Image courtesy of 


About author R.A. Clarke:

bobThe Big Ol’ Bike
Oliver is small, from footprint to glasses. He gets an old bike for his birthday and loves it, but not everyone does. Challenged to a race by the meanest bully in school, will Oliver be big enough to prove heroes come in all sizes?

Get your copy here!


About Nina D'Arcangela

Nina D’Arcangela is a quirky horror writer who likes to spin soul rending snippets of despair. She reads anything from splatter matter to dark matter. She's an UrbEx adventurer who suffers from unquenchable wanderlust. She loves to photograph abandoned places, bits of decay and old grave yards. Nina is a co-owner of Sirens Call Publications, a co-founder of the horror writer's group 'Pen of the Damned', founder and administrator of the Ladies of Horror Picture-prompt Monthly Writing Challenge, and if that isn't enough, put a check mark in the box next to owner and resident nut-job of Dark Angel Photography.
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3 Responses to Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author R.A. Clarke @RAClarkeWrites @Darc_Nina #LoH #fiction

  1. I love this piece – the journal format is so clever and I found myself willing her not to be so naive, to find a way out – to no avail. Great interpretation of the prompt.

  2. afstewart says:

    A most creepy and chilling story.

  3. Marge Simon says:

    Yet another well paced plot and — well, the reader knows the end will be something like this, but you make it upbeat (even though, of course, it’s horrific). Really good one, R.A. Clarke!

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