The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Scarlett R. Algee
It’s partially overgrown; the roof gapes in spots, splintered timbers sagging inward. Ivy swarms the brick, engulfing the edge of the warped wooden door with a leafy green maw.
It had looked so different when I was six, gleaming and splendid, the path from the street up to the door lined with roses, the lintel angelically white. Tim had been three then, my brother’s hand gripped firmly in mine until the door had swept open and he’d ripped away to run in—
—and the walls inside, oh God, the walls were so wrong, golden and odd-angled and flecked with beads of blood; and as I’d torn from room to opulent room, screaming for Tim, searching in closets and under furniture because I knew I’d be in so much trouble, the floor had shifted and swayed beneath my feet until I’d realized the house was breathing—
—and I’d come out, with red splotches on my yellow coat, but Tim had not.
Twenty years later, that house is still here. That door is still open.
And now, there are lights on inside.
I stare for a long, long minute before I zip up my jacket and crunch across the lawn.
I’m going back in, and this time I’ll find my brother.
Fiction © Copyright Scarlett R. Algee
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from author Scarlett R. Algee:
The Lift: Nine Stories of Transformation, Volume One
The hall is dark and the overhead light flickers. Sounds echo, and there’s a creaking and clanging that gets louder as you stand in the semi-dark. The elevator opens and you’re offered a ride. Step inside and ride it to the story chosen for your transformation. Don’t be afraid, for Victoria, the mysterious girl who operates The Lift, waits to guide you. Set in the same world as the award nominated audio drama, The Lift’s first written anthology features nine all new stories by fan favorite writers and special bonus content by creators Daniel Foytik and Cynthia Lowman. The collection is brought to life with beautiful illustrations by Jeanette Andromeda for each story.
Well done, particularly the ending with no cliches! Always ending a dark story with some drooling monster/boogie man bursting out of the shadows and eating/slicing/mangling. a narrator or protagonist is so old hat. I’d rather it left to my imagination.
Nice – so much said and unsaid in this little jewel – great use of the prompt.
Fantastic, I loved it.