The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
The Cellar Under the Morgue
by Lori R. Lopez
“Is this where the bodies are buried?”
Delivered as a joke — in an uneasy manner.
The Patient stifled a laugh or scream.
“Where am I?” A nervous query.
The figure faced away, rigid yet serene.
Head slightly bowed. A statue or a Nurse?
The angel turned, pale as White Marble.
“Under the Morgue.” A distant reply.
“Is my surgery done?” Shaky, rising off
an unyielding surface, afraid to ask the outcome.
A meager gown did nothing for the chill.
He stumbled, feeling inept. “This is awkward.”
Baby steps. A gesture at curved molds
shaped like Grave Markers. Hollowed-out
Tombstones. Frames lacking substance.
No name or date; awaiting. “What are those?”
Intense, she granted a smile, the kind that
can mask unthinkable notions, the very worst
of plots. He marveled at perfect features.
“I drugged you.” As if spoken from afar.
Her broad stony orbs could have been ice.
A cool sculpted hand lifted to caress his cheek.
The contact, light, almost imagined, burned.
“Wheeled you here.” A quiet boast.
How it scorched! The truth. That touch.
His jaw sank. No sound emerged. His heart
thrashed. A fish on land. A fallen bird.
“My daddy tinkered.” Cryptic and faint.
The flopping subsided. His mouth gaped,
askew. Vocal Chords strained — rasping for
words, as fists uncurled bore garish prizes.
“You needed work.” Scarcely audible.
Ears embedded; occult symbols in each palm!
His thumbs were missing, removed, protruding
hornlike over temples. “No!” wailed a freak.
“Now you’re beautiful.” Too soft, exultant.
He sensed the digits without reaching —
sewn, fused in crazed symmetry. Outraged,
unsteady, glaring, he whirled to escape . . .
“My father’s workshop.” So dim her voice.
And viewed the steel slab beneath a lamp.
Medical devices. Scalpels, Forceps, a Bone Saw.
He raised his hands to either side of his face.
Loud and clear behind him: “Stay with me.”
The man could hear through his palms, beside
his mug. Turning back, he noticed she too was
marred. One of her eyes blinked on her hand.
She lowered it. “Aren’t we wonderful?”
He beheld a scar, flesh rough, sealed to hide
an empty socket. And felt ashamed of staring,
of treating her features as deformed. Ugly!
“We’re both unique.” He offered an open hand.
Their fingers locked. She chattered, beaming.
“We only bury the mistakes. I knew you’d be
the one! My poppa made you just for me.”
Her beau drew her near. “The perfect pair.”
He chose to ignore a field of Headstones
in a corner of the earthen cellar floor. Love
is blind. At last he found his match . . .
Simultaneously cured of being all thumbs.
Fiction © Copyright Lori R. Lopez
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Lori R. Lopez:
Darkverse: The Shadow Hours
A rich gathering of poetry with a dismal twilight atmosphere, a brooding nature, an eerie tone . . . DARKVERSE: THE SHADOW HOURS encompasses such pieces written by Lori R. Lopez between 2009 and 2017, collected in three of her POETIC REFLECTIONS volumes along with humorous and serious verse. This ample compendium allows a more focused reading experience and mood — presenting poems that share speculative themes, flashes of horror, glimpses of madness.
Lori is the author of THE DARK MISTER SNARK, THE STRANGE TAIL OF ODDZILLA, LEERY LANE, MONSTROSITIES, AN ILL WIND BLOWS, and THE FAIRY FLY among other tales. She has been called a storyteller, whether composing verse or prose.
The aim of her Darkverse series is to offer a chilling trek through unlit stretches where all manner of creeps and kooks may lurk; where graveyards and bogs and full-moons abound. The pages of The Shadow Hours illuminate those morbid uncanny perils and dreads that inhabit drab corners, the known and unknown terrors of the night. Vivid and distinct, her voice echoes our worst fears then delves beyond, exposing hitherto unimaginable frights.
Prepare to confront a motley array of ghouls and menaces that might just move under your bed.
DARKVERSE: THE SHADOW HOURS is an Elgin Award Nominee and a 2018 Kindle Book Awards Poetry Finalist. Look for an Illustrated Print Edition with quirky art by the author.
Please don’t forget to visit the other WiHM 12 projects taking place!