The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
To Protect a Child
by Sheri White
The little girl stumbled through the woods, a bloody bandage covering her eyes. She held her arms out in front of her, her hands smacking trees and pushing aside thorny bushes.
“Help! Help me! Please!” The little girl screamed, terror plain in her voice. “They’re going to get me!”
In the distance behind her, yells and whoops grew louder.
“You won’t get far, Lissa!” taunted a teenage boy. “Not with those bloody eyes!”
Loud laughter followed.
“Leave me alone!” Lissa stumbled and fell into a pile of dead leaves.
The group of boys, ranging in ages from 10 to 16, surrounded her. All of them carried a weapon, either a knife or baseball bat.
Lissa screamed again, pleading for her life.
“Hey! You boys!” A man ran towards the group. “Leave that little girl alone!”
A few other adults ran with him.
The little girl stood up, her bloody bandage now in her hand. She watched her rescuers approach the group.
“GO NOW!” she screamed.
The boys took off towards the adults, catching them off-guard. Startled, they tried to run away, but the boys easily caught them. With their knives and bats, the teens beat and stabbed them until torrents of blood soaked into the dirt and leaves.
Lissa and the boys started to walk back to their camp.
“Bobby?” Lissa asked.
The tallest boy looked down at her. “What is it, sis?”
“Why do so many fall for that? Make it so easy for us?”
Bobby shrugged. “I guess some of them used to be parents and just act on instinct to protect a child in danger. Some will give up and go into hiding. The ones who are unfortunate enough to still have empathy—they’ll always be easy prey.”
Lissa held her brother’s hand and they disappeared into the dark woods.
Fiction © Copyright Sheri White
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Author Sheri White:
Don’t Turn Out the Lights: A Tribute to Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Featuring stories from R.L. Stine and Madeleine Roux, this middle grade horror anthology, curated by New York Times bestselling author and master of macabre Jonathan Maberry, is a chilling tribute to Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.
Flesh-hungry ogres? Brains full of spiders? Haunted houses you can’t escape? This collection of 35 terrifying stories from the Horror Writers Association has it all, including ghastly illustrations from Iris Compiet that will absolutely chill readers to the bone.
So turn off your lamps, click on your flashlights, and prepare—if you dare—to be utterly spooked!
The complete list of writers: Linda D. Addison, Courtney Alameda, Jonathan Auxier, Gary A. Braunbeck, Z Brewer, Aric Cushing, John Dixon, Tananarive Due, Jamie Ford, Kami Garcia, Christopher Golden, Tonya Hurley, Catherine Jordan, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Alethea Kontis, N.R. Lambert, Laurent Linn, Amy Lukavics, Barry Lyga, D.J. MacHale, Josh Malerman, James A. Moore, Michael Northrop, Micol Ostow, Joanna Parypinksi, Brendan Reichs, Madeleine Roux, R.L. Stine, Margaret Stohl, Gaby Triana, Luis Alberto Urrea, Rosario Urrea, Kim Ventrella, Sheri White, T.J. Wooldridge, Brenna Yovanoff
Please don’t forget to visit the other WiHM 12 projects taking place!