The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Michelle Joy Gallagher
How long had she been sitting there with infinity in her hands? How long had the warm glow from the lamp spilled upon the ancient pages? Lacie was tied there with the books like Sisyphus to his stone. She was resentful of her burden but found hidden joys in it. She caressed the words that lined the top of the first page of the new volume lovingly. She mouthed them slowly, afraid to make much sound, knowing that last time she paid dearly.
“What on earth wore misery better than a human being?”
The side of her mouth curled into a sad smile.
She thought about how sad they’d been, how much they’d suffered in the epochs that unraveled after what her jailers had simply labeled “The Mistake.”
Here outside of time, she was paying penance for the small part she had in it, which was almost nothing at all.
She’d borne witness sure, but so had others. And The Tamer was the one truly at fault. Had he only been a second sooner, gravity might not had won.
Lacie thought gravity always won. The odds were stacked.
She’d poured over thousands of volumes, absorbing all she read and experiencing it as she did.
Every life ever lived. Every death. Every single event set into motion from the moment they’d seen the coalesce turn into collapse and then explosion.
How many untold volumes did she have left? She was unsure, but they would uphold the sentence and would not allow her to expire before it was seen through.
The Overseers did not know a lot about the emotions of living beings, how taxing they could be. How horrifying.
“Joy.” She thought. “They don’t know about joy.”
And they didn’t. Or how it was sweet and warm.
She turned the page.
“Its worth it for joy.”
Fiction © Copyright Michelle Joy Gallagher
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from author Michelle Joy Gallagher:
Blackhawk: Volume 2
Welcome to Blackhawk, Colorado. Blackhawk has always been strange. Natural disasters. Disappearances. Murders. High strangeness is a part of daily life. We can’t hope to explain it, but we can chronicle its past. Learn from it. Fear it. Blackhawk is an experimental fiction series set in a shared universe, written by a variety of talented authors. It is the brainchild of David M Brown (Plague Doctor, Modern Animals) and Carl D Smith (Moleb the Giant, Darkness Out of Carthage). Each story will contribute to an organic, evolving mythology as diverse as the voices behind its tales. For fans of True Detective, Lost Highway, Twilight Zone, and The Terror. This is Volume Two of the series and contains five stories by five different authors, each in tune with the specific strangeness Blackhawk has to offer. NOTE: For fans of Lake Lord Publishing’s prior horror titles, be warned that Blackhawk will contain content that is perhaps more disturbing and mature.