The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Elaine Pascale
“Remember this?” He pulled the album from the box and held it up for them both to see. “The 80s were so weird.”
“That was the first one with a ‘Tipper Sticker’,” she tried to remember what had been so offensive about it. But offensive was as bound to time and place as any other concept.
He lowered his voice, “Playing it backward would make a demon appear.”
She laughed. “Right.”
“Seriously. That is what happened to them. To the band.”
She rolled her eyes. “They died because their cocaine was poisoned with strychnine or something.”
“Where do you get your information? They were torn apart, long slashes on each of their bodies. Strychnine doesn’t do that.”
He dug in his pocket for some money while she typed into her phone. She turned the screen toward him. “Google says ‘poison’.”
“You really think they would publish stories about honest-to-God demons?”
She laughed again. It wasn’t that he was overly funny, she just laughed a lot. “There is nothing honest about it.”
“I am getting it.”
“We don’t have a record player.”
“Doesn’t matter. It’s a relic. When archeologists uncover our apartment from beneath the meteorite that will crush us, I want them to find this psychedelic cover.”
By the time they got home, he had turned the album over and over in his hands dozens of times. Each time he had a new idea about the Escher-meets-arachnid architecture. “That would be what a demon’s lair looks like, right?”
“I guess.” She tilted her head. “Looks like a demented fan with warped blades.”
He nodded appreciatively. “That might be what got to the band: warped blades.”
She laughed and began to make lunch as he pulled the vinyl from the cover.
“Watch this.” He spun the record clockwise on his finger while humming the theme song of the Harlem Globe Trotters.
She laughed again.
He began to spin it counterclockwise. Then he put his fingernail into a grove. “Bet I can make it play if I spin fast enough.”
High decibel screeching came from the album.
“If that doesn’t call a demon, I don’t know what would.” It was his turn to laugh.
But she had stopped laughing. Her glowing, red eyes were focused on the knife she had been using to saw through the hardened loaf of bread. Her hands felt far away and as if someone else were now in control of them. A part of her was at war to keep the knife on the bread.
As the album continued to shriek, she lost the battle.
Fiction © Copyright Elaine Pascale
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
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