The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Terrie Leigh Relf
I don’t recall how long I’d lived alone in Gramma’s old house when I first began to notice items weren’t in their place. First it was a cup and saucer I left in the living room that reappeared in the kitchen drainer. Then, it was a book of T.S. Eliot poems on my nightstand when I’d been reading Proust for weeks on end. After several more incidences, I just chalked it up to a combination of sleep deprivation and my imagination.
One night, when I went into the study to write in my journal, the writing desk’s lampshade was a bit wobbly. Fortunately, all it needed was a screw, so I replaced it with an old one from Gramma’s kitchen junk drawer. The next morning, however, it was tilted again. Odd. The screw had apparently come out, and was resting on the desk blotter. With a sigh, I replaced it again, tightening it a bit more than required.
During the day, I busied myself with a bit of cleaning, along with a trip to town for groceries. That evening, when I sat down at the desk to read a collection of Henry James’ short stories, the book opened to “The Turning of the Screw.” Another odd coincidence.
An evening or two later when I reached to turn off the lamp, the screw was removed right before my eyes.
“Gramma, is that you?” I called out, longing for a reply. While the business with the screw was a bit unnerving, if Gramma really were to visit me in spirit, I expected a more meaningful sort of sign. I just left the shade as it was.
The next morning when I went into the study to look for my glasses, the lampshade was perfectly centered on the lamp. That was it . . .
“Gramma?” I whispered, as chills ran up and down my spine.
It took you a while, lovey, she replied in my mind as her smiling face and elegant form coalesced before me.
Fiction © Copyright Terrie Leigh Relf
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from author Terrie Leigh Relf:
For thousands of Earth years, the Transgalactic Consortium has had a quiet interest in this planet and its inhabitants, the Haurans. While the Sisterhood of the Blood Moon works together with the Consortium and Haurans to maintain balance in the universe, the Blood Moon is fast approaching. The power of this moon reveals untold secrets . . . including a sacred covenant with the Mora Spiders. There is an ancient pact that needs to be honored—but at what cost and for whose purpose? The world may come to an end. But will there be a chance for a new beginning?