The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
The Games We Played
by Suzanne Madron
It wasn’t until years later that they found the bodies. For decades, we had played in and around the area we were forbidden to approach, as the young and inexperienced so often do. If we had heeded the warnings, perhaps things might have turned out differently, or perhaps not. It is all, as the saying goes, spilled milk.
The visits from the monsters were few and far between, many of the stories of their appearances were the stuff of nightmares and imagination alone. We didn’t think they would follow us from the stories and into the tunnels, that they would blot out the light as we ran from their reaching arms.
We didn’t think we could kill one of them, much less three of them. The adults in our community were horrified and we fled from our homes. We hid.
It was only after we had grown that we understood what we had done. By then, of course, it was far too late.
More monsters came, once again chasing us into the tunnels as we fled. We once again groped our way blindly through the darkness, around corners and through the stinking waist-deep muck water we knew so well. Our footfalls and laughter echoed around us like old friends in the tunnels. Once again, we managed to survive while one of their numbers did not. The game was played as it had been played before.
This time, however, the monsters brought light with them instead of fire that could be doused by our water. It was in the beam of this light of revelation that we saw our own features staring back at us, eyes wide with horror and worst of all, realization. It was the same realization reflected in our own eyes that were the exact shade of blue sky and murky water as the dead man’s. The same shade of stormy blue of the eyes of the deformed child peeking from behind the man’s bulk.
To us, the discarded, we saw only a new sibling.
Fiction © Copyright Suzanne Madron
Image courtesy of Rie Sheridan Rose.
More from Suzanne Madron:
The house across the street seems to go on the market every few months, but this time nothing about the sale is normal, including the new owners. No sooner has the for sale sign come down and the neighborhood is thrown into a Lovecraftian nightmare and the only way to find out is to attend the house warming party.