The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Rie Sheridan Rose
“I don’ wanna go in there!” Benny whined—he was always whining about something, but Mama made me watch him after school.
“C’mon…it’ll be fun,” I coaxed. I’d heard a story, and I wanted to see if it was true. “If you come in with me, I’ll give you a dollar.”
He might be a whiny baby, but he wasn’t no dummy.
“Okay, five. We’ll just pop in for a minute and pop back out. Promise.”
I don’t think he believed me, but his allowance was fifty cents a week, so he was willing to give me the benefit of the doubt.
I shone my flashlight down the throat of the cave. It wasn’t very big, but it was very dark, and more than a little creepy. Benny had my free hand in a death-grip, and it kinda hurt, but I let him get away with it this time.
The floor of the cave was sandy, and I could hear water dripping somewhere near by. Aside from the little cone of light the flashlight projected it was pitch black once we got about ten feet past the entryway.
“Do we haveta go further, Chris?” Benny whispered, his voice shaking.
“Just a little further,” I promised.
The flashlight suddenly illuminated a formation at the rear of the cave. It looked like wet rock hanging in tendrils and ridges.
I gulped. This was what I had come to see. The stories weren’t wrong. It looked like an alien creature crouching there in the shadows.
“I offer you flesh of my flesh!” I cried out.
Benny jerked at my hand, trying to pull away. “W-what are you doin’, Chris?”
“I offer you this sacrifice!” I shove Benny toward the rock formation.
It stirred to life, tendrils waving as it felt for Benny in the darkness.
“Do you think I’d waste five dollars on you?”
The sounds that followed me out of that cave still haunt me today…but I can live with it. I even promised to show Mom and Dad where I saw Benny last. They’re still looking for him—so why not reunite them? After all, I am good at taking care of myself.
Fiction © Copyright Rie Sheridan Rose
Image courtesy of Rie Sheridan Rose
Overheard in Hell:
Poems exploring hell and damnation. Tales of sorrow, vengeance, betrayal, and redemption. Ghosts, ghouls, and demons stalk these pages. Don’t read in a lonely house…in a darkened room by a single candle…
…unless you like the touch of an icy finger up your spine.