The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
The moon had become entangled in the last remaining leaves of the oak outside her window. From Winnie’s viewpoint, it seemed as if it had truly become enmeshed, for as the night went on, it never moved.
Neither did the shadowed figure at the end of her table. It had come in as the last of her patrons were leaving, and didn’t look as if it was going anywhere.
“It’s closing time,” she said to the silent phantasm. “I don’t mind giving you something to eat, but I do have to get to my bed.”
The figure dipped its cloaked head.
Winnie brought out her best ale, first by the cup, and then by the jug. Everything she put in front of it disappeared. She brought fruit in a basket, bread from the pantry, chickens slaughtered fresh from the yard.
It continued to fill itself, hour by hour, but never moved.
After what seemed three nights, Winnie was out of food. Still the shadow sat, waiting.
“I have nothing left!” she exclaimed. “Please leave!”
The figure dipped its head toward her dog.
She wept as she butchered the little poodle, then laid the carcass before her silent patron.
Finally, it indicated, with a sweep of its hand, that she could clear the table.
Winnie gave a relieved sigh and stretched over to claim the dishes.
With lightning speed, the phantasm caught her arm.
The moon finally disentangled itself from the trees and moved on.
As morning finally broke, the villagers were awakened by the yapping of a small dog at Winnie’s tavern door. They shuffled over and saw the little poodle, and the chickens scratching in the yard—but no sign of Winnie.
When they opened the door, they found her body stretched over heaps of food and gallon jugs of ale, all of it untouched. Her arms and legs were missing, and her heart had been torn from her chest.
The villagers rejoiced and set to on the food that had been returned to Winnie’s table. They also feasted on the remains of the tavern keeper, relieved in the knowledge that the sacrifice had been accepted, and that they were all safe again.
Fiction © Copyright K.R. Morrison
Image courtesy of Rie Sheridan Rose.
More from Author K.R. Morrison:
Lydia’s faith in God is strong – at least on paper. But what happens when that faith is tested? Turned into a vampire by the worst – Vlad Drakul – she feels that God has abandoned her. But the opposite is true. God rescues her from a fate worse than death, and brings her into the plan He has for global redemption. With the help He sends, she feels like nothing can stop her. But when Vlad torments her again, and then her family, the temptation to run and hide is almost too strong to resist. Her answer to God’s call is the deciding factor in the battle that pits the angelic powers of God against the demonic powers of Hell.