The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Rie Sheridan Rose
Sarah looked around the huge empty room, her knapsack clutched tightly to her chest. The little canvas bag contained everything she possessed in the world.
“What is this place?” she whispered, afraid to disturb the silence that lay like a heavy blanket over the room.
“It’s a safe place, and that’s all that really matters. No one will find you here,” her guide replied, thrusting a bag and a gallon jug at her. “Here’s some food and water for the week. Make it count. I won’t be back until next Friday.”
With that, he turned on his heel and left. Sarah heard the key turn in the lock outside. They might say it was safe, but it seemed it was a prison to her.
She set her things on the floor and moved to explore the room. There was nothing much here—a stack of heavy sacks she could use to make a pallet, she supposed; another stack of thin sheeting; a basin that she would move as far away from the bed as possible and use for a toilet…she felt her face heat even though she was alone. Other than some miscellaneous equipment that she couldn’t decipher, that was it. There was nothing to make her feel at home, or comfort her, or in any way make it less of a prison.
Moving things around the way she wanted to see them gave her a tiny sense of agency, but it wasn’t enough to lift her spirits. She went to the only window in the room and hiked herself up on the windowsill to look out.
Outside, the world was green and beautiful. Inside, everything was brown and dreary. The window was barred.
Safe house indeed!
She could feel the rage beginning to boil inside her, and this time she didn’t fight to keep it down. She let it fill her, feeling the tingle in her fingertips that said the magic was rising.
All her life she had resisted its call. She had damped it down any time it started to manifest. Even so, she had been consigned to this cold, drear room because she had slipped and set the church on fire.
She had been locked away to save her from the angry townsfolk. Well, she didn’t care what became of her anymore. This place was worse than anything they might do to her.
Sparks began to flash between her fingertips. Sarah laughed. For the first time, she rejoiced to see the magic. Flinging her arms wide, she let the fire free.
Withing moments, the room was ablaze. She scooped up her knapsack and walked to the door. It would burn away soon enough, and she would be free.
Maybe she’d look for her own safe house…
Fiction © Copyright Rie Sheridan Rose
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
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.