The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
Who the Light Hunts
by Stephanie Ayers
The light spilled onto the dark water like a mixture of blood and fire. No screams that came from within the glowing depths were answered. The few gondolas in the canal never stopped moving, yet they steered clear of that doorway just as they always did whether the light filtered out or not.
That light—an invitation to enter with its soft glow.
That light—an illusion to the certain death one met upon entering.
Locals knew to avoid it. The police wouldn’t step foot in it. Ghost hunters refused to investigate it. The only person who knew what happened inside that light never talked about it.
All those who said that light overpowered darkness knew something no one else knew. Light didn’t always mean good. Sometimes, what lurked within the light held more evil, contained more power than the darkest creature of any nightmare. And when it hungered, that was when its light shined brightest, eager to entice its unsuspecting prey into its grasp with illusions of edible treats in the front window.
Once entered, there was only one way out: darkness.
But only if you could find it.
Any shadows—and there were very few—were so small a toddler couldn’t hide within them, but it was the only way out. A complete and total absence of light was the only way to hide from the monster intent on drinking your blood and gnawing on your bones. The light’s magnanimous power found its way into even the darkest corners, the deepest shadows to feast. Sharp, needle teeth clamped into flesh, ripping, tearing, its mouth sucking in the blood from opened and gushing veins. A mouth without a face chewed and crunched, nibbling away until it met bone. And then, the teeth attacked again, finding fresh meat to feast upon until bones were all that remained.
Bones—they were what fueled the light. Marrow it craved more than the blood, more than the tender meat it devoured. The marrow sustained it, allowing it to grow and consume. Its hunger grew until it was no longer able to become satisfied. Greedy teeth stalked ripe prey like a vampire in search of blood.
I must warn you again. Beware the light. For what lurked within was more evil than the darkest creature of your worst nightmare. Trust me.
I was the lone survivor, living in permanent darkness. I watched from my window for when the light went out, because it was then and only then, I dared to leave the safety of my self-imposed prison. The light had tasted of my flesh, ripped my hip from my body, and quenched its thirst with my blood before I found safety within a shadow. The sacrifice of my leg enabled my escape. The sound of my wheelchair squeaking along the cobbled pavement was my only assurance I had survived.
I am who the light hunts, but it is you it will consume.
Fiction © Copyright Stephanie Ayers
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from author Stephanie Ayers:
A Sudden Flutter of Wings
Something strange is happening in Ruppert Hills, Missouri and it’s up to news reporter Kate Chisholm to get to the bottom of it.
When a body turns up in an old grain mill, something sinister begins to haunt her dreams, and no one is willing to tell her why. As her investigation leads her to the Trail of Tears and an old Indian shaman, and she mysteriously turns up pregnant, things get even stranger.
Is the baby she carries the key to the mystery shrouding Ruppert Hills or are they all doomed to the evil arising?