The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Terrie Leigh Relf
I preferred walking through the tunnels to reach the music department’s practice studios. While it wasn’t exactly a short cut, the tiled tunnels, which wound ‘round the university campus, were quiet and peaceful, only interrupted by the occasional student.
Every twenty feet or so, there was an arched opening where light drifted in. Otherwise, the system of tunnels was dark and given to shadows. While I had a flashlight, I only used it at night when returning to my off-campus walk-up.
Just before the system veered off, which lead outside to one of the courtyards, there was a small anteroom. It contained more than enough space for me to set a stool and play my cello. There was something about this space, as if it had been designed for the sole purpose of playing a stringed, or perhaps a wind, instrument. Here, I could compose without anyone listening, without worrying if a passerby would inquire as to the piece’s artist or pause to listen, their presence an interruption to my creative process.
There were times, however, when I did sense someone listening, but when I’d open my eyes after allowing the final stroke of my bow to resonate, I would still be alone. Until one night, when my solar lantern gave up its light and I was cocooned in darkness.
As my eyes adjusted to the encroaching darkness, shadows began to peel away from the moonlit walls, gathering before me. “Bravo! Bravo!” they intoned.
While I was attempting to gather my wits about me, a rather dignified man wearing a tuxedo stepped forward. He gestured to the disembodied audience with the wave of a baton. “You have transported me, transported us all, young man.”
A woman wearing an elegant green evening gown stepped forward to join him. “Congratulations! You have passed the audition! You will be an excellent First Chair for our chamber orchestra!”
Pointing to my still-beating heart, I managed to sputter out, “I’m clearly honored, but—”
“A minor detail,” the conductor said with a beatific smile as he pointed his baton at me.
Fiction © Copyright Terrie Leigh Relf
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from author Terrie Leigh Relf:
For thousands of Earth years, the Transgalactic Consortium has had a quiet interest in this planet and its inhabitants, the Haurans. While the Sisterhood of the Blood Moon works together with the Consortium and Haurans to maintain balance in the universe, the Blood Moon is fast approaching. The power of this moon reveals untold secrets . . . including a sacred covenant with the Mora Spiders. There is an ancient pact that needs to be honored—but at what cost and for whose purpose? The world may come to an end. But will there be a chance for a new beginning?