The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Melissa R. Mendelson
The Farmland Virus arrived overnight, wiping out any animal life that had been or still was at a farm. There was no rhyme or reason. The animals were just dead. The Milk Riots followed shortly afterward, crazed crowds stampeding into the grocery stores, gas stations and anywhere else that sold dairy products including milk. My last container barely made it through the week, and there had been alternatives, almond and soy milk. It was not the same, and those products quickly disappeared afterward. And the world remained insane.
My next-door neighbor was carried out on a stretcher, restrained and screaming that he got milk. He had found a way to bring it back. He found something. His lips were white. His eyes glassy. He had disappeared for months after the Farmland Virus struck the world, and all that time, he was in his basement, working on something. I thought he was dead until he stepped outside yesterday, screaming lunacy, but what if he found something? What if he did got milk?
The back door to his house was left open. No one was looking, and no one cared. They were too self-absorbed in their own misery, so I wasn’t worried about people calling the cops on me when I entered his house. My excitement soon turned to disappointment. There was nothing here. The upstairs and downstairs were empty. The fridge bare. Even the basement was a disappointment. Dust bunnies, spider webs, corroded tools, and a strange looking plant. What the hell had driven my neighbor so mad?
I almost walked out of there, cursing myself for being so stupid, but I didn’t want to leave empty-handed. I returned back to the basement for the strange plant. It reminded me of eyeballs, but upon closer inspection, it looked like grapes, grapes with black nipples. Was it food? I tried to bite into one, but it was hard as hell. I looked at the black nipple. Why would a grape have that? I figured, what the hell? I sucked from the nipple and tasted milk. The taste was exhilarating, and I moved from one grape over to the next and the next.
The sun was shining bright, and I was singing on top of my lungs. I was outside my neighbor’s house, swaying to the breeze. I don’t know what I was singing, but as my tongue moved, the milk taste increased. I had to keep my tongue moving because when it stopped, a horrible taste followed, a taste that I could not explain. It was like alcohol and rubber and disinfectant? My neighbor was a genius, but he had not worked out all the bugs. I sang louder, and in the distance, I heard the sirens coming to take me away.
Fiction © Copyright Melissa R. Mendelson
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Melissa R. Mendelson:
I got a one-way ticket out of hell. All I need to do is drive across country with a body in the trunk and run miscellaneous errands, but a lot of those errands come with a heavy price. And if I lose the body in the trunk, then I have to go back, and I’ll be damned if I return down there. I will fight to stay here, even if there is no rest for those wicked.