The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Michelle Joy Gallagher
The wind whipping through the field formed a low howl that made Elena think of a wounded animal. She was something wounded too. The blood had been dry on her face and neck for a few hours now, but it felt tacky when the skin moved. She’d taken a break from digging, her hands throbbing with newly formed callous, and leaned the shovel against an old tractor. She took a deep breath and eyed the place she had buried the combine harvester blade she’d found by sheer luck in the old shed. It was rusted and covered in a thin sheen of blood she’d tried to wipe off on the underside of her skirt.
The hole was about 3 feet deep now and subtly oblong. Not deep enough.
When Hank threw her down the stairs she lost the baby. She sobbed in a heap on the landing, bleeding through her gown. Hank stomped into their bedroom and slammed the door. When he finally managed to get out of bed the next day, Elena still lay where she’d fallen, too faint from grief and blood loss to move.
“Get your ass up! Ain’t no seed can grow in a fallow field anyway don’t you know that?”
Elena wailed, and Hank softened a bit.
“Come on, pigeon. Get cleaned up. We already missed the morning service.”
She had gone to the shed for a rope to hang herself. The harvester blade was leaning against the back wall.
“The fuck you doing out here?? Didn’t I tell you to get cleaned up?”
“I’m sorry, I…” Elena’s hand wrapped around the blade as he interrupted her.
“I’m sorry? That’s all you gotta say always! If you just did what I –“
Elena swung wide. Hank’s tirade was interrupted by the harvester blade biting into the side of his throat. He gargled and spat and reached impotently toward Elena. She stepped backward and let him fall on his face in front of her.
She smiled down at his body, laying beside the hole she’d been digging.
“This field ain’t fallow, Hank. You’ll make a fine seed.”
Fiction © Copyright Michelle Joy Gallagher
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from author Michelle Joy Gallagher:
Blackhawk: Volume 2
Welcome to Blackhawk, Colorado. Blackhawk has always been strange. Natural disasters. Disappearances. Murders. High strangeness is a part of daily life. We can’t hope to explain it, but we can chronicle its past. Learn from it. Fear it. Blackhawk is an experimental fiction series set in a shared universe, written by a variety of talented authors. It is the brainchild of David M Brown (Plague Doctor, Modern Animals) and Carl D Smith (Moleb the Giant, Darkness Out of Carthage). Each story will contribute to an organic, evolving mythology as diverse as the voices behind its tales. For fans of True Detective, Lost Highway, Twilight Zone, and The Terror. This is Volume Two of the series and contains five stories by five different authors, each in tune with the specific strangeness Blackhawk has to offer. NOTE: For fans of Lake Lord Publishing’s prior horror titles, be warned that Blackhawk will contain content that is perhaps more disturbing and mature.