The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Rie Sheridan Rose
She found it in the back corner of a dusty junk shop. She almost missed it—a collection of ancient Playboys sat half obscuring it—but something made her turn back. Moving the magazines out of the way, she looked down at her find in amazement. It was a rare thing to find one of the old typewriters still in the wild these days, much less one of the old round key models. A piece of yellowed paper was rolled into the machine, and she idly pecked out THE QUICK BROWN FOX JUMPS OVER THE LAZY DOG.
“Why, would you look there!” came a startled voice from the front of the store near the big bay window. “I declare, I haven’t seen a fox in these parts for a coon’s age.”
She blinked. Had to be coincidence…
THERE IS A HUNDRED DOLLAR BILL UNDER THE TYPEWRITER.
Surreptitiously, heart pounding in her throat, she lifted the machine. The corner of a hundred dollar bill stuck out from beneath another one of the Playboys. She snatched it up.
“H-how much is this?” she asked the old man at the cluttered counter reading a newspaper.
“That ol’ thing?” He considered. “I’ll let you have it for $20.”
“I’ll take it!” Lifting her prize, she carried it to the counter and handed him the hundred.
“Lord. Hope I can change that…”
It seemed to take him eons to open the register and dig out three worn twenties, a ten, and two fives. He handed her the bills, and she grabbed them, grunting a thank you.
When she arrived home, she set the typewriter in a place of honor at the kitchen table. The yellowed paper was full of test sentences, so she replaced it with a sheet of printer paper, tossing the old page into the shredder from habit. The ribbons of yellowed paper looked rather pathetic as they joined the crisp white strands in the basket.
I HAVE INHERITED A MILLION DOLLARS.
Wait. That might be too obscure a test to make sure it was working…
THERE ARE THREE DIET DR PEPPERS IN THE FRIDGE.
She knew for a fact there weren’t, because that was where she had been going before she got distracted by the junk shop.
She ran to the fridge and pulled open the door. Still no Dr Pepper. What was wrong with the—Christ! What if the magic was in the paper?
Fiction © Copyright Rie Sheridan Rose
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Author Rie Sheridan Rose:
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.
This flash illustrates a very delicate brand of horror, without monsters or blood of innocents. It hits you in your daydreams of possibilities and shatters them. Now you can’t go with the heroine’s ideas of wealth. Now you are bereft. (sob!)
I love this – it plants the idea of huge power and leaves us to guess and how that will corrupt your MC as she uses it again and again. A modern take on the “three wishes” fairytale – great work.