The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Kathleen McCluskey
Every child stopped what they were doing and listened. The calliope music was mesmerizing, beckoning them. Their parents, deaf to the hypnotic rhythm, went about their day as if it was just another sunny day in July. The children knew, they always know; they were being summoned to the carnival.
Jimmy and Jenny were not immune and were also enthralled. They were twelve now and their parents allowed them to go to the fair alone. This was going to be the best carnival for the twins, they would be away from the parental stares and the restrictive rules. Finally a bit of freedom.
That night the twins headed out. As they got closer the smell of popcorn, peanuts and cotton candy was like a beacon that drew them in even closer. The lights, the crowd and that ever persistent calliope music put them in a stupor. They blindly followed the melody and found themselves standing in front of the funhouse. The flashing lights from the rides gave them an ashen glow. They interlocked hands and entered the attraction.
Once inside they were pushed into a room. It was dark and began to become a spinning blur. Jenny and Jimmy were thrust against the walls by the centrifugal force. Some of the children from the neighborhood were in the same trap. The calliope music became even louder; rhythmic and entrancing. The crying and begging of the children became part of the music. The more they cried the faster and faster the room spun. Terrifying faces emerged from the blur, coming at the children as ancient words became audible in the calliope music. The spell had been cast. The room became still. No more crying and no more begging, the music had gone silent and the room was empty. The children’s cries were disguised as part of the rhythmic calliope music.
Fiction © Copyright Kathleen McCluskey
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Kathleen McCluskey:
The Long Fall: Book 1: The Inception of Horror
Lucifer always cunning and intelligent challenges father to a battle of wits. Being the angel of light he casts a judgmental eye upon mankind. He begins a war with his fellow archangels and God. Michael, along with his siblings defend their home and mankind from their deranged brother. Broad swords and hand to hand combat drench heaven in blood. The four apocalyptic steeds are released, each having their own destructive power. Betrayal and lust are at biblical levels. Understand the very creation of evil and the consequences that transpire in the first of THE LONG FALL series.
Love how you engage the reader’s senses in this piece – and give an explanation for why calliope music is so grating!
Thank you so much!!
A terrific and creepy story.