The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Kendra Hale
“Please… can’t anyone help me?”
Came the weak and desperate cry emanating from room 109.
The frail voice as loud as her lungs would allow the older woman to cry out. Stephanie sighed standing from her chair and making her way down the darkened hallway. She was now four hours into her twelve hour shift and this patient had been especially restless tonight.
Emogen Farmer had come to the Wild Meadows facility after her grandson had no longer been able to handle the medical costs and the depth of care she had needed. Being only twenty three, he had done his best but his head was barely above water. Early onset Dementia left Emogen lucid and cognitive most of the time, but as Stephanie had learned , nighttime was when the monsters visited Emogen and tonight was one of those nights.
The cry came louder now that Stephanie was closer to the door. She adjusted the loop of her mask on her ear and entered into the darkness of room 109, careful not to wake Emogen’s roommate Martha. Stephanie made her way past the room separating the curtain and hit the button on the call light letting other staff know that an aide was present with this patient.
Her eyes adjusted to the light from the moon pouring in through the window. It didn’t give her much light but it allowed Stephanie to see the outline of Emogen in bed, hiding under her bedding. Stephanie smiled under her mask as she began what had been routine now for a few weeks. She made her way to the closet and as her hand hit the handle she spoke to Emogen.
“Emogen, it’s Stephanie. Don’t worry, I am already on it. I am checking the closet.”
Pulling the door open, Stephanie brought her phone out and opened the screen for additional light. She let the light roam over the clothes hanging inside. Each one had Emogen’s name on a label inside the collar of the shirts or the band of the pants marking the items as hers. Seeing nothing as expected as she had moved the clothing, she set about bending down to check the bottom of the wardrobe.
“Nothing so far Emogen. There’s nothing here…”
Stephanie heard the hitch in her voice as her phone’s light shined on what looked like a pile of ash. She reached her hand for it and that was when a new light source made itself known from the bottom back of the closet. A warm light, like embers burning in a fire. A face made itself known, covered in ash and living flame. Stephanie went to scream but the being cut her off.
“Please help me.”
It cried desperately as it launched out and grabbed Stephanie, pulling her into the closet leaving only a small smear of ash where she had once been standing.
Other staff afterwards would say that Stephanie had just walked out, tired of the job. But Emogen knew better, and it was only a matter of when the voice in the closet would wail out again looking for help…
Fiction © Copyright Kendra Hale
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from author Kendra Hale:
A Gothic Bite Magazine Anthology
A collection of poetry.