The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
Pieces We Lost, Pieces We Keep
by Melissa R. Mendelson
As always when I get to work and check on the residents, I find her sitting in a chair in the dayroom away from everyone else. Her eyes are always dark, her hands cupped together. Her lips pressed tight, locking the words inside, and they’ve been locked inside for a very long time. The shadows sat with her, seeping into her skin, filling her with pleasure and pain, but she did not flinch. She allowed the darkness to eat at her, taking what it could, but she was always holding onto something.
After rounds, I returned to the dayroom, finding her still there in the corner. No one else noticed, lost in their own worlds, trying to forget why they were even there. It was the lunch hour, and the other residents left the room. But she remained, still coated with shadows, darkness riding inside her. Maybe, she was afraid to move, and I stepped closer, catching a small faint of light inside those eyes.
“Why do you fight it,” I whispered. “Why not just let the darkness have all of you?”
To my surprise, she looked at me, smiling, her mouth finally opening to release a breath of air, and I looked closer into those eyes. The light was brighter, and there was someone there, someone kneeling beside an old chest with yellow light pouring out of it. And there was a letter attached to the chest, and my mind seized upon it, devouring its words, the moments that had destroyed her, still destroying her. I moved back as the light chased the darkness out, obliterated the shadows around her. She grabbed my hand, burning my skin.
“You can’t have all of me because it’s safe, locked away in that chest, and today, I’m letting it all out.”
Before I could ask why, the light went out in her eyes. She slumped back into her seat, a smile resting on her lips. Her hands folded gently together. She looked like she was asleep, but she was gone, taking away what was left of her from me.
Fiction © Copyright Melissa R. Mendelson
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
About Author Melissa R. Mendelson:
Melissa R. Mendelson is a Horror, Science-Fiction, and Dystopian Author. Her short stories have been published by Sirens Call Publications, Dark Helix Press, and Transmundane Press. She also has a variety of short stories and poetry available on Medium.