The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Alyson Faye
Driving down the A11 at 2am hedged in by the East Anglian forests – the mist rolling in – Blake thought he could be the only person in the world awake, albeit pumped up with take out coffee, but sentient enough to drive.
It had been a crap week at work, lay-offs, the boss throwing a hissy fit and computers crashing. The cottage in Norfolk beckoned, quiet, isolated and cosy. He craved all that it offered. He wanted to stay there forever.
He reached for his coffee cup and in the glow of the headlights he caught a glimpse of shimmering silver, water pooling on the road, and something or someone kneeling, no rising – from the road’s surface.
What the hell? The mist blurred everything, distorting distances. He began to slow down. He braked, changing down the gears, felt the car sliding to the edge, where it stopped, bonnet nudging the grass.
Blake stared, open-mouthed, straight ahead, hearing the wipers wheeze and his heart thumping faster with fright. He could see a young woman, resting not on the road, but in it and still rising up. Around her the tarmac was a slushy black gel. She was young, feline, and staring right at him. His phone buzzed – a reminder of the outside world, but as he went to look at it, the signal died. Blake opened the car door; the mist stroked his face, and hands, stealing into the car. It was slimy and tendrilous.
Idiot, how can she be?
By now the girl was free up to her knees, smiling at him. The black gel lapped around her body, but eel-like, she wriggled and two legs appeared.
Blake noticed how the mist was swarming over the car, and the tree lines, yet avoided going near the girl, leaving her cocooned in a bubble of amber headlights. Her own eyes glowed tawny gold.
He walked towards her. The forest watched him, the night animals silenced. Nothing stirred. Blake failed to notice any of this. His gaze being fixed solely on the woman’s alabaster shoulders, her pouting lips, her shiny wet slicked-back hair, her long legs.
“How? Who are you?” His words slurred.
“Come to me.” Naked arms stretched out to him.
Blake stomped the tarmac, checking it was solid. Yes, it seemed to be rock hard again. He stood right by her.
“Kiss me.” She wrapped her arms around his neck.
Her eyes really are gold. Her lips were red, blood-red, and tiny jewels glittered in her hair. Her flesh was pearly white, and chilly. His lips lingered on hers, she tasted of marzipan and something else, not so sweet.
“You’re so cold?” Blake tried to withdraw from her embrace, but strands of her hair were entangled in his shirt buttons, her hands were on his shoulders, something else, he wasn’t sure what, was clinging to his belt. Blake couldn’t move.
He smelt burning tarmac, rotting fish, and then his legs began to sink beneath him. The woman’s eyes gazed into his, he saw tiny fires blazing there and part of him didn’t want to fight her.
“Come join me. We live below.” She gestured, and in the liquefying tarmac, Blake glimpsed many golden eyes watching him, hands reaching up for him, his senses were overloaded with desire. The woman bit down on his lip, drawing beads of blood. Her arms were everywhere at once, round his neck, his waist, between his legs.
Tentacles. I can’t get free.
Her kisses chilled him. His heart slowed . . . slower . . . slower . . . whilst his body sank lower . . . into the black jelly and then down into the below.
Just as the top of Blake’s hair vanished beneath the road, a car’s headlights appeared – pushing back the mist, revealing nothing but smooth tarmac and Blake’s abandoned car, flashing its hazard lights. Stopped at the edge, its driver door open, pinging in the night air, bereft of its driver.
“Bloody awful night to break down,” the man said to his wife.
“If we see him hitch-hiking, we’d better pick him up,” she answered, settling back into her comfy seat and pushing the heater controls up higher.
Fiction © Copyright Alyson Faye
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Alyson Faye:
The Lost Girl & Spindleshanks
The Lost Girl
A nailed-up door. An inheritance which comes with a ghost. A missing girl. A fifty-year-old mystery. Parapsychologist Berkley Osgood is hired to investigate. What he uncovers reveals secrets the living want to hide and the dead will never forgive.
Adam is having nightmares about a skeletal shadow figure, who he calls Spindleshanks. Soon his whole class are sharing the same nightmare. Adam’s dad, Rob, knows that Spindleshanks can’t be real. But is he? One terrible night Rob has to face his son’s nightmare creature and fight for his son’s life. What would you sacrifice to have your child back safe?
“A decent two-for-one. Alyson Faye brings the engaging and eerie in equal measure.” CC Adams – horror / dark fiction author