The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Melissa R. Mendelson
The long, brown curtain divided us, but both our bodies were prisoner to the same hard bed. When he moved or I moved, the curtain would inform the other about our distress. The nurses slipped in like ghosts, but the doctor was more of an apparition. The lights overhead barely lit up our space, and silence was denied, drowned out by sickness and sorrow.
Since being placed here, I barely dreamed. I would fade in and out of time. My body belonged to the mattress. My voice a stranger greeting the one on the other side, and the curtain devoured our conversations. Strength was distant, and survival was further away. We were all waiting here to die, but then he surprised me with a shove into my skin and bones, jarring me out of almost being comatose. But the storm of whispering nurses afterward informed me that he was gone.
A dream descended upon me, wrapping me up in a golden embrace. I remembered warmth, or maybe, it was from the candlelight. How strange, and beautiful music played across the darkness, moving my body along invisible strings. I felt something hard beneath me, but was it the bed? I strained to see forward, and a cold chill lingered on my face as if someone had opened a window. A porcelain face appeared, swaying to the music still flowing around me.
“Blow out the candle,” it whispered. “And I will set you free.”
My head moved over the shoulder, and a scene unfolded before me. A sheet of music wrapped in a golden thread with a candle burning brightly next to it. It was as if an artist had created this piece just for me, but then I felt that cold chill. I tried to turn my head, but it remained fixed in that spot, my eyes now prisoner to the flame swaying before me.
“Blow the candle out,” it said.
“Will I die?” The words were hoarse. They could not have come from me, but they did. And did I have any breath left in me to release? “I can’t.”
“You can unless you enjoy this torment. Listen to the music,” and I did. And like with the brown curtain that hung so close to my body, the music pulled everything in, and nothing hurt anymore. “You can,” it whispered.
I knew that if I didn’t, I would return to that space, where I was waiting to die. Someone else would take his bed, and then they would take mine. Every day was the same, and the nights were consumed with sickness and sorrow. I could not return there, and I barely registered the fangs slipping out from the porcelain face’s mouth. But all I could think of was how I no longer hurt, how I felt warm. The music made me feel alive, and my lips parted as I smiled. The fangs slipped into my skin, but not before I blew the flame out.
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.